Around one year of age babies enter the “do it myself” stage and may want to feed themselves with a spoon. Most parents find it much easier to feed a baby themselves rather than let baby take over the job with her own utensils. Compromise is needed here. A trick we have used with the determined self- feeder is to do the job together. The parent holds the spoonful of food and when baby grabs the spoon, mom or dad continues to hold on and helps baby guide the spoon into her mouth. Take advantage of baby’s desire to mimic you at this stage. When he sees you using a spoon properly, baby is more likely to want to copy you. Now is the time to offer baby thicker food that will stick to the spoon and have a better chance of making it into baby’s mouth. Spearing is also fun at this age. Give baby a safe, plastic fork with sturdy, blunt tines and a few cubes of fruit (melon is a terrific target). After a bit of target practice, the little hunter will actually get most of his catch into his mouth. Now that your baby has acquired a taste for new foods and developed new feeding skills, both of you are ready to move onto the challenge of toddler feeding.
NUTRITIP: Pasta Picking
Place a pile of spaghetti or a few pasta squares or shells on baby’s tray and sit back and enjoy the show. To minimize problems with allergies, begin with rice pasta before introducing wheat. Wait till around one year of age to add tomato sauce, as tomatoes are one of the more common allergens.