The food you give your kids will help them grow in so many ways beyond the physical. It will expose them to new smells and textures. It will introduce them to exciting new flavours they’ve never had before. It will help them understand what they like and don’t like.
And it will lay the groundwork for a healthy relationship with food. A healthy variety of snack ideas for kids that achieve all four is a good idea.
At around eight months old, your baby will be able to grasp and pick up small pieces of food. They may not have mastered this yet and could start out using their entire hand and all their fingers. But with good practice, they’ll refine their finger movements and develop the ability to skilfully pick up one piece of food with just their thumb and forefinger. And let them experiment with different snack ideas. For kids from 12 to 18 months old, this trial and error is key to preference development.
Set the scene
Children should be seated and supervised when eating. Stable plates and bowls with large openings make picking up foods with fingers easier. Don’t worry about how messy finger-feeding can be. It helps develop motor skills, particularly hand-eye coordination, and it makes them feel more independent.
Putting knowledge into action:
Offer small bite-sized pieces of soft-cooked vegetables or soft fruits, like ripe banana pieces.
Choose textures that dissolve quickly in the mouth, like grain snacks or yogurt.
Select foods that are easy to pick up, like well-cooked pasta pieces.
Avoid foods that could be swallowed whole that put your child at risk for choking.
See our feeding guide for older babies for more tips.
Babies still have small tummies, so small meals and snack ideas for kids can work well. Snacks play an important role in a healthy diet; with all sorts of different shapes and sizes to choose from, they can help kids master self-feeding. Since this is when your baby learns to mash and chew, start with snacks that dissolve easily. When they start to get the hang of them, try more textured snacks.
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