Finger foods for BLW
A common worry from parents in regards to introducing finger foods is the potential risk of choking. Knowing how to properly prepare your babies food will minimise this risk dramatically!
Choking occurs when the airway is occluded, our airway is round in shape, therefore the biggest risk are round foods that may completely block any air from entering.
Foods should be, as a guide, your own finger length and shape. Having food shaped this way allows baby to grasp the food, and take smaller bites – minimising the chance they will shove the whole thing in their mouth!
Foods that are round in shape – cherry tomatoes, grapes etc should be quartered to minimise any choking risk.
Food should also be soft in texture to start with – soft enough that baby can easily flatten the food between their tongue and the roof of their mouth – a good way to test this is to see if food will squash easily between your thumb and forefinger. Steaming & baking foods can help achieve this texture.
Also, in regards to any ‘stringy’ foods or foods with skin, make sure you remove the skin or stringy parts (Eg. Pear skin) until baby is managing finger foods with ease!
One last thing is to make sure you start finger foods (or any foods!) when baby is developmentally ready, this entails baby being able to sit unassisted and loss of the tongue thrust reflex (you can read more about readiness signs on my blog). A slumped baby in a chair is a higher risk of choking as their airway is already partially occluded via their slumped head!
And it should go without saying, always observe your baby when eating!