Learn About Finger Food & Its Benefits for Your ChildFriday, 15 June 2018
At the age of 6 months, the Little One is ready to be introduced to complementary food. Other than beneficial in fulfilling the nutritional requirements that can no longer be fulfilled by breast milk alone, the provision of complementary food is also beneficial to sharpen the oromotor skills (basic skills pertaining to oral movements including the tongue, teeth, lips, and jaw) and motoric skills of the Little One. Ideally, complementary food is provided in accordance to the level of development of the Little One. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the correct provision of complementary food occurs when the food provided is safe, nutritious, and with a texture that suits the ability of the Little One. The texture and consistency can begin with food that is soft, smooth, and slightly watery. This can then be gradually changed to thicker food and eventually solid and rough food. One type of food that can be introduced to the Little One is finger food. Finger food refers to food that can be easily consumed by the Little One, whether in terms of easy to hold, bite, or softened when chewed. Fruit slices, steamed vegetables, or baby biscuits are appropriate selections that can be given to the Little One because other than being nutritious, these food selections can also increase their coordination and motoric abilities. When deciding to select biscuits as finger food for the Little One, parents should check their nutritional contents. Avoid the provision of biscuits that contain additional ingredients such as artificial colouring or sweetener, preservatives, or excessive sugar contents in each serving. If the Little One has a history of cow milk allergy, consult the doctor prior to providing biscuits as some types of children biscuits may contain cow milk. For children who are beginning to learn to eat, the biscuits can be cut into smaller pieces or dissolved in water to avoid choking. Parents can also select biscuit products that can easily dissolve when eaten by the Little One, which will be safer to consume. A healthy snack for children aged 6-12 months old that contains balanced and complete nutrition and have a smooth texture to avoid choking and stimulate dental growth is Milna Baby Biscuits. Parents can provide these in a crushed form or in small pieces that can be easily held by the Little One to train their coordination and motoric abilities. When the Little One is enjoying their biscuit snack, parents should remember to observe them in order to prevent choking. Also, snacks should be provided at the right time and in the right quantity, in order to not affect the appetite of the Little One.