In the Classroom: The Wild Things
The Wild Things Love Finger Foods!
As with any PIC class, a lot of eating goes on in the Wild Things room. The infants make a fuss when it is time for a bottle. The toddlers know when it is snack time and are eager to wash their hands and sit down at the table. The more precocious ones even climb the stairs to the sink and try to do it themselves!
As children grow, they become more independent, and one of the first ways they do this is by self-feeding. It is such a joy to watch our younger Wild Things learn to eat on their own!
Older infants and toddlers use food not only as a source of nutrition, but also as a sensory experience. They love looking at and feeling what is on their tray, before picking it up and (hopefully!) eating it. It is important for their development to give them different textures of food to try, not only to see what they prefer, but also to give them opportunities to experience different tastes. For example, some children prefer sweets, while others avoid it. The best way to figure out what your child prefers is to let them try everything!
Here are a few key signs that an infant is ready for finger foods:
- Are they interested in what an adult is eating?
- Can the child grasp an object and bring it to their mouth?
- Have they started cutting their teeth?
Let your child try these finger foods:
- Low sugar, dry cereals, such as Cheerios
- Soft, diced fruit, without the skin
- Well-cooked, cut-up vegetables, such as carrots and green beans
- Small pieces of tender meats
- Small pieces of sandwiches, such as grilled cheese or nut butter and jelly
- Cooked pasta, cut into small pieces
If you have any questions about your child's readiness to try finger foods or want to talk about how the process is going in your family, just ask a Wild Thing teacher!