Baby led weaning can help teach your child more than just how to eat – it can help hone their pincer grip as well! Keep reading to find a list of awesome blw pincer grasp foods!-
By the time my oldest son was 7 months old he was picking up peas. I remember I’d take him places and people would marvel at my little dude picking up peas and gobbling them up.
Fine Motor Skills and Baby Led Weaning
While a developing pincer grip isn’t necessarily anything to write home about, it is one of my favorite benefits of baby led weaning!
What is the pincer grip?
The pincer grip or grasp is the ability to grab something with the pad of the index and thumb fingers. This usually develops around 7-8 months.
How do you improve baby’s pincer grasp?
Practice, practice, practice! The best thing you can do t help your baby master her pincer grip is to encourage regular practice. We need t hone the hand muscles and that only happens through routine use.
How does baby led weaning help fine motor skills?
The pincer grip is a form of fine motor skill, encouraging coordination between your thumb and index finger. Another skill honed by BLW is hand mouth coordination, encouraging hand eye coordination. Repeated practice of this skill early on has show babies more likely to hone and perfect the skill easier.
Thankfully, pincer grip foods are relatively easy to find. Technically, any food can become a pincer grip food. Below is a list of pincer grip foods that more or less come ready for your little ones to gobble up!
Baby Led Weaning Pincer Grip Food Ideas
- Peas. I steam frozen peas and put a few on the tray. You can use canned but be mindful of additives and salt,
- Corn. Again, frozen and defrosted, usually steamed.
- Cheese. If using shredded, buy or grate on the biggest shred size, not the micro-shreds. Easier for babes to pick up.
- Cereal. Everyone has seen the pictures of adorable babies eating Cheerios! Because of Ryan’s MSPI, I was afraid to give him much cereal, but once he was a bit older I did give him puffed rice which he loved.
- Berries. Raspberries are perfect for baby led weaning since they are so soft. Blueberries are great as well, just make sure you cut them in half or quarters to avoid choking. Another option is gently smashing them before serving.
- Banana. We mention in our baby led weaning bananas post that sometimes rolling in crushed cereal can help with slipper banana.
- Beans. Beans are a great source of protein as well as perfect pincer grip foods. We like pinto and cannellini for baby led weaning. I wouldn’t suggest chickpea just yet since they would be easy to choked on. Again, pressing gently on each bean to “smash” could help that.
- Grapes. Cut in half lengthwise. I used to cut ours in quarters lengthwise to be extra careful.
- Olives. Prepared same as grapes. Buy the lowest sodium possible and rinse well to get salt off.
- Smaller pasta. Cooked past al dente. Elbow macaroni is perfect, but if you want to start a bit larger things like penne and rigatoni are great options.
- Puffs. I didn’t use puffs since they contain soy most often, but this is a very commonly recommended food.
- Yogurt drops. Again, we didn’t use, but they melt in baby’s mouth which makes them very safe.
- Shredded apple or carrot. We cover this in our posts on serving apples for baby led weaning, serving carrots for baby led weaning.
- Any other food your baby enjoys. Anything cut into little pieces will help hone pincer grips. Make sure they are cut to about the size of a pea, since any larger poses a choking risk.
It’s very important to note that you need to evaluate your own child before attempting smaller foods. I am not a pediatrician, dietician, or any kind of -ician. I just used and loved baby led weaning with my own kids and love sharing my experience.