Dips and Dippers!
Updated: Sep 15, 2019
Around 8 months old, your baby enters the developmental phase of "I want to do it myself". She may start turning her head and refusing purees you are offering her on a spoon. This is not food refusal, this is actually her trying to exert her independence. Offer her a spoon or a dipper and let her have at it! Engaging your older baby in the mealtime will help her feel more in control and in turn, she may start opening for bites of purée you offer on a spoon.
This is a really fun and messy phase - embrace it! In addition to a spoon, you can offer other dippers such as Choomee Dip'n Spoons, Zoli Gummy Massagers, or Num Num Gootensils. Even better - think of all the foods you can use as dippers! The dissolvable foods we typically try first are Baby Mum Mum crackers, graham crackers,Veggie Stix, and Ritz crackers. You can use baby food, puréed table food, yogurt, applesauce, hummus, or guacamole. The possibilities are endless! You can offer the dippers "pre-loaded" or show your baby how to dip the table foods in the purees you put on her tray. We also love the ezpz Mini Mat or Tiny Bowl for this purpose - it works great and gives your baby such independence!
This idea is also great for babies who are having difficulty transitioning to lumpy purees or table foods in general. The use of easily managed dippers and their familiar purees are a great way to get them used to new textures and help them learn to chew. As always, follow the Division of Responsibility (Ellyn Satter) and encourage your child to explore these foods at her own pace and do not feed her. The more she does independently, the higher the likelihood is that she will accept the new food and manage it appropriately.