I "accidentally" spent way too much on a SugarBooger ABC Jumbo Splat Mat back when William was approaching 6 months of age. I knew that early feeding and eating would be a messy experience, but a plastic tarp might have worked just fine. I'm actually glad I invested in it though, because it is thick, heavy and sort of sticks to the floor, so when I wipe it down on my hands and knees four times a day (yes, that's right, William now eats four meals a day!) it doesn't crumple up or move around.
The past few days, things have become much more messy around here! William has been showing a lot of interest in feeding himself. He has always put the spoon in his mouth independently, but now he would rather use his hands alone (he has been looking at the spoon with disdain, or turning his head away in avoidance). I think his blossoming fine motor skills are the driving force behind this change. So, I've had to get very creative with foods he can eat independently that meet his nutritional needs. I like to give him foods that are nutrient-dense and unprocessed. They need to be not too slippery, and not too small as small pieces get lost in his chubby fist!
Here are some things I've offered him that worked out very well:
Fresh raspberries, broken into about quarters
Sweet potato, cooked in the microwave, cut into 1/2 -inch slices, peeled then cut into large chunks
Avocado, cut into 1/2-inch wedges, then large chunks
Brown rice cakes, broken into large chunks
Roasted cinnamon apple wedges (Peel, cut into thin wedges, toss with cinnamon, bake)
Shaved raw apple (long strips made with vegetable peeler)
Steamed spinach leaves (steam in microwave, then mush into little balls)
He did not particularly enjoy the following:
Shaved & diced raw carrot (long strips with vegetable peeler, then chopped into small squares)
chunks of baked white potato
Do any of you readers have other great ideas for finger foods??? Please share!