William eats three meals a day, at around 7:30 am, 12 pm and 4:30 pm. Then the poor little guy sits there and watches my husband and I eat dinner around 6 pm, signing "eat" repeatedly! (Yes, he uses sign language- but just that one sign!) I've been giving him a few cubes of banana or another finger food during "family dinnertime," but have been searching for something better. Something not at all filling (so he'll still have room to nurse well before bed), but that he'll enjoy eating independently.
So, just hours ago William and I bought a box of Hot-Kid Baby Mum-Mum Original Rice Rusks at Whole Foods. It seems like there's always something I need at Whole Foods......
Some of my lovely mom friends who we have a weekly playdate with had recommended Baby Mum-Mums several times, and since William is showing more and more interest in finger feeding, I thought we'd give them a try. First of all, they taste good (just like any rice cracker you might buy, airy but crispy, salty and quick to dissolve). They are long, flat oval shapes, perfect for chubby little fists to hold on to.
William loved these right away (after I touched it to his lips, and signed and said "eat" so that he'd know it was food), and devoured one in a couple of minutes. These have absolutely no nutritional value (well, 15 calories of pure carbohydrates for 2 rusks, and 2% daily protein) but are great for self-feeding practice! The box says "You may give Hot-Kid Baby Mum-Mum Rice Rusks to your baby as soon as he or she is ready for solid food."
Self-feeding is an important skill for babies to work on early. Later in the feeding/eating relationship, independence can become a major issue that changes the dynamics. Many toddlers use mealtime as a time to assert their independence (which is perfectly age-appropriate, and an important stage of development!), so establishing a sense of self-confidence and degree of independence early on may reap benefits (in the form of less "feeding issues") later!