Re: Let baby feed herself?
It is definitely good for them to let them feed themselves. I know it can be messy, but they have so much fun with it and it really lets them explore food- tastes, textures, smells, etc.
I highly recommend giving her non-pureed foods. By 7 1/2 months, she should be able to deal pretty well with things like steamed veggies, fruit, cheese, dry cereals like cheerios, low sodium lunchmeat, bread or toast, pasta. Feed her during your own dinner time, that way she can take whatever time she needs and she will make that connection that mealtimes can be a social events.
We pretty much feed our daughter (and have sine about 7-8 months) whatever we are having for dinner. I just don't add any salt while cooking and if I'm using a pasta sauce or something I will take out some veggies for her before I add the sauce. It makes my mealtimes a lot easier because I'm not trying to feed her and me at the same time.
If you know you don't have time to clean up a big mess, give her things that she can't get too messy eating. I usually give some slices of cheese, a little bit of turkey lunchmeat, fruit (raisins or apple- something not too gooey), and half a piece of bread for lunch so we don't have to do mid-day baths.
Good luck, it really can be fun and not too difficult!
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