Hand motor skills affect the intake of finger foods in toddlers (12–18 months)

Title: Hand motor skills affect the intake of finger foods in toddlers (12–18 months)

Authors: Lianne Remijn, Saakje da Costa, Chantal Bodde, Rianne Gerding, Hugo Weenen, Carel Vereijken, Cees van der Schans
Published: 2019

Food Quality and Preference

Feeding during the first years of life is a window of opportunity to introduce taste and texture that sets the foundation for healthy eating habits later in life.
Introducing finger foods is an important step in complementary feeding, it is recommended to start with finger foods, at about 7 months, but there is a lack of information on which finger foods are appropriate and accepted for which age.

The study set-up
The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine whether chewing skills, hand motor skills, and other personal and food characteristics influence the intake of finger foods in early life.
Thirty toddlers aged 12 to 18 months participated in the study. All toddlers were offered four finger foods in a fixed order on four consecutive days at their home. Two finger foods varied mainly in texture (bananas) and two other finger foods mainly in shape (crackers).

The intake of the four finger foods in this study was found to be mainly affected by texture, hand motor skills, age and experience.

Read the publication here

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