Food Sizes by Age with Baby-led Weaning

whole beets for 6 month olds, halved beets for 7-8 month olds, quartered beets for 8-9 month olds, and bite-size pieces for 9-12 months and older.

You may know that the ideal food size/shape for 6 -9 month olds is the “two-finger” strip. A piece of food that is roughly the size and length of two adult fingers held together. This is because at this age, babies are mostly using their fist to grab things (this is called the Palmar grasp) and the rectangular strip shape makes it easy for them to grab and eat independently. 

So what do you do when a food—like beets—can’t be cut into the two-finger strip?

I created this graphic to illustrate how recommended food sizes gradually get smaller as your baby gets older. The suggested ages and exact shapes are just suggestions—but the point is that you can gradually get smaller as your baby gets better at picking up smaller pieces of food. 

Ironically, once your baby is around 18 months old, you can go back UP in size again to the beginning. This is why, for example, you see my 23 month old babies eating chicken drumsticks whole again. They have become skilled at tearing, chewing, and swallowing. But between 9 and 18 months or so, smaller pieces were the way to go to help them be able to actually consume the food more easily.

Ready to eat? Check out our guides to our favorite foods for babies starting solids.

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