Photo: www.kozzi.com
Joanna Ferensowicz, EcoSavvy Mama 

We're in the kitchen more than any other room in the house. This gives us the chance to use food to help our babies to develop their skills. Here are some tips:

Finger foods are important for speech development

The introduction of solids is a big milestone and for good reason. Oral motor skills required for speech development are developed through the sucking, chewing, licking and biting. Different textures help strengthen the tongue while biting and chewing strengthen the jaw and lips.

There is more than one way to use spaghetti

Babies love to touch and feel (and eat) anything that has an interesting texture. Cooked spaghetti at room temperature helps with the development of fine motor skills and grasp, self-help skills, and development of touch, texture and temperature senses. So drop a handful of cooked spaghetti on your little one's highchair tray and watch her play while she's getting some nutrition too!

It's OK to play messy!

Stimulate you child's senses by giving them some edible finger paint (just in case they decide to taste-test it!) or some edible play dough.

To make edible finger paint, simply make some instant vanilla pudding (according to the instructions) and add some food colouring. Even though this activity will get quite messy, the best way to control the mess is to do it at the high-chair. Take some digital pictures of your little artist at work for some great memories! (No need to keep the actual art!)

To make edible play dough, use 2 parts oatmeal, 1 part water and 1 part flour. Mix these ingredients together until they have a consistency of dough and then watch your little one squish the playdough with so much amazement! (For safety reasons, playdough is usually suggested for older babies and toddlers).

By Joanna Ferensowicz, EcoSavvy Mama
Follow me on Twitter: @ecosavvy_mama