You might be inclined to crumble up ground beef into really small pieces, thinking that it’s safer for baby to eat. It’s actually MORE dangerous to serve very small pieces of food early on. Your baby is just learning HOW to eat, and WHAT to do with that food in his or her mouth.
We want baby to be able to regulate the size of bite he or she is learning to take, manipulate it in their mouth and spit it out if needed, eventually learning to swallow some.
Very small pieces of food (besides the fact that babies can’t pick them up on their own at 6 and 7 months of age because they don’t yet have their pincer grasp)…these small pieces can actually present a choking hazard if they’re cut the size that could potentially block the baby’s airway.
The key with baby-led weaning is to facilitate independent eating by serving the right size foods for your baby’s age and stage. Start bigger in strips and spears and later on when your baby is more proficient you can start serving smaller pieces.
Here’s another good podcast episode you might like if you’re nervous about serving your baby meat, it’s called “Meat: How to Prepare Meat Safely for Baby-Led Weaning”.