By Patrick A. Coleman

Kids new to finger foods are fighting reflexes, but parents can help them get a handle on their tongues

Experienced eaters don’t generally bite their tongues and fingers—though, when it happens, it’s a terrible reminder of the ever-present potential for excruciating pain in even the most pleasurable moments. Adults don’t have to think about not biting their own hands or the insides of their mouths when they eat, because chewing and chomping safely is reflexive. Not so for babies. And as toddlers transition from breastfeeding to finger foods, the victims can often be their actual fingers.

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