10 Healthy Finger Foods for Babies
Introducing finger foods to a baby is a thrilling time.
While you should certainly exercise caution, there are bunches of great baby finger food concepts that will make mealtime fun and nutritious, and let your growing child approach the essential skill of self-feeding.
After the baby begins solids and is willing to move on to finger foods, you may feel a little confused about what to do and how to serve them. This is expected because it can be frightening to let babies feed themselves this way and we may not have any knowledge of doing the same.
From the age of 8 and 12 months, your child will start practicing their pincer grip, letting you add finger foods to their diet. Giving a variety of foods will set your baby up for a lifetime of healthy eating.
Providing little pieces that are gentle enough to chew easily and that will reduce the risk of choking. Start giving your baby O-shaped cereal, cubes of cheese, chopped fruit, and roasted vegetables.
The list of finger foods for the baby will cover some great first finger foods to start with, then set you up with a bunch of healthy options from each food group.
How to Introduce New Finger Foods for Baby
When babies start on finger foods, breast milk and formula will always be their major origin of nutrition along with solids. You should continue to spoon-feed your child initially, but when feeding the solids, they should also be allowed to feed themselves.
Put some finger food and let them try to get it into their mouth in between the spoonful of food you are feeding. If they get defeated, go ahead and help them out.
Most important to notice that, to follow your child’s alerts, and let the baby be the guide. If they don’t respond thoroughly, take a step back and try again later.
But keep in mind that babies usually wrinkle up their faces when they try something new, which can look like they don’t like something. It can take up to 20 times before they’re used to certain foods. Parents shouldn’t force food, but they should be continuous in the offering.
When to give your baby finger foods
Your baby will be ready for finger foods around 10 months old when they can hold things and get their hands to their mouth. They will indicate to you that they are ready, by grabbing the spoon you are feeding them with or gripping food off your plate.
By the time your baby is 12 months old, they will be experienced at Taking food with their hands and putting it in their mouth.
Some parents teach finger foods at 8 months using the baby-led weaning technique, where you neglect the spoon-feeding stage and let your baby feed themself soft finger foods.
Don’t worry if your baby won’t eat finger foods at first. If they seem to be trying to feed themself, they may just not be ready yet, in this case, give a week or so and keep trying again.
Best Finger Foods for Babies
Looking for more protein-rich, vegetarian baby finger foods?
If you’re looking for baby finger food concepts, consider food that is soft, small, and easily gummed.
Here are a few of the best finger foods for the baby to get started including for a baby with no teeth!
While the same finger foods are as suitable for 6 months old as they are for a one-year-old baby, you can start to offer just larger portions that they can chew off themselves once they become more assured. Stick with these healthy options, and you will start the baby on the right path to healthy eating.
Biscuits and lightly toasted bread
Teething biscuits and small pieces of lightly toasted bread are another best starter finger food since they soften quickly. Just note that some pieces of bread can turn sticky in the baby’s mouth, lightly toast the bread and cut it into little pieces to avoid a choking risk.
As the baby gets older (around 7 to 12 months), you can give some larger pieces or serve bread with banana or avocado, or a super-thin layer of hummus or peanut butter.
Puffs and dry cereal
Puffs and O-shaped dry cereal are some of the most famous first finger foods for good health. They let the baby rehearse the pincer grasp by holding up one at a time. And they also blend well with saliva and are easy for the infant to care for in their mouth without choking.
Perfectly grown fruit is naturally soft and easy making them the best finger foods for babies. Grown banana, peach, watermelon, raspberries, blueberries, and cantaloupe cut into small pieces are all suitable finger food choices.
Doctors used to advise waiting to introduce eggs but now recommend earlier direction to potentially allergenic foods. This is great news since scrambled eggs are a part of ideal early finger food!
Keep yellow yolks to yourself for now, and cook the eggs thoroughly, cut them into small pieces, and avoid adding salt.
Cooked vegetables create excellent baby finger foods.
To acquire the most nutrients out of your vegetables, steam or roast them until soft, and, then cut them into small pieces. Try with sweet potato, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, or beets to start. As the baby grows, you can give steamed carrot sticks or peeled, roasted sweet potato wedges.
Choose canned, low-sodium beans for comfort, or soak and cook dry beans yourself to save money. While introducing beans, smash them just a bit between your fingers before feeding them to the baby.
If the baby has no symptoms of a dairy allergy, then it is safe to give soft cubes of cheese as early as seven months. Choose small bites of a washed or cleaned cheese that’s soft but not overly sticky.
Usually recommend cooking pasta, when it comes to feeding a baby, you have to overcook more so that it’s nice and soft. To start, try small pasta shapes.
Firstly serve it plain, but when the baby shows interest in different tastes then you can toss the pasta in a little butter, or low-sodium tomato sauce for taste.
Specialists advise parents to introduce allergenic foods like peanuts, fish, and soy with other solid foods. Early disclosure may lower your baby’s risk of developing an allergy, and no evidence waiting to introduce these foods will prevent allergies.
If you are worried that your child might have an allergy to certain foods for example, if your baby has chronic eczema or their parent has a food allergy then talk to your pediatrician. Otherwise, introduce these foods one by one and maintain a vision out for an allergic reaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
What foods are healthiest for babies?
- Bananas. Known as a good source of potassium,
- Sweet potatoes.
What finger food can I give my 1-year-old?
It includes well-cooked vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and sweet potato.
What finger foods can you give an 8-month-old?
Start with items like pieces of soft cheese, small pieces of pasta or bread, finely chopped soft vegetables; and fruits like bananas, avocado, and ripe peaches or nectarines.
What foods are good for baby brain development?
- Leafy green vegetables.
- Nuts & seeds.
What fruits can babies not eat?
Citrus. Avoid feeding citrus fruits and juices to your baby for the first couple of months.
When can babies eat scrambled eggs?
You can introduce scrambled eggs from 6 months of age.
What should toddlers not eat?
- Foods with added sugars and no-calorie sweeteners, including sugar-sweetened and diet drinks.
- High-sodium foods.
- Unpasteurized juice, milk, yogurt, or cheese.
- Foods that may cause choking, such as hot dogs, raw vegetables, grapes, hard cheese, popcorn, and nuts.
When can a baby eat chicken?
Chicken may be introduced as soon as a baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months of age.