Finger foods for baby are small cuts or chunks of fruits and vegetables and even meat that you can serve from 8- 9 months. These are pieces of food that your baby can hold and pick up themselves. Starting finger foods for baby indicates a step to transitioning to solid foods.
This is the transition stage where your baby will surely be getting a lot of mess and much fun during mealtime. Do not fret for such mess but instead, take this as an opportunity for your baby to be independent and have gastronomic journey that is healthy, delicious and with variety.
How would you know that your baby is ready for finger foods? Easy. They will assert their independence at this stage by grabbing the spoon when you are feeding them with puree or when they snatch food from you. They will try to grab the food from your hand and bring it to their mouth and feed themselves.
So how will you introduce finger foods? First get your baby a high chair and scatter five pieces of varied finger foods. You have to start putting your baby on the high chair and make it a ritual of feeding and parents are to be close at hand to observe if they choke.
What are the finger foods for baby that you can prepare?
This is the time when your baby is just exploring so try to give a variety that is chewable, soft, gum-friendly and dissolvable. Do not give them too much sweets as these are foods with high-caloric content and will make them fat at the same time.
Finger foods are an introduction to more solid foods so to start with use vegetables, fruits and just meat but in small portions. Cut the veggies in small pieces and steam them. Fruits should also be in chunks (soft) and ensure that it will not cause any choking.
Also do not give peanut butter yet. You have to be sure that your baby has no allergies. The following are the finger foods that you can introduce but take note of the possible allergies. Introduce new variety after every 4 days just to see if there are any allergic reactions.
Here is the list of several finger foods you can try:
- Cereals with low-sugar content
- Toasted bread paired with veggie puree as a spread
- Chunks of apple, banana, mango, plum, peach, cantaloupe melon, watermelon
- Steamed or baked sweet potato
- Steamed asparagus stems, broccoli or cauliflower florets
- Cooked pasta (penne or cut-up ditini)
- Cubed tofu
- Scrambled egg
- Cooked and shredded chicken or turkey meat
- Chickpeas and some legumes like green beans
- Fresh and steamed green and black olives
- Limit or do not even put sugar or salt when preparing for your baby’s food.
- Aside from baking or steaming you can also saute the veggies in a little olive oil and some roast but do not put too much oil.
- You can add spices and herbs such as garlic, pepper, turmeric and cinnamon little by little. Sprinkle a little and watch their face change as spices and herbs enhances flavors of the food.
- Consult your pediatrician if you notice possible allergic reactions. (or to discuss before hand if you have any concerns or questions)
- Bananas and avocadoes are also slippery and difficult to handle so you can roll pieces in the cereals for the baby to be able to have a good grip on it.
Bon appétit for your baby!