Did your nine-month-old just dive on the plate? Well, it might just be an indication that your little one is ready to feast on foods and interested in trying new tastes and textures. There are some finger foods that all children love!
Until now, you may have been spoon feeding your baby. But, now as you can switch to finger foods in your baby’s diet, so that your baby can learn to feed himself. Yes, it’s about time you realize that purees and mushy cereals aren’t the only items on the menu. However, you cannot straightaway expect your little one to jump from purees to chewing. The journey between the two is smoothened out by finger foods.
Finger foods are easy-to-chew, small pieces of food that your little one can lift up and eat himself. Finger feeding is fun for your baby and allows him to advance his hand-eye-coordination & fine motor skills. This process inculcates independence in your little one and while it might seem like a tedious task now, but it will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Also Read: Your Guide to Weaning Your Baby
Here’s a list of 10 finger foods that will help your baby chew, setting him on the path of chewing.
Stop the mushy preparations and introduce your baby to a new texture by offering whole peas. Perfect for little fingers, green peas can be offered steamed, boiled, or frozen. Apart from providing amazing nutrition to your baby, frozen peas are also comforting for teething gums. What’s more? Because of their small size, green peas won’t choke your baby. Nevertheless, we recommend you to keep a close eye on your baby if you’re feeding him frozen peas.
Introduce your child to the wholesome goodness of watermelon which makes a perfect finger food. Sweet and delicious, watermelon is easy to chew for toddlers as young as 8 months old and benefits their eyesight, bones, and immune system. Cut this fruit into small cubes or elongated squares, but make sure that you remove all the seeds.
Homemade biscuits are generally healthier than the ones available in the market. Make use of different cutters to prepare biscuits in exciting shapes like animals, star shaped etc. The best thing is that you control and decide the ingredients that go into these biscuits, rather than depending on a store bought one.
Pears are a brilliant source of fiber, Vitamin C, and Potassium, and they make great baby-friendly finger food. Make sure that you serve a ripened pear to your baby so that he can easily chew on it. Peel the skin off to avoid choking. Pears are also a great home remedy for healing your little one’s constipation as well.
Previously, egg whites were considered to be unsafe for babies younger than age one, but now doctor’s say that eggs are safe for babies older than 8 months of age. Make sure that you first introduce egg yolks in your baby’s diet, and then follow-up with egg whites. Eggs are a storehouse of protein, iron, and choline and make for an incredibly easy-to-prepare finger food. You can either whip up some scrambled eggs or make an omelet and let your little one nibble at the soft pieces.
Well-cooked homemade beans are an ideal finger food for your baby once he has mastered the pincer grasp that lets him pick small objects. The soft texture and mild taste of this finger food make it a hit with toddlers. What’s more? Beans are nutritional powerhouses, loaded with dietary fibers, protein, folic acid, thiamine, niacin, iron, manganese, potassium and other nutrients.
When ripe, banana is a wholesome finger food for toddlers as young as six months old. The sweet flavor of banana will appeal to your little one, while its soft texture will make sure that it melts right away in the mouth. Cut banana into smaller pieces to prevent choking. You can also prepare banana pancakes or other exciting dishes to surprise your little one.
The best part is that banana contains a number of nutrients that your baby requires. It has the perfect combination of high potassium & low sodium and abundance of other vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, and Vitamin B6.
Freshly steamed carrots can be chopped into rounds or small pieces to prepare an awesome finger food for babies. Carrots contain the much-needed Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, and calcium, which will do wonders for your baby’s skin & eyes. What’s more? Boiled carrots are not only easy to chew, but also easy to digest.
Pasta and noodles are a hit with babies because they’re delicious and super-easy to eat. However, make sure that the pasta is well-cooked and diced into small pieces so that your baby doesn’t choke on it. Try to stick with noodles & pasta made from wheat, instead of its refined twin (maida).
If not one of the first finger foods, vegetable pakoras can eventually become an important part of your toddler’s diet. With the wholesome goodness of potato, peas, beans, carrots, corn and other veggies tossed in them, fritters are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and melt away easily in the mouth. You can also add eggs and milk to increase the nutritional quotient of this baby food.
What finger foods have you tried inculcating in your little one’s diet? Don’t forget to share your tips & recipes in the comments section below.
Want to share your mommy experience with other moms through words or images? Become a part of the Moms United community. Click here and we will get in touch with you