Only a few things are more exciting than introducing your baby to the world of solid foods! After six or seven months of subsisting on milk alone, your baby will begin to taste their first foods and, at the same time, will discover their preferences in taste and texture.
When your baby forays into the solid feeding territory, it is your responsibility to make sure that whatever they eat nourish their little body with the right nutrients. You may begin by feeding your baby with pureed baby food, or you may also apply the principle of baby-led weaning at home. But however method you use, sooner or later, your baby is going to experiment with their first finger foods.
Your baby is ready for finger foods when they begin expressing interest in it and has the ability to grasp food and place it inside their mouth. If your baby is ready for finger food — or is already eating them — try these 7 baby finger foods that they will love.
One of the best finger foods to introduce to your baby is ripe fruit like bananas, peaches, mangoes, and cantaloupe. Cut them into small pieces and let your baby eat them on their own. As with any kind of food that you are introducing for the first time, make sure to watch for any allergic reactions!
Some of the most excellent first finger foods that you can give to your baby are vegetables! While raw carrots and cucumbers are nice and crunchy, for now, avoid giving your baby raw vegetables. Instead, make sure that their veggies are cooked and soft enough. You may give your child cooked beets, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and carrots.
Babies need a good amount of carbs to get them going, so it’s a good idea to offer cut up bread and biscuits as finger foods. Avoid sweets and stick to plain bread and biscuits. Cut off the crust of the bread and choose biscuits that melt in the mouth. You may also add a bit of mashed fruit on top or peanut butter if your child is not allergic to peanuts.
For a savory carb option, offer cut up pasta as baby food! Because your (toothless) baby cannot chew up tough food, for now, avoid cooking pasta al dente. Instead, overcook your pasta to make it soft. You may offer regular pasta like macaroni or make mealtimes a learning activity by adding number and alphabet-shaped pasta. You may also add a little bit of butter or tomato sauce to make the meal tastier.
If your baby does not show any signs of a dairy allergy, you can also introduce cheese cubes as baby finger foods. Avoid hard cheeses and go, instead, for soft pasteurized cheese like mild cheddar and cottage. Avoid cheeses with sharp odor, too!
Baby cereals are one of the most popular first finger foods offered to babies who are still exploring the world of solid feeding. For starters, cereals have a nice texture — crunchy but melt in your mouth — that are ideal for babies. Most baby cereals that can be bought in the supermarket are also formulated to contain nutrients for your child’s growth and development.
7. Meat and Beans
Finally, don’t be afraid to let your baby try meat as a baby food! While pork chops and beef cuts are too tough for your baby to chew, steamed chicken (diced) and ground beef are perfectly safe and healthy. If your family is vegetarian, you can let your baby eat beans. Make sure to choose low-sodium beans and smash them a bit before offering to your baby.
After several months of breastfeeding or formula-feeding, introducing solid foods to your baby is an exciting milestone that must be met with preparation. With this list of baby finger foods, consider yourself ready to tackle this stage!