Is your baby frequently licking his fingers? Is he stepping ahead to grab foods from your plate? These are sure-shot signs of your baby developing control of his fingers, which marks the time to introduce your baby to finger foods. Usually, babies between seven and 10 months start picking up foods all by themselves, as they get attracted towards the different colors, textures and tastes displayed in front of them. And why not, no matter what mess they make, these foods are a learning experience for them. Furthermore, introducing healthy foods at an earlier age will enable the babies to build up healthy eating habits in the longtime. Now if you have been wondering about the various appropriate foods to feed your baby, start off with finger foods. Finger foods are bite-size pieces of food that can be easily picked up by the babies and mashed between their gums. Check out the different baby food ideas given herein.
Finger Food Ideas For Babies
The different colors and textures of fruits will keep your baby pinching the food for hours. Apart from being attractive, fruits are highly nutritious for your baby’s health. However, make sure that the fruits are peeled, de-seeded, pitted, well-cooked and soft before serving them to your baby. Fruits that can be served raw and make perfect baby finger foods include diced chunks of melon, banana, pear, avocado and mango. However, fruits like apple and peaches should be lightly steamed or baked before chopping or slicing. Squished blueberries, diced kiwi and small dices of mixed fruits also make good finger foods.
Just like fruits, vegetables too make great baby finger foods. Nonetheless, they too should be peeled, de-seeded and cooked soft before serving. The best bets are soft-baked sweet potato and white potato dices. Soft-cooked carrots, peas, green beans and broccoli can also be included in the list. Parsnips, squashes, zucchini and butternuts are also great additions. To make food more attractive and tempting, dice various soft-cooked veggies. Mix them to make ‘veggie salad’.
Breads, Cereals & Grains
Breads, cereals and grains that can be easily chewed or gummed can be added to the platter of finger foods. Dry cereals and flaky crackers, such as cheerios and puffed rice or corn, easily melt in the mouth thereby eliminating the risk of choking or swallowing. Other foods that can be given a try are soft-cooked pastas, dry unsweetened cereals without nuts, toast cut into squares, waffles, French toast, soft brown rice, soft crackers and mini-muffins.
Dairy & Protein Foods
Most dairy and protein foods can be included in finger foods as they are naturally soft and easily chewed. To start off with, serve soft cheeses like cheddar, jack, cottage, ricotta, gouda, etc. diced into small chunks. You can also try shredding the cheese, as it would give enough space for the baby to play as well. While trying off with beans and eggs, make sure that you boil them well before chopping or mashing. As for meat like chicken, fish, beef or turkey, cook the meat well and serve shredded, flaked or diced into pea-size pieces.