Wondering about some good finger foods to feed to your baby? You have landed at the right place! When your baby starts demanding to eat on his own and is ready to move on from pureed or mashed foods to more solid foods, it is probably time to start feeding him finger foods. Finger foods for babies are foods that can be eaten directly by hand, by your baby. You can start giving finger foods to your baby at around 7-9 months provided he is ready for it.
Even if your baby does not have teeth, he can be fed soft finger food that he can mash and gnaw between his hard gums.
Your baby is ready for finger food if he is able to do the following:
He is able to sit upright
He has overcome the extrusion reflex, that is, he does not thrust out food that is kept in his mouth
He has sufficient hand-eye coordination to pick up food and put it in his mouth
He has achieved the pincer grasp that allows him to pick up and hold food between his fingers (thumb and index finger).
Follow these precautions while preparing finger foods for your little one:
The finger food for babies should be cooked in such a way that babies can mash and gnaw it between their gums even if teeth are not present.
When you first introduce finger foods, size them in such a way that they are not a choking hazard. Once they get the hang of eating finger foods, you can size them to be that of your baby’s fist and preferably chip shaped.
Now that you have learned a bit about finger foods for babies, let us look at the 15 best finger foods. Fruits, vegetables, cheese, chicken etc., make the best finger foods for babies.
You can give carrots or beetroots as steamed carrot or beetroot sticks or baked carrot or beetroot sticks. Peel, wash and cut the carrots or beetroots into medium thickness sticks. You can then steam it, cool it and serve it to your baby as a finger food. To bake them, take the carrot/beetroot sticks and drizzle it with a little oil and season it with cumin or cinnamon powder and then bake in a pre-heated oven (350 degrees) for 18-20 minutes on each side. You can also include carrots in dosas or idlis by adding carrot puree to the batter. Once cooked and cooled, cut the dosas or idlis into long suitable pieces.
Peel, wash and cut potatoes or sweet potatoes into wedges. You can then season it according to your choice and bake in a pre-heated oven. This is a good finger food for babies as it helps in weight gain as well.
You can steam or boil green beans and then cut into appropriate size to give it as a finger food for babies.
Clean the broccoli/cauliflower florets thoroughly before steaming or par-boiling them. Then cut it into appropriate sizes and serve it as a finger food for your baby.
Wash and slice tomatoes into appropriately sized wedges to serve as finger food for babies. For cucumbers to be served as finger food for babies, peel, wash and slice the development of into appropriate size.
Soak the chickpeas/rajma overnight and then cook them well in a pressure cooker. You can then serve them as finger food for babies. If need be, you can halve them.7.Cheela: Protein-rich moong dal cheela can be cut into pieces and serves as finger food for babies.
Recipe: Soak a cup of moong (yellow) dal for a couple of hours. Grind it into a dosa-like batter. If your baby is older than 12 months, you can add salt to taste. Now spread the batter on a flat pan/tawa like for dosas and cook for 2 minutes on each side.
Cheese sticks is another excellent choice for a protein-rich finger food for babies.
Paneer is an excellent choice of food for babies as it is high in proteins and rich in calcium and phosphorus thus helping in the development of strong and healthy bones and teeth. It is also a rich source of fat thus helping babies gain weight. Recipe: Cut the paneer into bite-sized cubes. Once ghee or clarified butter is heated in a pan, add the paneer pieces to it. Lightly fry the paneer on both sides without browning it too much. Cool and serve as finger foods to babies.
Meat is another good protein-rich option as a finger food. Take boneless chicken/fish pieces and cook them well. Shred them into bite-sized pieces and serve as finger food to babies.
You can slice bananas/apples/kiwis into bite-sized pieces and serve it as finger food for babies.
You can cube these fruits into bite-sized pieces and serve it as finger food for babies. Fruits have lots of vitamins and minerals and snacking on them as finger foods are beneficial for babies.
You can grapes and strawberries into small pieces and serve it as finger food for babies. They are rich in fiber content as well as water.
Boiled pasta whether it is penne/macaroni/spirals, it is also a good finger food for babies. Make sure that it is cooked well and cut into appropriate size.
You can give cornflakes as a finger food. The crunchy texture might attract babies to it but make sure you give the plain ones as the flavored ones contain a lot of sugar which is not advisable.
In addition to the above-mentioned foods, you can also give food prepared for others at home by cutting them to bite-sized pieces to turn them into finger food for babies. Idlis, dosas, cheelas, pancakes, paranthas, chappathis, etc. can all be thus given as finger food for babies. Note that until the age of 12 months, it’s not advisable to add sugar or salt to baby food.
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