The Best Finger Foods for Baby
Baby Cereal Puffs
Baby cereal "puffs" or O-shaped cereal make a great first finger food for Baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests buying infant-specific cereals with the extra nutrients your little one needs.
Bananas have a sweet taste and soft texture that babies love. Cut bananas into small pieces so little ones won't choke. You can also feed your child other soft, ripe foods when starting solids.
Babies naturally like sweeter veggies such as cooked, diced sweet potatoes. Steam or bake them instead of boiling to retain more nutrients.
How to Start Solids
Avocados have a soft, velvety texture that make them an ideal first finger food for Baby. Cut the avocado into small cubes before serving.
Chicken or Meat
To give your baby some protein, puree some soft chicken or meat. You can serve small chunks to babies 12 months and older.
Peaches or Pears
Once your baby has mastered easy finger foods, you can move onto very ripe peaches or pears. Dice them before handing to your infant.
Dice tofu into small squares, but remember not to force your baby to eat anything he doesn't want to. MayoClinic.com suggests trying repeatedly; eventually your little one might be willing to venture a taste, which could expand her palette in the future.
Don't forget to implement some whole grains into your baby's diet! Take slices of whole-grain bread, cut them into cubes or strips, and get rid of those hard crusts. You can also toast the bread and top strips with peanut butter, hummus, or another spread.
Quick Tip: Baby Food Storage
Parents can start introducing pasta during a baby's fifth or sixth month. Choose small noodles like spirals or macaroni, and make sure they're well-cooked.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says there's no evidence that avoiding eggs during early childhood will prevent a food allergy, so chop a hard-boiled egg into small pieces for your baby.
Plain graham crackers satisfy an infant's sweet tooth, but they're healthier than cookies and desserts. Break crackers into small pieces so they're easy for your baby to eat.
Has your baby mastered single-ingredient foods? Then move onto multi-ingredients options like vegetable casserole! Start with pasta and add marinara sauce and vegetables, such as chopped broccoli and asparagus.
Other First Finger Foods
Remember that you don't have to stick with one or two options—there are a wide variety of finger foods for Baby! And since experts suggest that repeated exposures to flavors can help reduce picky eating later on, it's good to include a range of naturally sweet, savory, and bitter flavors.
Here are more safe first finger foods to try. Just remember to avoid any hard foods that can snap and cannot be squished between your fingers.
- Baby puffs
- Baby rice crackers
- Blueberries, very soft and halved
- Beans, cooked until very soft
- Broccoli, chopped and steamed
- Butternut squash, cubed and steamed
- Cauliflower, chopped and steamed
- Fish, steamed or poached in broth or water without added salt, with bones removed, and flaked into small pieces. (Choose low-mercury options that are high in healthy fats like wild salmon, rainbow trout, or tilapia.)
- Goat cheese, crumbled
- Green beans, chopped and steamed
- Ground beef, cooked without salt
- Peas, cooked
- Potatoes, cubed, tossed with olive oil, and roasted in a 400 degree F oven on a baking sheet for 22 to 25 minutes or until very soft
- Potatoes, mashed
- Rice, well-cooked, plain or mixed with shredded cheese to help it hold together
- Shredded whole-milk cheese
- Tomatoes, peeled and cubed
- Yellow squash, cubed and steamed
- Zucchini, cubed and steamed
- Watermelon, cubed