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Healthy Baby Finger Foods

Updated: 27 Nov 2023

Introducing your little one to baby finger foods is an exciting time.

This guide will help you decide when your baby is ready and suggests some ideal foods to try.

If any of the foods mentioned here are new to your baby, then remember to apply the four day rule as you introduce them.

This helps you identify – and avoid – potential food allergies and digestive problems.

Are you skipping purees and offering finger foods from the very beginning?

Then read our Baby Led Weaning page for lots of useful tips

At what age should I introduce baby finger foods?

Baby Finger FoodsFinger foods are fun!

As with most aspects of solid feeding, there is NO HARD AND FAST RULE here!

All babies are different.

Some like lumpy food, some don’t.

Some will try to grab the food from your plate, some will appear totally disinterested!

Anxiety starts creeping in when we try to compare one child to another, or try to stick rigidly to a feeding schedule.

Instead, it’s useful to trust your instincts and watch your baby for signs of readiness … with a little guidance, of course!

Generally, babies become interested in finger foods anywhere from 6 to 9 months of age, although most babies tend to start at around 8 months.

By this stage, your baby is usually developing the “pincer grip” – i.e. grasping objects between the thumb and index finger.

Finger feeding actually encourages this development and helps with hand-to-mouth co-ordination – after all, a tasty morsel of food is a great incentive!

Your little one will probably be sitting well, without support – it’s not a good idea to offer your baby finger foods before he can sit unsupported as there is a higher risk of choking (see foods to avoid for a list of foods that can present a choking hazard).

My baby seems ready for finger foods, but he doesn’t have any teeth…

Contrary to what many parents are led to believe, he doesn’t need them and can manage certain foods very nicely by mashing them between his gums.

In fact, babies’ gums are pretty hard, as any breast-feeding mother can confirm!

Baby finger foods should, therefore, be soft enough to break into small pieces, be swallowed easily, or simply melt in the mouth.

Handy Hints and Tips

  • Introduce finger foods one at a time and slowly add new ones. Offer a variety of colours and textures.
  • Your baby will want to touch, smell, taste and play with his food … stay relaxed about the mess and let him experiment.
  • To keep mess to a minimum, only give your baby two or three pieces of food at a time – any more will probably end up on the floor!
    Put the food in a suction-type bowl that will stick to the table, or straight on to the high chair table itself.
  • Coat slippery foods, like banana or avocado, in finely crushed cereal powder or nutritious wheat germ – it makes them easier to pick up.
  • If your baby doesn’t like a certain type of food, try it again a few weeks later – babies tastes change all the time.
    If he refuses all finger foods, be patient and keep trying – you’re sure to offer him something to catch his interest eventually!
  • Baby finger foods make perfect snacks between meals, to “tide your baby over”.
    But be careful not to allow your baby more snacks than he really needs, as he may become less interested at meal times.
  • If your baby is teething, offer him cold finger foods to soothe his gums – try freezing pieces of melon or banana for the ultimate in gum relief!
  • Pack some healthy travel snacks for baby wherever you go – it will keep him occupied and makes life a lot easier, particularly if you go out for a meal.
  • ALWAYS supervise your baby and NEVER leave him to feed himself alone.

Enjoy watching your little one come to grips with these healthy baby finger foods …

By feeding himself, your baby has gained a little independence and you can feel confident that he is enjoying a safe and nutritious menu.

from our blog…

Sugar-Free Carrot Muffins

Easy to eat and totally delicious!

Learn more about…

How to freeze baby food

How to help your baby deal with lumpy foods

Using a mesh feeder

Introducing fruit juice to baby

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