But how do you choose finger foods for baby? Soft foods like tofu are a great choice, but no longer do babies have to be relegated to just soft bland offerings!
We will cover twenty great options for baby finger foods. Read on to find out!
- How Early Can Babies Start Taking Solids?
- Introducing Baby Finger Foods
- 20 Best Finger Foods For Baby
- #1 Well-Cooked Whole Beans
- #2 Cooked and Cut Whole Wheat Pasta
- #3 Bean Bites for Baby
- #4 Baby Rice Balls
- #5 Chopped Banana
- #6 Rockin’ Raisins
- #7 Baked Pear
- #8 Jello With Fruit
- #9 Perfect Peas
- #10 Veggie Sticks
- #11 Broccoli Cheddar Bites
- #12 Baked Veggie Tots
- #13 Cheese Cubes or Sticks
- #14 Homemade Yogurt Bites
- #15 Baby Grilled Cheese
- #16 Greek Yogurt Popsicles
- #17 Baked Shredded Chicken
- #18 Baby Sized Meatballs
- #19 Flaky Finger Food Fish
- #20 Cheesy Egg Triangles
- Tips For Easy Finger Food Consumption
- Finally, Time For Finger Foods!
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that babies only ingest breastmilk or formula from the time they are born until they are six months.  At six months, you can slowly introduce foods. However, six months isn’t the time to start finger foods.
When your child shows they are ready for food, by sitting up unassisted in a high chair and moving food forward to back in their mouth, you can begin by spoon-feeding them purees.
As they progress, you may consider starting true solids instead of thinned-down cereals and blends. You can offer firmer foods in larger chunks. To be ready for finger foods, your child should be able to sit up on their own and use their hands to move items to their mouth. These foods should still be soft and small.
Many parents follow baby-led weaning. Baby-led weaning helps parents to know how to naturally progress from purees and soft foods for babies to finger foods for infants and beyond.
Wondering when to give babies finger foods? There are a few signs you should look for in your child before offering finger food. Your baby should demonstrate the following:
- Can sit up unassisted
- Can bring objects (like food) to their mouth with their hands
- Is losing interest in purees and baby cereals
Baby-led weaning can help you naturally transition from purees to more solid foods. When your little one is ready to feed themself, you offer them a variety of age-appropriate foods on their tray. They work to feed themselves and take ownership of their meal.
They can stop when they feel full and choose which foods to eat. They also get to practice their motor skills by moving the food to their mouths instead of being spoon-fed by their parents.
Weaning in stages is another option. It is a bit more regulated than baby-led weaning in that the parent chooses which food the baby is ready for based on their eating progress. There are three primary stages of weaning.
Your baby first transitions from exclusive milk or formula to an offering of purees once or twice a day. When they have mastered the purees you can introduce mashed foods with small soft lumps and very soft finger foods. The final stage instructs parents to introduce chopped and minced foods and to cut up whatever the rest of the family is eating.
Finally, you can choose to use the mixed-method. The mixed-method consists of giving the baby both purees and soft finger foods at the same time. They can be of the same ingredient or different.
Most babies may just play with the finger foods in the beginning. Then they will gradually progress to eating the finger foods and forgoing the purees.
Whatever method you choose, make sure the food is age-appropriate for your child in both size and texture. Additionally, be sure to watch for adverse reactions anytime you introduce a new ingredient.
#1 Well-Cooked Whole Beans
Well-cooked whole beans are one of the great first finger foods for baby because they are soft, mushy, and perfectly sized. Babies can generally start beans around six months. However, if your baby is little, you may want to smash them before giving them to your infant.
Whole beans are also great because they are a single ingredient food, so you can monitor for allergies.
#2 Cooked and Cut Whole Wheat Pasta
Cooked and cut whole wheat pasta is another allergy-testing friendly food as long as you serve it plain. Cook the pasta well and then cut it into small pieces that are suitable for your child’s age and developmental stage. Whole wheat organic pasta is a good choice; the fewer ingredients the better!
#3 Bean Bites for Baby
Bean bites for baby are so cute you may want to eat a couple for yourself! These are great for children who have been exposed to a variety of foods. They also contain tahini, so if you are worried about allergies you may want to save them until your child is nine, ten, or even eleven months.
These little patties are sure to be a hit with your kid and can even be a good foray into toddler finger foods – check out the recipe from Melinda La Marche!
#4 Baby Rice Balls
By using different colored rice, you can make these Baby Rice Balls rainbow! This is a fun way to introduce a new finger food and is such an easy baby finger food recipe. You can roll the balls as small or as large as you want.
The well-cooked rice will be a bit sticky but should crumble when your baby plays with it, making it a fantastic choice for even the tiniest eaters.
#5 Chopped Banana
Chopped banana is definitely one of the best first finger foods because it is soft, sweet, and easily mashed. You can chop your banana into different sizes depending on your child’s age and ability.
If you are looking for finger foods for 11 month old or above, you can even keep the peel on for your kid to use as a handle! Just be sure to supervise your child well.
#6 Rockin’ Raisins
Looking for finger foods for 8 month old? Have you considered raisins? These sweet morsels are nutritious and delicious. As long as your little one is ready, you can start raisins between eight and nine months.
Look for organic raisins that are free of added sweeteners. Also, be sure to provide water or milk when your child is eating as this superfood can get quite sticky.
#7 Baked Pear
Baked pears certainly fall under the healthy finger foods for babies category, but they taste like dessert! Chop up your pears, add them to a baking dish with water, and bake. It is that simple!
However, you can add spices like ginger or cinnamon to increase your child’s flavor profile. You can also mix them in with baked oats or yogurt for an enticing dish.
#8 Jello With Fruit
Jello with fruit is one of the most creative finger food ideas for babies if you don’t want to go the store-bought route. All you need is fruit juice, gelatin, and fruit! You can create nearly any flavor combination and make the fruit chunks as small or as large as you like.
It is not only fun to eat as a “treat” but also excellent for them to play with to develop their sensory and motor skills. You can try this recipe here.
#9 Perfect Peas
If you want one of the best easy finger foods for baby, you can’t go wrong with peas. You can purchase them fresh or frozen. If you are choosing to use them as one of your finger foods for babies with no teeth, you will want to cook them and possibly smash them.
You can thaw them and serve them uncooked if your child is older. Not only are they tasty, but your little one will likely have fun chasing them around their tray too!
#10 Veggie Sticks
Veggie Sticks make an excellent finger food for 10 month old babies, and even younger too if you prepare them correctly. At around six months your baby may enjoy gnawing on vegetables.
You can cut a variety of different veggies into finger size sticks, then cook them until they are slightly soft but not mushy. Your child can practice grasping and holding them as they munch!
#11 Broccoli Cheddar Bites
These Broccoli Cheddar Bites will quickly become a fan favorite in your household, even with picky eaters! Simply combine broccoli, cheese, egg, and breadcrumbs then form into nuggets and bake.
You can add a little seasoning if you so choose. Because these are multi-ingredient finger food, they may be better for older infants and toddlers. Recipe here!
#12 Baked Veggie Tots
Brussel sprouts and spinach have never tasted or looked better to little ones than when made into baked veggie tots. They are mixed with mozzarella, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion to make a very flavorful bite-sized morsel.
These tots have lots of nutritional benefits while still being very appetizing to tiny taste buds. You can learn how to make them here.
#13 Cheese Cubes or Sticks
If you are just starting finger foods for your 7 months old you may want to try cheese cubes, or you can do sticks if your little one is more advanced. Babies should not have unpasteurized cheeses, so be sure to double-check.
You can then cut the cheese into age-appropriate sizes and let your little one have at it! Mozzarella and cheddar tend to be favorites among children.
#14 Homemade Yogurt Bites
You know those baby yogurt melts you see at the store? Did you know you can make them at home?! Homemade baby yogurt bites actually use yogurt powder combined with other healthy ingredients like beet powder and chickpeas.
Though they don’t last as long as the specially preserved commercial bites, they are usually healthier and have fewer additives. This recipe is a great way to start making these tasty eye-candies!
#15 Baby Grilled Cheese
Who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese? Your baby might too and it can be one of the suitable finger foods for 9 month old. You can make an infant finger food version of grilled cheese by slicing the sandwich into age-safe portions.
Some parents add smashed peas, tomatoes, or mashed carrots directly into the sandwich for an extra nutrition boost. Your little one will enjoy eating like mom and dad when you all sit down to a grilled cheese meal!
#16 Greek Yogurt Popsicles
Greek yogurt popsicles are an especially fun finger food for the warmer months. You can either make them plain or add fruits or flavors. Honey is a popular addition, but honey cannot be ingested by babies under one year.
Greek yogurt makes these popsicles especially creamy. Using mini-popsicle molds you can create cold confections that are tasty and simple for your baby to hold.
#17 Baked Shredded Chicken
Chicken can be baked and then shredded and provided as simple finger food for your baby. You can bake it in the oven or use your slow cooker. Shredded in instead of cubing it can make it easier for tiny mouths to chew and allow your baby to work on their pincer grasp.
Chicken is a healthy protein, just make sure you opt for organic. You can season it or leave it plain depending on your child’s preferences. Here are some chicken recipe ideas you can try.
#18 Baby Sized Meatballs
Slightly smushed tiny meatballs can be fun finger food for your infant to enjoy. You can choose your protein and use chicken, turkey, or beef. You can then flavor them however you would like and add in binding ingredients like eggs and breadcrumbs.
After you bake these petite balls you will want to smash them slightly so they don’t pose a choking hazard. This is one meal that can mirror whatever the grownups are eating for dinner and can be excellent for those using baby-led weaning.
#19 Flaky Finger Food Fish
Fish is an effortless finger food to make for your baby. Choose a fish like salmon or cod that are full of omega-3’s and don’t have a strong fishy flavor.
Once you bake the fish it should flake apart, naturally making it perfectly sized for a baby. You can throw on a few herbs or even some lemon in your fish recipes if you would like your child to experience new flavors and tastes.
#20 Cheesy Egg Triangles
A protein-packed finger food offering is these cheesy egg triangles. This easy-peasy recipe is simply egg and cheese combined and then broiled on toast. It isn’t hard to make, nor is it hard for little ones to pick up and eat.
The egg adds extra protein and keeps the cheese from taking on a rubbery texture as it cools. Once your baby gets a little more adventurous feel free to spice it up with veggie purees, herbs, and seasonings, or even tomato sauce for a faux pizza!
While you may be excited to start finger foods, your baby may not be. It isn’t uncommon for little ones to turn away finger foods. Additionally, some babies will devour food one day and then refuse it the next.
As long as your baby is still getting adequate nutrition and gaining weight, you generally don’t need to worry.
However, we know it can be frustrating when your baby won’t eat finger foods. So if you have a baby refusing finger foods, give these tips a try!
- Stay calm. It is important to remain calm and be patient with your little one. They learn quite a bit from playing with their food and developing their motor skills. Remember, finger foods are not their only source of nourishment as they should still be getting breastmilk or formula.
- Sneak in a bite. If you can, try and sneak in a bite while your little one is busy playing with their peas and potatoes. You can put a small amount on your finger or a utensil and see if you can slip it into the front of their mouth while they are preoccupied. Once they taste the food, they may catch on to the fact that they are supposed to eat it.
- Don’t encourage a show. Baby’s love praise and the reactions of their parents. Naturally, they can want to put on a show. If you make a big deal about what they are doing with their food when they aren’t eating it, either positive or negative, you can reinforce the wrong type of behavior. Try not to laugh, or get upset with their antics, instead remain neutral and calm.
If your little one doesn’t seem keen on eating and only wants to play, don’t worry. Know when to call it quits and remember that you can always try again!
Figuring out finger foods for your baby doesn’t have to be a tedious task, not with our ideas above!
Hopefully, you have enjoyed this list and are excited to try out a few of these finger food ideas with your baby! If you have your own finger food creations or recipes we would love the know about them in the comments. Or, you can also share your ideas with @babyjourney0183 on Pinterest.