Fresh out of finger food ideas? Our fantastic finger food solutions for babies and toddlers are here to help! Whether you are using the baby led weaning method of introducing solid foods or moving on from purees, it is always a good idea to keep a stock of finger food ideas at hand for on the go snacks or speedy meal solutions.
Your baby will usually be ready to try solid foods from around six months, but this can vary so look out for the signs that your baby is ready. Waiting until six months ensures your baby’s digestive system has developed sufficiently and they can swallow properly. Remember not to rush it and go at your baby’s pace.
Finger foods are great as they help develop coordination skills and encourage experimentation when it comes to different tastes and textures. Babies will love playing with the food, picking it up and dropping it again! Don’t worry too much if none of it gets eaten at this early stage!
Start with soft finger foods like a ripe banana or mango than can be chewed (or gummed) easily. You can move on to steamed carrot, sweet potatoes or other root veg but make sure they are nice and soft. Just place four or five pieces of food onto your baby’s highchair tray, you can add more as they eat them.
Here are some fantastic first finger food ideas. These are healthy and tasty options that are easily munchable for your little one:
Soft steamed broccoli or cauliflower
Soft steamed carrots or green beans
Roasted sweet potato, swede, parsnip or potato
IMPORTANT NOTICE – try one type of food at a time and watch out for allergic reactions. If you have a family history or have any concerns about food allergies, speak to your healthcare provider.
When your baby has mastered the art of picking up food and putting it in their mouth and chewing you might want to explore some more textured finger foods that will dissolve in the mouth such as:
Fingers of buttered toast
Finger sandwiches with soft cheese filling
Soft cooked pasta shapes
Hard boiled eggs, sliced into strips
Once your baby has their chewing and swallowing technique mastered, the world becomes your oyster when it comes to food! Start getting creative with your finger foods and try some of these tasty snacks:
Sliced cooked chicken
Strips of omelette, you could add cheese or veg for flavour
Raw carrot sticks
Cooked potato wedges
Sticks of cucumber or pepper with hummus dip
Quartered grapes (cut lengthways to avoid choking hazard)
Pieces of cooked fish
Small cubes or sticks of cheese
Mini pancakes cut into strips
Eggy bread or French toast fingers
IMPORTANT NOTICE – when giving your child cooked food, make sure it has cooled sufficiently to avoid scalding.
From around six months, you will be able to offer your child food to hold. It is ideal to keep it in large sticks or chunks initially, so it is easier to grab and hold. As they mature, their fine motor skills will develop so they can pick up food using their thumb and forefinger. Offering finger foods is a great step towards independence, it will help your child practise their coordination skills, and eventually, they’ll be able to feed themselves. Happy days!
IMPORTANT NOTICE – never leave your child alone while eating in case of choking