BABY FINGER FOODS FOR BABIES & TODDLERS
Discover the best baby finger foods to start weaning your little ones, including when to start, how to use them, safety tips and our best toddler finger food ideas for healthy, happy tummies.
FINGER FOOD IDEAS FOR EVERY STAGE
Finger foods for a 6 month old should be soft to eat and in a finger shape to help your little one get used to solid food.
Here are some first finger food ideas to get you started:
- Bananas cut into slices - ripe banana is very soft and full of essential nutrients for growing babies, making slices of banana a great finger food for babies.
- Slices of avocado - is perfect as it is super-soft and can easily be mushed so will melt in your baby's mouth.
- Soft cooked broccoli trees - this finger food is a great source of iron and should be halved or quartered lengthways so it is easy for your little one to grab.
As your baby grows, you can start to explore new tastes and textures as your little one becomes more confident with finger foods.
Here are some chunky, easy to bite finger foods for a 7 or 8 month old you could try:
- Rice cakes (we have lots of tasty flavours!)
- Cooked veggies - these should be well-cooked, soft and cut to the size and shape of an adult index finger
- Peeled raw or cooked slices of fruit - offer a variety of colourful frtuit for a good mix of nutrients.
- Pasta and noodles - these should be well cooked as your little one is still getting used to new textures.
- Toast or bread soldiers - these should be long enough to peep out of a little fist and chunky enough that your baby can munch on it safely.
- Slices of boiled egg - this finger food is a great source of protein for your baby.
When your baby hits 9 months you can start to explore smaller, more chewy finger foods with your little learner to help get them used to more textures.
Why not try one of these ideas for finger foods for 9 month olds:
- Peas, sweetcorn and cherry tomato halves - little hands are getting used to their pincer grip so can start to pick up smaller pieces like these finger food ideas.
- Dry cereals - a fun finger food, and not as messy!
- Well cooked meat or fish - your little one can now start to try a wider variety of tasty finger foods.
- Breadsticks and pitta bread - these work well with a dip, try hummus or smashed avocado.
- Sticks of fruit or veggies - these can be a bit more firmer now, especially if teeth are coming through!
For other ideas, have a read of our guide to the best weaning foods!
WHEN CAN BABIES START FINGER FOODS?
There are usually 3 signs that your baby is ready to move on and try solid food. Though it’s recommended to start weaning at 6 months old, not all babies will be ready to start trying finger foods at exactly that time. They may need a few extra weeks, so don’t worry if it takes your little learner longer. It’s important to trust your instincts and tune into your little one as they’ll let you know when they are ready!
The 3 signs that show your little one is ready to try baby finger foods are:
- Coordinate their eyes, hands and mouth
- Can stay in a sitting position, holding their head steady
- Swallow food (rather than spit it back out)
BABY FINGER FOOD SAFETY TIPS
The most important thing to consider before you start trying baby finger foods is whether they are ready (do this by using our three signs to spot above). But there are also some safety precautions to consider before starting any type of solids with your little one:
- When ready make sure your little one can sit in their highchair without sliding or slumping or if you prefer to feed on your lap ensure your baby can sit unsupported and can hold their head up straight
- Make sure to wash your hands as well as clean all surfaces and equipment before and after preparing your finger foods as well as serving
- Check your little learner's mouth with your little finger once they've finished eating to make sure no food is stuck, as they many not be able to dislodge it themself.
- Always check the temperature of your baby’s finger foods, and allow the food to cool down properly.
- Babies are born with a gag reflux, this is their natural safety mechanism that allows them to push food forward in their mouths. So you may notice that your little one gags more with finger foods than when spoon feeding as they are more in control of their food.
- Halve cherry tomatoes and grapes to reduce risk of choking, and make sure to never leave your baby alone when feeding them finger foods and that there are no distractions.