Finger Food For Babies: Everything You Must Know

6 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

finger food for babies
Once the baby is born, breastmilk is their only friend. But with time around 7 months, when they start sitting, finger foods get introduced. The time of selecting finger food for babies is the most thrilling and nail-biting time. The time when the maximum mess is created with all types of probable reactions and possible choking threats is a challenging time for the parents indeed.

Yet caution should be exercised in choosing, and finding out different and interesting ways to introduce finger foods that make the meal time a fun-filled and nutritious one as well. This is the time that allows the child to practice eating independently gradually.

In This Article

What Are Finger Foods For Babies?

These are foods that are almost the size of a bite, easy to eat, and small pieces that the baby can eat independently without being fed. This activity is quite fun-filling for the baby and also a significant move toward the baby’s independence. This is a great step to even enhance his motor skills.

When Will My Baby Be Ready For Finger Foods?

There is no set time for the babies as all are different. Yet between 8 and 9 months of age, the baby starts giving indications that she’s ready to start off with finger foods. They either snatch your food or sometimes take the cutlery from you.

The best time, however, is when they start sitting on their own. Even though guidance is still required yet this is the first step and should be made as interesting as it can be.

Why Is  Pincer Grasp Important When Offering Baby Finger Food?

pincer grip

As time progresses, the baby keeps learning to achieve, yet with each achievement, there comes some sort of happiness as well as frustration. While offering finger foods to the baby, it is important to notice that they have a pincer grasp.

This means to make sure the baby can pick up small or bite-size objects between the thumb and the forefinger. If the baby does not have a pincer grasp and is unable to pick up food when offered, he can become frustrated. This could develop a negative correlation between the foods and eating independently.

What Finger Foods To Start With?

There are numerous finger foods available on the market and some of the best ones for the baby to start are listed as under:

  • Bread and teething biscuits or soup sticks.
  • Avocado
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Any soft fruit
  • Pasta
  • Tofu or cottage cheese

What Should All Be Considered Before Choosing Finger Food For Baby?

Why Is Pincer Grasp Important When Offering Baby Finger Food_

While offering there are certain points that should be considered before choosing Baby Finger Foods and these are listed:

  • The finger foods should be such that they get mashed between the gums and are completely safe for the baby.
  • The foods chosen should be “as per the age”. A six-month-old baby can’t be fed an 8-month-old baby food.
  • The texture of the food is very important as if it’s too soft they cannot hold it and in case too hard cannot chew it.
  • The best way to add flavor is by the use of spices as well as herbs so never be afraid of them.
  • The taste of the food alters if cooked in different forms, so baked food versus fried or boiled one will taste differently. So in case, the baby does not like the taste of one style, the other style can be adopted.

5 Safety Precautions For Giving Finger Food To Babies

Following are some of the precautionary measures for giving finger food to babies:

  1. It is important to make the baby sit in an upright position while eating and not lying.
  2. Never let the baby run and eat.
  3. Never let someone else feed the baby else the baby will not learn. Watch out for siblings, especially those who try to put food in the baby’s mouth.
  4. Do leave the baby unattended, as one needs to be sure that they are only eating food and nothing else.
  5. Don’t give too large bites as there is a fear of choking.

5 Tips To Introduce Finger Food For Babies

5 Tips To Introduce Finger Food For Babies

Following are some tips to introduce finger foods to babies:

  1. Let the baby eat in a sitting position while introducing the finger foods.
  2. Try putting a large size mat under the high chair or a mat near the place so that the food that does get dropped can be picked up and cleaned.
  3. It is better to give the piece that the child can easily hold and not a very big or really small one.
  4. Always check the baby’s mouth when finished and remove all the food that she has not swallowed.
  5. Never leave the baby alone, be with her so there are no chances of choking.

How Much Finger Food Should Be Offered To Your Child?

Many parents are worried to find out if the food given to the baby is enough for them. The finger foods are also not given much to the child initially and due to not too developed motor skills, half of the pieces keep getting dropped.

Thus, it is always better to let the child decide when they are full. They will keep eating until they like and are hungry. Once full they will automatically leave the same.

It is thus best to let them enjoy and eat at their own pace and not rush to finish the same as they are still learning. It is advisable to offer a healthy and balanced diet for the baby so that nutritious foods are being served in the right amount. Finger food alone cannot satiate the hunger so other items should be such that they are filling for the baby.

5 Best Finger Food That Needs Zero Cooking

5 Best Finger Food That Needs Zero Cooking

There are many foods that can be easily cut and offered to cute which are good and healthy as well and they are as under:

  1. Sticks cut out from cucumber, could be cubed as well, soothing for teething issues as well.
  2. Pineapple that has been diced or cut into rings.
  3. Mashed or cut avocado
  4. Thin round slices of banana
  5. Grated or diced cottage cheese.

5 Best Finger Food That Needs Simple Cooking

There are certain foods that require basic cooking before being served. These can be cooked in different oils as well with or without the use of herbs and spices.

  1. The boiled, steamed, or roasted carrot can be diced or cut like French fries.
  2. Baked or well-sautéed apple, cut into small pieces.
  3. Hard-boiled eggs
  4. Baked, pan-fried, shredded, or diced chicken
  5. Cooked rice can be given in the shape of balls.

Finger Foods To Avoid

Even though the babies should be made to get used to all types of food, given below are some of the foods that do not qualify as finger foods for babies due to choking hazards or digestion issues. They are:

  • Pieces from raw fruits as well as vegetables
  • Grapes, cherries, berries
  • Raisins or other dry-fruits
  • Seeds or peanuts
  • Big scoops of peanut butter

Suitable finger foods are ones that are easy for the baby to hold, eat and digest without any difficulty. Self-feeding is crucial for finger foods. Yet the parents need to be vigilant and assure that the baby eats safely and does not get into any trouble. After all, the biggest happiness for the parent is to see a baby trying their first finger foods independently. But with ease and enjoying it so that there exists a positive correlation between the foods, baby, and feeding.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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