As a first-time mother, your baby’s first year is both an exciting and nerve-wracking time. You’re watching them grow up before your eyes while trying to navigate the changes of being a mother.
Despite the adjustments, it’s a special time filled with many firsts: their first diaper change, first cry, first giggle, first crawl, and even first finger food! You’ll have the pleasure of witnessing your baby learn how to feed themselves, too!
It’s normal for mothers to worry if they’re giving their baby the right and nutritious food. Luckily for you, there are great and healthy finger food options out there that you can always turn to! These foods will not only make mealtimes more exciting but can jump-start baby-led weaning as well.
Read on to know more about the best finger foods and how you can introduce them to your baby!
How to introduce finger foods to my baby?
While there’s no definite rule in terms of when babies can start to eat finger foods, it’s worth noting that babies usually develop more control over their hands at around six months!
That’s when babies also start to explore taste and texture, so you’ll see them bringing their hands to their mouth more often. This is a great time for mothers to take advantage of introducing their babies to finger foods and start baby-led weaning!
Following your baby’s cues is a great idea as well! A common sign that your baby is ready for finger foods is when they start grabbing the spoon and bowl during mealtime. Sometimes, they may even imitate you while you’re eating!
Another sign that it’s time to introduce finger foods is when your baby is able to sit independently. Babies are generally curious and want to feed themselves, so the signs will be pretty easy to notice!
In some cases, mothers are encouraged to wait until their baby has a better grasp or can pick up objects using their thumb and forefingers.
Either way, you’re the one who really knows your baby’s progress! If you believe that your baby needs more time, introducing them to finger foods can wait. (Babies have different progress timelines, after all.)
By the way, we’ve written a more detailed guide to getting your baby started on solid foods, so do check that out if you’d like to!
How to introduce finger foods to my baby?
Start by simply putting a finger food on your baby’s high chair tray, and then wait for their response. It’s best to do this in between spoonfuls of food during mealtime. This way, your baby knows that they’re supposed to eat it!
If your baby makes no move, try helping them by picking it up and placing it near their mouth, and see what happens.
If your baby isn’t responding positively, take a step back and try again another day! Your baby may just not be in the mood to eat on their own (especially if it’s a food they’ve never had before!).
It may take up to 20 times or more before your baby gets used to a new type of food, but the key is being persistent in offering them!
Remember: forcing your baby to eat the food is never a good idea. Instead, give them more opportunities to start feeding themselves.
Below are 7 recommended finger foods for babies you can start with!
1. Baby cereal puffs
These are one of the most popular finger foods for babies! Aside from being packed with extra nutrients that babies need, baby cereal puffs have the shape that lets them practice the pincer grasp by picking up one piece at a time.
There’s little to no chance of choking too because they mix well with saliva and are easily dissolved inside the mouth. They also don't require lots of preparation time!
Bananas are one of the best fruits for babies: they have a sweet taste that babies love and their soft and mushy texture is easy for babies to chew and swallow.
More than that, bananas are packed with essential vitamins and fibre!
It’s easy to feed bananas to babies too - just cut them into small pieces so your baby won’t have a hard time chewing them!
(Tip: try using overripe bananas because they’re mushier and have a sweeter taste!)
It’s recommended to use whole-grain bread instead of the regular white bread (which contains lots of refined sugar!)
Bread makes perfect finger food because of different yet simpl