There comes a time where your baby will want to experiment with food and feed themselves.
Offering finger foods to babies is a great way to let them discover different foods for themselves, and is a part of the growing process. This usually occurs around the nine month mark (give or take) when they have semi-mastered the hand-to-mouth action and are ready to chew. Of course babies are also excellent at the hand-to-floor action too, so invest in something like a messy mat or similar before undertaking the ‘mess fest’ that will inevitably occur!
Letting your baby feed themselves is terrific for hand-eye coordination and development. Not to mention that experimenting with different foods from early ages will hopefully encourage an acceptance of all sorts of new foods! Fingers crossed!
So, what foods are the best to try? Well, it will obviously depend on your child, their development level, and any allergies. It’s important to give them variation, so try them on a few different finger foods on a plate (or straight into the high chair tray) so they can help themselves to start. When introducing any new foods, and really when babies are eating, you should be watching for any signs of choking or blocked airways. Remember to cut things up small!
We’ve surveyed the SAHM mums for the finger foods they love to give their babies, and the foods that their babies loved the most. Let us know if any of these work for you, as well as any other suggestions you might have!
Teething rusks are obviously a great finger food to start with for babies as they can really help to improve a baby’s skills in holding, chewing and sucking on foods. Rusks should not be given prior to six months, and should be fed to babies when supervised only. Check out our egg-free rusk recipe!
Small pieces of soft fruits, like banana, strawberry and watermelon (with skin, rind and seeds removed) are ideal as first finger foods. They’re soft, mushy and sweet, which kids will love.
Cheese (12+ months)
Once your child is about 12 months old (check with your doctor) you can also feed the small pieces of cheese. To make it easier for them to palate serve when not too cold so the cheese is softer.
Pasta can be a wonderful finger food for babies, and is very filling. Overcook the pasta slightly to keep it soft initially, and make sure you cool completely before serving. You can also serve up Spaghetti Bolognese, just cut the spaghetti before handing it over.