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Five Finger Food Recipes for Your Baby

Updated 23-02-2021 – Lucy Walters

Finger foods: we like it, our kids love it! Introducing your baby finger foods is a great way for them to develop coordination, fine motor skills, and a sense of independence. Plus, let’s face it, your baby learning to hold on to their food and start feeding themselves means your hands are free (for a while, that is)!

 

When Can I Start My Baby on Finger Foods?

As all babies are unique and develop at different paces, there really is no set age of when you should start introducing finger foods. As a guide, however, it is best to follow the NHS recommendations saying that it is safe to start your baby on finger foods once you have successfully introduced solid foods into their diet. 

 

What Finger Food is Good for Babies?

Various experts recommend a wide range of finger foods that are great for babies. We’ve come up with a summary of these below:

  • According to expert baby food recipe developer and mum-of-3, Amy Palanjian, the following types of foods should be avoided when introducing finger foods for your baby as they can cause excessive gagging or choking:
    • Anything hard, like a massive slice of raw carrot.
    • Round-shaped food, such as a whole grape, a slice of hotdog.
    • Sticky forms, such as a serving of nut butter.
    • Chewy items, such as gums and candies.
  • RaisingChildren, a reputable Australian parenting resource, gave the following as ideas for your baby’s first set of finger foods:
    • Veggies and fruits. By far, the easiest finger food to prepare is veggies and fruits. When preparing these, ensure you cut them into small sizes, and start with softer fruits, such as ripe banana slices, cooked potatoes, or steamed veggies. Little ones are visually stimulated, so try introducing a variety of coloured fruit and vegetables to your little one’s plate.
    • Add some bite-sized slices of fish, meat, or hard-boiled eggs with vegetables. You can also try small chunks of cheese or small servings of pasta (with or without sauce). Avoid lengthy pasta shapes, such as spaghetti and fettuccini, and go for something easier for your little one to hold, such as penne, shells, and the like.
    • Cut sandwiches into smaller pieces or create a variety “soldier”.

 

Five Finger Food Recipes for Your Baby

To help you with your finger food menu planning for your little one, here are five baby finger food recipes for your inspiration.

Five Finger Food Recipes for Your Baby Banner Image
  • Baked Plantain with Yoghurt Dip

This recipe is great for allowing your baby to learn how to dip. Bananas contain nutrients that help your baby’s bone development and boost their immune system.

Recipe from: NHS Start4Life

      • Portions: Four.
      • Prep time: 5 minutes.
      • Cook time: 20 minutes.

 

  • Here’s what you’ll need:
      • 1 plantain.
      • 1-2 tsp vegetable oil.

 

  • Here’s how to make it:
      1. Preheat the oven to 180C (fan-forced).
      2. Peel the plantain and cut into thick, diagonal pieces.
      3. Brush oil onto the baking tray, spreading evenly.
      4. Place plantain slices on the baking tray.
      5. Bake until the edges turn golden brown, which is approximately about 20 minutes. Remember to turn over halfway.
      6. Leave to cool and serve with a tablespoon of full-fat yoghurt.

 

  • Avocado Fudge

No, it’s not the super sweet fudge adults love. Instead, this recipe is a healthier alternative, as it uses avocados, which are excellent sources of healthy fats, vitamin C, potassium, and are great for providing energy to your baby.

Recipe from: KidSpot

      • Portions: 5-10.
      • Prep time: 10 mins.
      • Cook time: 22 mins.

 

  • Here’s what you’ll need:
      • 1 avocado.
      • 1 banana.
      • 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
      • Optional drop of vanilla essence.

 

  • Here’s how to make it:
  1. Blend all ingredients, adding in vanilla essence if preferred. 
  2. Serve as a puree or:
  3. Fill an ice tray with puree and freeze overnight. Use popsicle sticks if serving for pre-schoolers, otherwise serve as frozen cubes of fudge for younger babies. 
  • Healthy Meatballs

This meatball recipe is great as a lunch or dinner meal and is an excellent way to sneak in vegetables for your fussy eaters.

Recipe from: Yummy Toddler Food

      • Portions: 20.
      • Prep time: 3 mins.
      • Cook time: Freeze for hours.

 

  • Here’s what you’ll need:
      • 1/2 cup roughly chopped carrots.
      • 1 peeled and halved small onion.
      • 1/2 cup parsley leaves.
      • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.
      • 1/2 Italian-flavoured breadcrumbs.
      • 2 tablespoons milk.
      • 1 pound ground beef.
      • 1 egg.
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt.

 

  • Here’s how to make it:
  1. Preheat oven to 190-degrees Celsius.
  2. Use foil to line a baking sheet, followed by a coat of non-stick spray.
  3. Blend carrots, parsley, and onion together, ensuring they are well-grounded.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and continue blending to make a smooth mixture.
  5. Create meatballs according to your preferred size.
  6. Bake until cooked through, around 22-25 minutes.
  7. Serve with your choice of sauce and child-friendly pasta.

 

For more feeding products, check out our guides on breast pumps or baby bottles.

Five Finger Food Recipes for Your Baby Image 1
  • Mini Quiche Without a Crust

Quiche is great for a breakfast or lunch food, it’s packed with a great mix of food groups and is super easy to make.

Recipe from: NHS Start4Life

      • Portions: 12.
      • Prep time: 10 mins.
      • Cook time: 10 to 15 mins

 

  • Here’s what you’ll need:
      • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil.
      • 1 small tomato.
      • 5 medium eggs.
      • 2 tbsp full-fat milk.
      • 1/2 deseeded medium pepper.
      • Optional: 5 spring onions, 1 tsp dried mixed herbs.

 

  • Here’s how to make it:
  1. Preheat your oven to 200C.
  2. Use vegetable oil to lightly grease muffin tray.
  3. Dice all vegetables finely (peppers, tomatoes, and onions).
  4. Distribute an even amount of diced veggies onto each muffin cup.
  5. Beat the eggs, herbs, and milk together and pour over each of the muffin cups.
  6. Bake until puffy, eggs are set, or light brown, usually around 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Cool before serving. 

 

  • Home-Cooked Teething Rusks

Babies love teething rusks, especially when they are growing new teeth. Commercially available teething rusks are great, but why not make them at home? They make as great finger foods, too!

Recipe from: KidSpot

      • Portions: 20-25.
      • Prep time: 3 mins.
      • Cook time: 1 hour.

 

  • Here’s what you’ll need:
      • Five slices of wheat bread.

 

  • Here’s how to make it:
  1. Preheat the oven to 125C. 
  2. Remove the crusts.
  3. Cut the bread into fingers.
  4. Line a tray with baking sheet and arrange the fingers on this.
  5. Bake until the fingers are dry and hard, usually about an hour.
  6. Cool for a while before storing in an airtight container.

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