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Top 10 First Finger Foods for Baby

November 13, 2011

Your baby is growing up!  Once he is about 8 months old and showing more interest in the food on your plate than those delicious purees you’ve been feeding him, it’s time to introduce finger foods.  I really enjoyed this stage with my first son and am happily in the midst of it with my second.

Be prepared for a mess.  The clean up isn’t quite as bad for those of us with a dog.  And keep your camera out to capture more hilarious reactions to those foreign objects entering his mouth. Here is what I prepare, where to buy it, and why giving your baby a solid start with solid foods is so important!  (Please add more steamed green vegetables to your list..I just don’t like them..)

What to prepare

#1 Happy Baby Organic Puffs

#2 Ripe banana, diced

#3 Ripe mango, diced

#4 Ripe avocado, diced

#5 Extra firm tofu, diced

#6 Boiled egg yolks, diced

#7 Cooked small wheat spiral pasta

#8 Soft wheat bread

#9 Baked sweet potato, diced &

partially mashed

#10 Steamed peas

#11 Pasteurized soft cheese, diced

Where to buy

For the items in today’s list, I shopped at my local grocery.  During the winter here in Chicago, I grocery shop online at Peapod.  For more about where I like to shop for all things baby, check out Where to buy.

Why to prepare

Feed baby secured in her high chair, always keeping her in your line of sight and within reach. Review Infant First Aid for Choking & CPR should the need arise.  Add a sippy cup (Munchkin Mighty Grip Trainer Cup) with breast milk/formula or water to mealtimes if you haven’t already.

Mealtime is not a battle to train for or to attempt to win.  No food flying into baby’s mouth on airplane spoons required.  Just set a few finger tip sized pieces on her tray and let her feed herself by hand.  (Resist the urge to push baby to eat since mother knows best and she must be hungry…  That is an internal war waging inside every caregiver!)  Developmental food issues aside, babies eat when they are hungry, just like their other human counterparts, adults.  While it is certainly important to feed your baby healthy, age appropriate foods, her main source of nutrition is still breast milk/formula.  Don’t worry or give up if her first response to a food is NO. Keep whatever it is that didn’t suit her in the rotation and reintroduce it a few days later.  Wait 3 days between introducing each new food so you can watch for allergic reactions.

You are laying the ground work for an individual with a wholesome and varied palate.  And even more important than an adventurous eater, someone who doesn’t have unhealthy emotional ties to food that may lead to eating disorders.  Even when she turns into a boundary pushing toddler, refusing foods she once liked, know it has nothing to do with the food, but with asserting newly acquired freedoms.

Continue nurturing a pleasant, messy, experimental eating environment.  You will soon be the envy of all your friends, dining out at restaurants without crayons and paper placemats!

*NO COMMENTS HERE SHOULD BE TAKEN IN LIEU OF PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE.*

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