Whole nuts are a serious choking hazard, but peanut puffs (crispy, airy packaged snacks) crunch and melt between little gums. Some examples include: At each of your baby’s daily meals, she should be eating about 4 ounces or the amount in one small jar of strained baby food. We now know that early and frequent introduction of peanut protein can decrease your child’s chance of developing a peanut allergy later in life. Small soft pieces of scrambled eggs are a perfect first finger food. Only give your baby foods that are in small enough pieces for your baby to handle and are soft enough for his gums to mash. Additionally, you'll want to follow these tips before starting your baby on finger foods: Once baby can sit up and bring her hands or other objects to her mouth, you can give her finger foods to help her learn to feed herself. “Chunking up” babies’ food is a process -- obviously, they shouldn’t go straight from rice cereal to raisin bran. When Is Your Baby Ready for Finger Foods? TODAY turned to pediatrician Dr. Tanya Altmann, author of "What to Feed Your Baby" and herself a mom of 3, for her recommendations. Just don’t let it replace the nutritious breast milk or formula they should be getting. Peas as a finger food. Get it free when you sign up for our newsletter. With recent research showing that some foods marketed as "first finger foods" for babies actually can be choking hazards, moms and dads might be confused about what to feed new eaters who are just learning to feed themselves. They're capable of sitting in a high chair! Below you will find over 20 different fruits you can serve to baby as finger foods. (Babies don’t necessarily have to have a lot of teeth to handle more texture in their foods -- they can often gum soft foods very well!). Self-feeding is an important skill that your baby can learn around 8 or 9 months of age and master by 12 to 15 months. At first babies “rake” food into their hand, but soon they develop the “pincer grasp” that allows them to pick up small objects between thumb and forefinger. Jennifer White has authored parenting books and has worked in childcare and education fields for over 15 years. So easy for a 9-month -old to grab and put in his mouth. Thanksgiving Steals & Deals are here! So when it comes to starting finger foods, you'll want to be sure that your baby has reached these milestones first, likely sometime between 7 to 10 months of age. Most pediatricians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend introducing solid foods to babies when they are between ages 4 and 6 months. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. Most babies do not become really skilled at it until they are well past their first birthday. Buy organic when you can, and always wash well. When out of season, buy them frozen. At that point, your baby can become a pro at self-feeding, so encourage finger foods and let your baby explore! WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Plain slightly mashed beans are easy for older babies and toddlers to pick up. Babies don't need water during their first 6 months of life. There is no evidence that introducing highly allergenic foods to children under age 1 makes them any more likely to be allergic to them, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now says it’s fine to give these foods before the baby's first birthday. Steamed fresh frozen organic peas are my 15-month-old’s favorite! Ⓒ 2020 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved. Try giving them a soft-tipped spoon to hold while you feed them with another. Here are my top 6 favorite finger foods for babies. Most babies don’t learn to use a spoon effectively until after their first birthday, but let a younger baby who’s interested give it a whirl for practice. They may turn little fingers and tongues purple, but they are healthy, delicious, soft, small and easy to gum. Never ever leave your baby unattended while eating finger foods. Wait two or three days, if possible, before offering another new food. Here are some of the big ones. You can also use the “staged” store-bought baby foods -- going from the smooth puree of stage 1 to the slightly thicker stage 2 and then the chunkier stage 3 by around 9 months of age. The cream cheese won’t fly everywhere, and the baby can get the experience of actually getting the cereal into their mouth. Dr. Tanya Altmann is a California pediatrician and author of “What to Feed Your Baby.”. Save up to 85% on gifts from small businesses. My toddler eats these by the handful! Think Twice About Using Orajel, The Best First Foods for Babies Beyond Cereal, The 7 Best Baby Food Delivery Services of 2020, How to Feed Your Baby by Breastfeeding or Food Type, Able to sit up upright completely without support or assistance. It is a good habit to buckle a child as soon as you place them in their chair -- even if you think there's no chance they could fall out or climb out. Almost as soon as babies adjust to being fed with a spoon, they'll want to hold and grab the spoon themselves and put it in their mouths. Your Preemie's First Year: What to Expect, Slideshow: What to Feed Your Baby in Year 1, Slideshow: Baby Milestones: Your Child's First Year of Development, Baby Nutrition: Q&A with Pediatrician Stephen Parker, MD. When you think they are ready to actually navigate the spoon into their mouth, try thicker, stickier foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, or cottage cheese. (Wait three days if your baby or family has a history of allergies.) If your baby is around this age, can sit up well with support, and shows interest in the foods they see you eating, it’s probably a good time to venture into feeding your baby solid food. Safety is key, however, as almost any food can be a choking hazard for an older infant or toddler if not properly served. Limit giving your baby foods that are made for adults. I make scrambled eggs at night (who has time to cook in the morning?) Some doctors recommend that you introduce new foods one at a time. Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Learn how to freeze baby food. Once they start eating mostly solid foods, around age 9 months, they can start water with meals using a sippy cup. Rachel Lewis, MD, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. When babies are ready to eat solid foods, they can sit upright with support and hold up their head and neck. That is why I wanted to share with you my experience as a mom, and my homemade baby food recipes, very different from one to another recipe.I cook my baby food recipes starting the beggining of food diversification (around 4 months), and for older babies. ), American Academy of Pediatrics: "Starting Solid Foods.". Contrary to popular opinion, your baby does not need a single tooth in order to eat finger foods, just as long as the food is diced into small enough pieces and is soft enough for his gums to chew. I often field questions like these from parents who are cautious about starting finger foods for baby: The truth is your baby is most likely going to be ready for finger foods well before his first birthday (talk to your pediatrician for more precise timing). Got a Teething Baby? It says that whole peas are a choking hazard until age three and until then should be slightly fork-mashed even when given as a finger food. Babies progress at their own pace. Choking can happen in the proverbial blink of an eye. Steven Parker, MD, director, division of behavioral and developmental pediatrics, Boston Medical Center. Babies can't feed themselves if they can't get it to their mouths! Here are my top 6 favorite finger foods for babies. Expect a mess! That’s when they start to lose the “tongue-thrust reflex” or extrusion reflex, which is important for sucking the breast or bottle when they are younger, but interferes with feeding. Able to mash soft food between the gums (no teeth required!). They can get used to holding the spoon themselves and will also be distracted from grabbing yours. Food diversification is an important step in your baby's life. Use a plastic or other waterproof bib, and put a mat under the high chair to make cleanup easier. Which Foods Should Not Be Given to a Baby, Choosing Beginner Finger Foods for Your Baby, How Finger Foods Can Help Your Baby to Eat More Independently, How Often and How Much to Feed and Breastfeed Your 8 to 12 Month Old, Starting Solid Foods With Baby-Led Weaning, How Much Breast Milk Your Baby Needs From Birth to 12 Months, Pumpkin Can Be a Nutritious Food for Your Baby, How to Know When a Child Can Start Using Spoons. Well-cooked and cut up yellow squash, peas, and potatoes, Foods that require chewing beyond what the gums can do, No hot dogs, including meat sticks or baby food hot dogs. If your baby is exclusively breastfed, it is recommended that you wait until they are 6 months to start solids. There are many milestones that need to be achieved when a baby is ready to start to eat solid foods.