Family Magazine

5 Easy Finger Foods for Toddlers That You Can Make Right Now!

By Shwetashetye

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Ahh!! The joys of motherhood!! After those mind numbing 6 months of exclusive (and c.o.n.s.t.a.n.t. arrrgh) breastfeeding and few more of gloopy gloop purees of all sorts, comes the time when your baby is ready to sit up and sample food on its own. One of the primary steps of the beginning of their independence is making finger foods for toddlers.

When my son reached this crucial stage, being as loony as all first time moms are, I went berserk. I used to constantly trawl mommy blogs for new recipes every day. Some were doable, others were not and some were plain bizarre- downright unhealthy.  It was easier for me when my second born reached that stage. By that time I knew that I need not overly complicate things. Food needs to be simple not exotic for the babies. The more they sample what is cooked daily in the house, the easier is the transition for them when they switch to family meals of what adults of the house are eating. Here’s my pick of 5 toddler friendly and really healthy Finger foods.

Sticks of Fresh seasonal fruits or steamed/boiled veggies

Well healthy habits should begin early in life. For fruits, one can choose from apple, guava, banana etc. In veggies, go for carrots, broccoli, cucumber or sweet potatoes. Make sure fruits and veggies are washed well and sticks are big enough so that they are not a choking hazard. Veggie sticks can be given with a homemade dip of hung curd and herbs.

Broiled/shallow fried Fish/chicken

Paediatricians say one can start with fish sticks by the age of 10 months. So go ahead once they reach that age. Make sure that both meats are deboned and cooked through. Vegetarians can opt for paneer (cottage cheese)

Bite sized pieces of Paranthas/Dosa /Cheelas/Pancakes

Easy to chew and good dose of basic carbs. Make them interesting by adding purees of leafy vegetables like spinach etc. to the dough or shredded carrot or beetroot to the batter. Small coin sized idlis can also be served.

Crispy puffed rice or rice flakes (Murmura and Poha)

Babies enjoy variety in texture. The crispiness will surely add to the fun of finger foods. Toss in a bit of oil with haldi and little bit of salt. Another yum thing to make from these tiny shiny morsels are sweet fingers. Instead of shaping them as puffed rice laddoos, shape them as fingers for easy to hold grip.

Macaroni or other such cut pasta

Pasta cooked well with cheese or little bit of butter is perfect finger food or comfort food. Babies love picking those small pieces one at a time.

Do remember few things before offering any kind of finger food to babies.

  • Finger foods should be given only when baby can sit up and hold his/her head steady. Also never leave the baby unattended.
  • Avoid processed food.
  • Avoid adding salt or sugar if the baby is less than a year.
  • Avoid small foods like raisins etc. that can get stuck in the food pipe.
  • Finger foods are not meals. They are just ‘’in between’’ foods. A child should be given proper meals as suggested by the pediatrician.
  • Babies will make mess and play with the food. Be patient.

Finger foods stage is not something that becomes a replacement for how you feed primary meals to your child. Treat this session of finger foods as an introduction to independently enjoying food. Over the time as they master pinching and gripping food, they will love to get their hands on anything that you are enjoying.

What were some culture specific recipes that you introduced to your little ones?

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