My little man is turning 1 in just over a week. Like his Daddy, he's a little charmer. And like his Mammy, he loves his food!
Now the proud owner of 7 and a half shiny (and razor-sharp) little tootsies, he loves to bite and chew pretty much everything in sight, and loves tasting new flavours.
I started giving him finger foods once he got his first two teeth at around 6 months old.
As a newly diagnosed Type 1 Diabetic (an auto-immune disease in which the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas are destroyed), I pay attention to every single bite of food that goes into my mouth, and it is very important to me that I establish healthy eating habits for my son from day one.
I've compiled a list below of all our favourite finger foods of the past 6 months that are both healthy and yummy, to give you ideas for your little people!
Ah, Avocado...my all-time personal favourite!
Lots of healthy fats, low-carb and creamy.
Pick avocados that are ripe (or ripen them at home).
Ripe avocados are usually brown "skinned" (not green), and slightly soft to the touch (but not too mushy, either. Tricky, I know!).
Perfect chopped into small bits (I squashed them a bit with a fork when he had very few teeth, for that "pre-chewed" effect) - also great mashed up and spoon-fed...but then this is an article about finger foods, so we'll stick with that for now!
Low-carb & refreshing, and great for teething babies when straight from the fridge (I sometimes even left them into the freezer for 15 minutes before serving).
I gave my little man only the softest centre bit of cucumbers at first, cut up in small pieces, easy to chew, then as sticks once he had more teeth.
N.B. I read somewhere that cucumbers are one of the most sprayed (pesticides) vegetables out there, so remember to wash them with boiling water before you stick them in your fridge! (As for all other vegetables and fruit)
3. Scrambled egg
The more milk you add to your egg when making scrambled egg, the "mushier" it will be. Yes, finger foods are a messy business! But such an important part of baby's development.
Full of protein, and tasty too!
4. Strawberries, Raspberries and Melon
These don't need an introduction, really. Full of vitamins! Cut up in small bits and squashed with a fork at first, then once baby was able to chew, cut up in small pieces, chilled and served. (Preferably well ripened)
Watermelon too was -and is- a huge hit with my little man!
5. Wholegrain cracker bread
You can try wholegrain cracker bread, which is easy to break in four and hand to little people to chew on.
A lighter texture makes them dissolve easily when it comes into contact with baby drool, which is a big plus!
For older babies, they can be spread with pâté, butter or soft cheese for extra flavour.
Carrots are also a great finger food for our little ones.
Wash, cut up into small pieces, steam or boil until soft.
For older babies or tots, serve raw (preferably chilled), cut up into sticks.
Tip: a small yoghurt dip to dip the carrot sticks into is fun, and yummy too!
7. Grated mozzarella
Mozzarella is a good cheese for anyone to eat, due to it containing less saturated fat than regular cheese.
Its very mild flavour is perfect for introducing little ones to cheese, and it melts easily on the tongue, too!
8. Pears & Bananas
These are yet another staple snack for my little man. The riper, the better! The different textures are fun to explore too.
Apples are great too, but due to their hardness need to be steamed or boiled first!
9. Torn chicken or turkey breast
Full of protein and low in fat, torn chicken or turkey breast make a fab meaty snack.
Crumble into tiny pieces and voilà!
10. Wholegrain natural rice cakes.
By natural, I mean unsalted of course! Rice cakes are a great alternative to cracker bread, have a fun texture and shape, and a good crunch.
Drawback: their smell. But my little guy doesn't mind thankfully!
These are just a few of our favourites!
Other easy options include toast,
peppers, courgette, eggplant and sweet potato, steamed or boiled until soft.
Let us know what your little one's favourite foods are!