Finger foods are a great way to let your little one explore a wide variety of delicious foods. At the same time, they help train their motor and coordination skills.
When can I introduce finger foods to my baby?
You can give finger foods from the very moment you start introducing solids, usually around the age of 6 months. You can introduce finger foods alongside purees; some parents and babies prefer to wean on finger foods only.
First finger foods
At the age of 6 months, babies will not master the pincer grip yet, meaning they aren’t able to take items between their thumb and index finger. It might sound counterintuitive, but first finger foods should have a decent chunky size, so your little one can easily grasp them with their fist and munch on them. Your little one might still struggle to bite and chew, as these are new motor skills your little one needs to learn. It is, therefore, best to choose very soft finger foods, which your little one can grind with their gums.
- Softly steamed broccoli florets
- Slices of avocado
- Sticks of steamed or baked sweet potato
Finger foods for 7 - 9 months old babies
As you and your little one progress on your weaning journey, you will become more confident to try new foods while your baby will become more skilful with handling foods. Between 7 and 9 months, you can introduce more texture and smaller sizes of finger foods. Given straight from the fridge, finger foods can be a perfect teething aid.
- Cheese sticks (mild cheddar is ideal as rather low in salt)
- Peeled cucumber
- Pasta in all flavours and shapes
Finger foods from 10 months onwards
Around this age, your little one will be able to pick up even smaller items between thumb and finger. They will love to explore a variety of different foods. Feeding themselves helps them to eat at their own pace and stop when they feel full, helping them with setting up the healthy habit of responsive eating. Your little one will slowly progress to the meals you prepare for the whole family but will still need another year to fully master eating with cutlery.
Finger foods at this stage can be:
- Boiled eggs cut in quarters
- Sandwich made from whole wheat toast
- Steamed salmon or chicken drumsticks