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Finger food for the baby: tips, recipes and ideas

How exciting! At some point the day will come when your baby will have his first solid food. Many parents start the complementary feeding with porridge, others rely on the so-called baby-led weaning. Here you prepare special finger food for your baby, which it grabs and eats independently. Of course, you can also offer it to your sweetheart in addition to the porridge. We'll tell you here which finger food you can offer your baby and what you should pay attention to.

1. The most important things at a glance.

  • Finger food is a great way for your baby to get around To discover food and the to learn to eat independently.
  • That's why many mothers put on it Baby-led weaning instead of the classic porridge.
  • But you can do with your baby also in addition to complementary foods Offer finger food.
  • If you pay attention to a few things and prepare the finger food correctly, you don't have to worry about your child choking.

1. When is finger food okay for my baby?

When you start finger food depends on you and your baby. If you start with complementary foods and don't want to rely on porridge, you can try the so-called baby-led weaning from the 6th month onwards. This means you are offering your baby finger food that they can take and feed themselves.

Apart from that, will Finger food usually with the 7th or 8th month introduced, and also gladly when the baby is to be introduced to the family diet. But always remember: Every baby is different. And you, as a mom, should also feel comfortable with your decision. You will notice for yourself when the right time has come to offer your baby finger food.

It is basically possible if:

• your baby is older than six months and
• is able to sit independently and keep your head up.

By the way: Even if your baby doesn't have teeth yet, that's no reason to go without finger food. The food is so soft that your child can easily crush it with their gums.

2. How much finger food is my baby allowed to eat?

Many parents worry and wonder if their children are eating enough. With porridge it is easy to see how much the baby has eaten, with finger food it is a little more difficult to estimate. In most cases, you will find some scraps of food on the chair or on the floor.

It's best to let your baby decide how much they want to eat. They will naturally satisfy their own hunger and stop eating when full. Providing your baby with a balanced diet of finger foods can help ensure that they are consuming the right amount of nutritious foods.

3. Feeding finger food safely - this is how it works

A major concern of many parents is that their child will choke on food. Especially when the baby first has to chew his finger food or crush it in the mouth. We have put together some tips for you to look out for when your baby eats finger food:

  • Make sure your baby is eating sitting upright and doesn't sag or lie.
  • Your baby should always eat while sitting. If your baby is particularly mobile, make sure he doesn't eat while walking!
  • Never leave your baby alone with the food it should always supervised become.
  • Don't offer food that one obvious risk of suffocation represents.

Choking vs. choking

All parents panic when their child starts to choke. The fear that it will be swallowed always eats with you. But gagging and choking are not the same thing. The difference is that when gagging, the baby is actively trying to get the food out. That sounds like a deep cough. That is good and what it has to do to learn to eat.

Choking or choking, on the other hand, means that the baby can no longer breathe, cries, coughs and is generally still. The eyes can be wide open and the baby's face can look extremely distressed.

4. This is how you can prepare finger food for your baby

If you want to offer your baby finger food, you should consider a few important things during preparation:

The right size

Younger babies (from six months) usually use their whole hand to grab the food. This is why they are best at this age Food strips that are about 5 inches long are. Offering smaller pieces to your sweetheart can quickly lead to frustration.

From about 8 months babies can too smaller pieces of food to grab. By this age, they have usually developed their pincer grip and use their thumb and forefinger to feed themselves.

The right consistency

The consistency of the food is just as important as its size. If the food is too soft, it will turn to mush when the baby touches it. If it's too hard, your child won't be able to chew on it and there is a risk that they will choke. You can make the finger food more handy, for example, by leaving the bowl on (if you can eat it). A few crumbs of bread can also help keep the finger food from slipping away from your baby.

Spices and herbs

Don't be afraid of spices and herbs, they are a fantastic way to add flavor to your baby's finger foods. And it is good if you introduce your sweetheart to different tastes from an early age.

Different types of preparation

It's best to try different ways of preparation: Frying, stewing and boiling can change the texture and taste of a dish. If your baby doesn't like something steamed, don't be discouraged. Maybe he likes it better fried.

5. 8 easy finger food recipes for your baby

As a little inspiration for which finger food you can offer your baby, here are 8 simple and quick ideas:

  • ripe fruits
    peeled and finely chopped (or quartered / halved) into small pieces or cut into strips 2-3 cm long
  • vegetables
    steamed and cut into 2-3 cm long strips
  • flesh
    fried, baked or grilled. Serve chopped into small pieces or cut into 2-3 cm long strips
  • Cheese slices
    Cheddar, Gouda, Swiss, etc.
  • Beans, Chickpeas & Lentils
    cooked or canned, strained and completely dried, cut in halves or quarters
  • Hard-boiled eggs
    cut into pieces or quartered
  • tofu
    Pan fried or baked. Chopped into small pieces or cut into strips 2-3 cm long
  • fish
    cooked in your favorite way and then gently scraped with a fork (make sure there are no bones)
  • Rice Balls, Quinoa Balls & Millet Balls
    To make balls, cook rice or quinoa and let it cool a little. Then you take a teaspoon or two of rice or quinoa with wet hands and roll it in the palm of your hand and squeeze it gently until a rice ball forms.

6. Warning: These foods are not finger foods for babies!

Not all foods are suitable as finger foods for your baby. You should therefore do without these here - or pay attention to the instructions:

  • Whole nuts or large pieces of nuts you should avoid. They can get stuck in your child's windpipe.
  • At Popcorn you should make sure that no unpopped or half-popped grains are there. They can get stuck in your child's throat and block their airways.
  • honey allowed to Babies under 12 months are generally not eat. It can contain Clostridium botulinum spores, which can lead to poisoning.
  • Whole fruits with stones (Cherries and larger stone fruits) should definitely ripe - and of course you should remove the core beforehand.
  • Round fruits like grapes and cherry tomatoes you should Halve or quarter lengthways.
  • Hard foods like raw carrots and apples are not suitable as finger food. Pieces can break off and in the worst case scenario your baby can choke on them. That's why you should be sure to cook soft.
  • Avoid Fish that are high in mercury like swordfish and king mackerel.
  • At flesh necessarily small Remove bone and cartilage.
  • Processed foods best avoided. They are often too high in sodium for babies, as well as high in sugar.
  • Seasoning yes - salting no! Babies up to one year of age should not consume more than 1g salt (0.4g sodium) per day. Therefore, it is better to avoid it with finger food.
  • Also sugar does not belong in baby finger foods. It supplies empty calories with no nutrients and damages teeth.
  • "Sticky" foods " such as gummy candies / gums etc. can get stuck in your baby's throat - so please do not use them.
  • Nut butter is difficult for babies to swallow. You should therefore only smear it thinly on a slice of bread - if at all.

We wish your baby bon appetite - and have fun discovering food!

You can find more tips and information on the subject of "baby nutrition" here >>>

And if you want to exchange ideas with other mums on the subject, come to ours closed facebook group.

Tags: complementary foods