Choosing Beginner Finger Foods for Your Baby

baby eating finger food
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Once your baby is ready for finger foods, it will open up whole new dining opportunities. Your baby will begin exploring new foods on her own. Just be sure you follow health and safety tips as you prepare these easy and simple finger foods for your baby. Bon appetit!

Fruit Finger Foods

For fruits, if the fruit is already naturally soft and gum-mashable, you will not need to do anything more than dice it up into small enough pieces that your baby can handle while still being able to grab in her hands. It probably would be advisable to peel these fruits as well. For firmer fruit, you will like need to steam the food a bit in order to make them softer and safer for your baby to swallow. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Diced bananas
  • Small dices of soft peaches, plums, or pears
  • Small chunks of melon
  • Slightly squished blueberries
  • Diced avocado, great for babies who need to plump up a bit
  • Chopped kiwi or mango
  • Blueberries

Veggie Finger Foods

With veggies, you pretty much will need to steam and soften them all at first. Depending on the vegetable, it may be necessary to peel them as well. Keep your chunks small enough and the food firm enough to maintain shape as your baby grabs onto it.

  • Diced potato, sweet and white
  • Steamed sliced carrots
  • Super-soft green beans
  • Diced "meatier" squashes like butternut, pumpkin, and acorn
  • Slightly squished peas
  • Chopped broccoli florets

Other Finger Foods

You do not have to limit your baby to just fruits and veggies. You have lots of options in grains, dairy, and other foods. You might consider:

  • Cubed, baby-safe cheeses
  • Tofu cubes
  • Small diced cooked meats including fish
  • Dried cereals
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Small cooked pastas like ditalini
  • Cooked rice, sometimes a bit sticky in consistency can assist self-feeding

You might be surprised to read some of the foods on this list, like eggs and fish. Recently, the AAP has released new guidelines on when to introduce certain foods. Essentially, the only foods that should be delayed for all babies are those which are choking hazards and honey. Talk to your pediatrician regarding his or her thoughts on when your baby can have each of these foods.

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