Fun with Finger Foods

From The Message Boards

Am I Pregnant

Please help

Hi im 22 years old and am thinking I may be pregnant ! I have been more tired lately and emotional a...

Trying to Conceive Your First Child


My husband and I want to look into IVF with frozen embryo. I have blocked tubes, everything else is ...

JustMommies Welcome Center

We've found the perfect toy for your little ones

I'll go ahead and introduce myself. I've had a lot of experience in child care-taking, and have a pa...

Due Date Club of February 2018

*update on tmi*

Oh nope, big nope, double big nope! Thought I ruled it out than skipped to the loo and discovered a ...

Am I Pregnant

Miscarriage or normal pregnancy symptoms

I am 5 weeks pregnant. Had a miscarriage a year ago. My hcg level is 784 and 48 hours later 1115. Pe...

By Annabel Karmel

First Meals and More Finger foods are a wonderful way to introduce your baby to various tastes and textures, and will help to encourage independent eating. Your baby will enjoy the process of feeding himself as well as the variety of foods that you offer.

How can you tell if your baby is ready for finger foods? There are two schools of thought about this one. Some people believe that finger foods should be offered first, and in many cases instead of purées. Others believe that purées should be offered first, and when babies are developmentally ready to pick up, bite, chew, and swallow finger foods, they can be offered –somewhere after nine months. Personally, I think that there is no reason why the two approaches can’t be combined. If your baby is a confident eater, offering a variety of finger foods alongside purées is a good way to accustom him to different textures and tastes, and also encourages him to learn the basics of self-feeding.

Babies naturally begin to pick things up and explore them, inevitably putting them into their mouths, at around five or six months. From this point on, offering food instead of a toy can provide a nice introduction to the exciting world of food! Be careful what you choose: your baby should be able to gnaw the food without choking or gagging, and be able to derive enough taste by working on it with his gums or budding teeth. Always supervise your baby when he is eating finger food, no matter what his age.

I would suggest offering finger foods at every mealtime, alongside your baby’s normal purées, but only after you have established several different fruits, vegetables, and other foods that have been successfully introduced, without any adverse reactions or affects. I’ve also found that it’s useful to have a bowl with several different compartments for holding a rage of different finger foods.

Try beginning with easy-to-mange pieces of fruits (melon, apple, banana, kiwi fruit), lightly steamed vegetables (carrot, broccoli, green beans), little sandwiches with healthy fillings, rice cakes, small chucks of cheese, hard-boiled eggs, healthy whole-grain breakfast cereals, berries, dried fruits, well-cooked pasta shapes, toast wedges, and the like. Choose brightly colored fruits for their enhanced nutritional value, and whole-wheat goodies over those that have been refined.

Offering finger foods will help to teach your baby to feed herself, and increase her food repertoire, if she picks something up and tastes it, she may not like it to begin with or for the first few times she tires it, but eventually she may consider it to be familiar enough to eat. The more you encourage this process, the easier the transition to independent eating will be.

Annabel Karmel is a leading children’s author who has written 17 bestselling books. She has frequently appeared on Regis and Kelly, The View, The Today Show, and The Early Show. First Meals and More: Your Questions Answered is available now in bookstores.

Peach Melba Popsicles

Fresh fruit popsicles are great for soothing sore gums when your little one is teething, and for bridging the gap between purées and solid food. They are also a great way to get more fluids into your sick child. This is a lovely combination of fruits, but these would also be tasty made with peaches and strawberries.


2 large, ripe peaches

1 ½ cups fresh or frozen raspberries (or you could use strawberries)

1 ¼ cups of peach or apple juice

2-3 tbsp sugar (optional)


1. Peel the peaches, then quarter them and remove the pits. Put the peaches and berries in a blender with half the juice and blend to a purée. Press the purée through a sieve to remove the seeds.

2. Mix the purée with the remaining peaches or apple juice and sweeten to taste with sugar, if needed.

3. Pour the purée into popsicle molds and freeze for a few hours or overnight.

Reprinted by arrangement with DK Publishing from First Meals & More: Your Questions Answered. Copyright © 2009 by DK Publishing. Text © 2009 by Annabel Karmel. All rights reserved

Today on JustMommies

Best Bottles for Nursing Babies

If you’re in the market for baby bottles, you have particular needs if you’re a breastfeeding mom. You want to look for a bottle that mimics the motion, flow and feeling of breastfeeding to avoid...

Best Last Names for First Names

Giving a child a family name has long been a popular tradition. Often boys are named after their fathers or girls after a grandmother or aunt. However, new parents create different trends. Many moms...

Gender Identity: Raising a Transgender Youth

Your child is different. Perhaps he wants to don a dress, or you find him in your shoes and sporting your makeup. Or, maybe it’s the opposite. Maybe your daughter hates everything feminine and acts...

When Parents Aren't on the Same Page

Think back to the time before you became a parent: Maybe you talked with your partner about having children. Yet, your “parenting styles” may not have entered the conversation. Some clinical...