Jonah’s meals are now almost all finger foods. I’ve been on a hunt to find finger foods suitable for infants Jonah’s age. He is not quite to the point of eating everything that the rest of the family eats, but he no longer wants to be spoon fed. Here are two recipes that I’ve come up with for baby-friendly finger foods.
Chicken and Carrot Bites:
dark meat chicken such as drumsticks, with the skin on
carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
rice cereal (the instant, for this recipe)
milk, breast milk, or water
Bake the chicken at 350 F until it is cooked thoroughly. You want the chicken to be cooked through, but be careful not to overcook it, as you’ll be baking it again later. Place the chopped carrots into a bowl and cover with water. Place in the microwave for about five minutes, or until tender. Remove the cooked chicken meat from the bone, discarding the skins. Place meat and carrots into a food processor, and process into a coarse mixture. Add milk, breast milk, or the cooking water from the carrots (regular water will do if you’ve thrown that away) to make smooth. Add rice cereal until mixture is sticky. You want it to be the consistency of meatballs.
Roll the mixture into tiny, bite-sized balls (remember, bite-sized for your baby, not what an adult would see as bite sized!) Bake at 350 F for about 12 minutes, or until the balls firm up. Be careful not to overcook or they will become too tough for your little one.
These freeze well. I make a lot of them all at once and divide meal-sized portions into small Ziploc bags for freezing. Then when meal time rolls around, I can just remove a bag of them, re-heat, and dinner is ready. I am sorry that there are no measurements, I just kind of go by the texture and how many I want to make. You can substitute any kind of vegetable, like broccoli or asparagus but you might need to change how much of the cereal or liquids that you add.
Infant French Toast:
One slice whole grain bread
two egg yolks
2 oz breast milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp unsalted butter, or other “non-stick” substitute such as PAM
Whisk egg yolks, milk, and cinnamon together until well combined. Place the bread into the egg mixture, coating it on both sides. In a skillet, melt the butter. Place the bread into the skillet and brown on both sides.
Egg yolks are a great source of protein at a young age, but egg whites can cause allergies. Make sure to talk to your pediatrician before offering eggs or products containing eggs. If your child has had milk products, then use cow’s milk rather than breast milk if you would rather. Although Jonah has been on formula for quite some time now, until recently I have used breast milk in just about all of his meals.