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Great First Finger Foods

It’s a good idea to offer finger foods alongside your baby’s first purées, since they will help her to develop the skills she needs to feed herself. They’ll also accustom her to different textures and tastes.

Try:

  • Steamed vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower

  • Graham crackers

  • Lightly toasted bread fingers

  • Melba toast

  • Miniature rice cakes

  • Very well-cooked pasta shapes

  • Chunks of tuna or poached chicken

  • Chunks of banana

  • Apple slices or chunks of mango or pear (soft-cooked or canned)

  • Peeled, sliced apricots

  • Peach slices

  • Soft blueberries, halved and peeled

  • Seedless grapes, peeled and cut in quarters to prevent choking

Finger foods under supervision

Watch your baby carefully while she eats finger foods, since they can cause her to gag and choke. Encourage her to cough to expel the offending food. Try not to panic in her presence; you want your baby to associate mealtimes and food with pleasure and fun, not an anxious mom!

Ideal Family Meals

It’s a good idea to get your baby accustomed to eating family food early on so she learns to enjoy the taste, and also feels part of the social experience of eating as a family. Be aware, however, that salt must not be added to food intended for babies under one year of age.

Suggestions for family meals that can be puréed:

  • Poached or steamed chicken with garden herbs (anything goes), mashed potatoes, and green vegetables

  • Hearty root-vegetable soup

  • Lightly steamed cod with spinach and new potatoes

  • Meatballs in a light tomato sauce with noodles or rice—if you grind the meat finely and make small meatballs, she can eat them as finger food

  • Sweet potato, carrot, and ginger soup

  • Broccoli, leek, and cauliflower bake

  • Dahl—this Indian staple will introduce her to a number of fragrant spices, and is ideal for babies if you run it through the blender first

  • Fishcakes with avocado salad—form her “cakes” into firm balls (make sure all of the bones are removed) before baking or lightly frying; her avocado can be puréed (skip the traditional squirt of lime—babies under one year should not eat citrus)

  • Shepherd’s pie, with a creamy mashed-potato topping

  • Fish pie with mashed-potato topping

  • Oatmeal with fresh fruit purée (give hers an extra spin in the blender and use her usual milk to thin)

  • Chicken and vegetable casserole

  • Chicken poached with apricots, sweet potato, and grapes, and served with rice for the family

  • Peach and apricot compôte—serve yours with fresh yogurt, and hers with a little extra water as her own delicious dessert

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