When you start solids at around 6 months, you might start the traditional way with purees, or you might go down a more baby led weaning route and serve your baby “whole” finger foods from the get-go. It really doesn't matter which method you choose, there will always be pros and cons for anything parenting related.
If you start with purees, you might like to offer your baby finger foods from around 7-8 months. Bear in mind that initially your baby might struggle to get any actual food in their mouth, it should come with a bit of practice.
Which fingers foods are best?
There really aren’t too many “rules” for feeding your baby but you do want to choose food that is low in salt and sugar, and there’s no need to add extra salt or sugar to your baby’s meals.
Steamed or roasted vegetables (cut into a chip shape so it’s easy for baby to hold)
Grated fruit and vegetables
Baby pikelets (banana + eggs + oats makes an easy pseudo-pancake mixture)
Beef or lentil patties/meatballs
Raw or steamed fruit wedges (Soft fruit can be given raw to baby but any hard fruit, like apples or even pears, will need to be cooked so it’s soft)
This list is certainly not exhaustive but might be enough to get you started, until you find your feet in your new role as snack provider.
Do I have to give my baby finger foods?
We know it’s a messy job and even more disheartening if your baby doesn’t eat what you’ve lovingly prepared. But, it is really important to let your baby practice eating non-smooth foods so they learn about different textures and flavours. Soon enough they’ll be an adventurous little eater swiping food off your plate.
Our tips for keeping mealtimes fun and stress-free:
Keep a packet of WaterWipes next to you so you can clean up the main mess as soon as baby is done. Quickly wipe your child’s face and hands and let them escape to play.
Buy a couple of silicone bibs with a catcher so less food ends up on the floor.
If it’s warm enough, strip your baby down to their nappy or just a singlet to eat. It’s much easier to wipe sticky arms than it is to get pumpkin stains out of sleeves.
WaterWipes are the only wipes made with just water and a drop of fruit extract which makes them the perfect all-purpose wipe for feeding, changing and bathing.