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Healthy First Finger Foods

When our daughter first began eating finger foods, it was as if a whole new world opened up. Suddenly, we could give her table food! Not just a teeny tiny bite that even a mouse couldn?t taste, but an actual little bit of food that she could eat on her own.

Each time we?d sit down to a meal, we?d cut off a corner of some of the foods we were eating, and put the slivers on her high chair tray. Some went down easily and happily ? like bananas and, oddly, ground red meats. Others were a bit of a struggle, or ended up getting spit back out or pushed to the side of her mouth (like green peppers and lettuce). Eventually, we learned which foods were her favorites and which ones to try again with later.

Here are five healthy first finger foods for toddlers just learning to eat them. Remember to cut things up small, or smash them, to reduce the risk of baby choking. Also keep a glass of water handy.

  1. Cooked vegetables (hold the salt) ? Cooked veggies, preferably steamed to maintain the most nutrients, are great first finger foods. Try sweet potatoes, carrots and peas.
  2. Corn on the cob ? When baby is ready, he or she can hold onto the cob of corn and take bites from it. We loved this because it slowed our daughter down (she had to work for each bite!) so she couldn?t stuff too much in her mouth at once.
  3. Crackers ? Whole grain crackers, graham crackers and baby crackers are all tasty treats for baby.
  4. Fresh fruits and vegetables ? Try giving your child what is currently in season ? such as small bits of peaches, pears, bananas or other soft fruits.
  5. Steamed or cooked fish ? Salmon is especially nutritious, but other low-mercury fish, such as cod or trout, also offer health benefits.

What?s your favorite finger food to give your child?


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