By ten months of age your little one can drink breast milk or organic formula like a pro, and he's probably gotten used to baby foods too, such as organic purees. But, finger food? Well, that's a much newer ballgame and you might be wondering what little bites are best for your baby. Eating new foods and learning to hold onto different sized and shaped goodies are great developmental skills, which is why finger foods are so important. Serving your baby organics right from the start is also important - why give your baby finger foods packed with pesticides? If you've got a new little muncher, you may be wondering what sorts of foods are healthy, yummy, and safe for him. Remember, when introducing new foods you should serve single food items, one-at-a-time to rule out baby food allergies. Following are six Inhabitots-approved healthy and organic finger foods to give your baby.
HAPPYBABY Organic Puffs
Babies can usually start finger foods around 7 to 10 months of age. However, always discuss this with your pediatrician first. Also, at this stage, all finger foods should be cooked and served so they’re soft enough to mash, with any peels and membranes removed, and they should be cut into super-small pea-sized amounts, if your baby is under one year of age. Finger foods that are not served in soft-mashy style, should be snacks that melt easily, such as baby specific cookies, cereal or crackers. Case in point: HAPPYBABY Organic Puffs, the organic melt-in-your-baby’s-mouth puffs, are an excellent finger food choice. Even though these snacks are easy for Baby to eat on his own, you should never leave a baby or young child alone with food. Not even for a second. Babies can choke very quickly. In fact, before you give a baby finger foods, it’s wise to read up on how to prevent a baby from choking, just in case. For more tips on how to prepare safe finger food, we suggest reading, The HappyBaby Book: Organic Guide to Baby’s First 24 Months.
Fresh Organic Avocado
Organic avocados are a great healthy finger food — and a fun one for babies to squish between their fingers. Avocados contain plenty of monounsaturated fats and vitamin E for a healthy heart, tons of folate, and they have more lutein than other fruits, which promotes eye health. You can serve ripe avocados cubed or sliced thin, and cold, room temperature, or warmed slightly. You can even lightly sprinkle avocado pieces with minced cilantro to help encourage a new taste experience for your baby. Other healthy fruits suitable for a baby include organic cubed or sliced bananas, soft sautéed apples, slivers of fresh strawberries and peaches, diced kiwi, very ripe and soft mango, and watermelon cubes.
Earth’s Best Teething Biscuits
Earth’s Best makes their teething biscuits with USDA organic ingredients and zero growth hormones, antibiotics, or steroids. These munch-worthy treats are a good source of calcium and do not contain added salt, sugar, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. The teething biscuits are available in wheat, and a wheat-free barley variety. And remember always brush your baby’s teeth after every snack and meal.
Sweet Potato Sticks
I’ve yet to meet a baby who doesn’t love sweet potatoes. Babies love them mashed or cubed, but for finger food fun, sweet potato sticks are the best bet. Wash and peel a sweet potato, then slice it into thin sticks, about 1/8 inch thick. Place your potatoes on a pan and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil so they won’t stick. Dust lightly with cinnamon and nutmeg. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Allow them to get soft, but not too toasty and crunchy. Cool and serve to your baby. Babies can also have any other sort of potato or yam, cooked soft and cubed or try ultra fun purple mashed potatoes, which not only can be eaten by hand, but are a good intro for spoon use, too.
Organic pasta is a good finger food for babies, especially because you can get pasta in a variety of fun colors and shapes. It’s a high-energy food and most pastas on the market are enriched with healthy vitamins and minerals. Look for whole grain organic pasta wheels or vegetable infused pasta bows or spirals. You can also get rice pasta or protein-packed quinoa pasta to switch it up. When cooking pasta for a baby, make sure to cook it very well and add healthy mix-ins, such as small bits of soft cooked veggies or small bites of organic soy or turkey burger.
Organic soybeans, or edamame, are a healthy finger food choice in moderation for little ones. According to the United Soybean Board, 64 clinical research studies show that soy protein directly lowers cholesterol levels and improves other lipids in children. Soybeans also provide high-quality protein for your child, minus all the icky saturated fat that’s lurking in most meats.
Only serve organic soybeans! Conventional soybeans contribute insane amounts of pesticides to this planet. Plus, it’s estimated that 90% of the soybeans grown in this country are now genetically modified. It’s 100% necessary to buy USDA certified organic soy products, soybeans included. You can find organic soybeans in the freezer section of your local natural grocery store. To serve soybeans, make sure you buy shelled beans, or shell them yourself. Then boil or steam them until they’re cooked very soft and slightly mash them to prevent choking. You can also mix cooked soybeans with crushed pineapple and a dash of ginger – little ones love this!