Finger foods can be started when your baby sits up without assistance, is beginning to cruise, and has developed the pincer reflex, in which he pinches objects between his thumb and pointer fingers.
Once your toddler gets his molars, you can broaden the array of finger foods. No molars yet? Start with such foods as:
- Carrots (cooked until soft)
- Teething cookies/crackers
- Pasta (spirals, macaroni or cut up spaghetti)
- Anything else soft
When your toddler gets his molars, you can move to a bigger variety of finger foods such as:
- Chicken nuggets, hot dogs, other meats (quarter and slice hot dogs to prevent choking)
- Grapes (quarter and slice the grapes to prevent choking)
- Apples, pears, and other fruits
- Broccoli, green beans, peas, etc…
Be sure to cut up his foods in bite size portions to prevent choking. Finger foods are a great way to give your toddler some practice in self feeding. Once he starts the stage where he can handle various finger foods, he may develop more independence and refuse certain foods he once ate. Welcome to toddlerhood! He will outgrow this stage too.