Top 10 Finger Foods for Babies and Toddlers
We’ve teamed up today with Heinz to bring you some yummy homemade finger food ideas. Head over to their Facebook page or website for more great ideas and information on their new range of flavours and nutritious recipes – they’ve been developed with Mums who are also nutritionists – we think that has to be the best of both worlds!
There is simply nothing better than feeding your child wholesome baby food. In particular babies and toddlers over 8 months of age love finger foods. With both of my children, once they started grabbing the spoon from my hand to feed themselves, I figured it was just as messy to keep trying wrestle the spoon away from them, and instead introduced them to the joys of finger food.
It’s a great way to start learning about different textures and work on their fine motor skills. Keep in mind that you can use baby food products to add a bit of interest and variety to finger food, we’ve provided a few examples below. We’d love to hear your ideas too!
Banana – to start with, try it chopped into half-moon pieces. Tasty, sweet, but no nasties, this is one pretty much every kid will love. Once they have mastered the art of slippery banana holding, as a treat, another option is to squeeze some of the Heinz Choc Cherry Coconut Custard on the side to dip into.
Avocado – ok, so it’s slippery and messy, but it’s also creamy and not strong in flavour and full of lots of good fats, perfect for little growing bodies.
Grilled Lamb – try small lamb cutlets, they have handles to hold onto!
Chicken Strips – pop a chicken breast between two sheets of baking paper and bash with a rolling pin until just under 1cm thick. Then cook on a non-stick pan or if you have a sandwich press or George Foreman until cooked through and the juices run clear. Cut into strips for easy gripping.
Cruskits – served with a special wholesome spread. Mix together 250gm of spreadable cream cheese with a pouch of Heinz Chicken, Sweet Corn and Mango purée and 1 teaspoon of finely chopped coriander. Tip for the grownups – add some keens curry and you’ll be happily snacking too!
Pasta spirals with grated cheese – try wholemeal pasta.
Blueberries or Peas – both of these are great for developing those fine motor skills – these may end up rolling around on the floor but they are full of goodness and fun to eat!
Frozen Yoghurt Drops – perfect for using up the last of a tub of yoghurt (and any leftover purée). Spoon into a piping bag (or a ziplock bag and snip off the corner) and pipe onto a sheet of baking paper laid out on a tray. Pop into the freezer. Once solid, transfer to an airtight container and store in freezer. These are perfect for sore gums when teething too, give only a couple at a time as they tend to melt fast. Try it with the Heinz Apple, Blueberry & Strawberry fruit purée and a natural yoghurt. I must admit, I steal these from the kids – super yummy!
Veggie Nuggets – recipe below
Veggie Nuggets (makes 30 nuggets)
- 250g of frozen cauliflower and broccoli florets – steamed/microwaved until just cooked
- 1 jar of Heinz Pumpkin, Corn, Broccoli & Quinoa baby food
- ½ clove of garlic (minced or finely chopped)
- 1 ¼ cup of breadcrumbs – try multigrain for extra texture
- 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
- 1 egg
- Cracked pepper and herbs of your choice to taste – I add a small handful of baby spinach, and a teaspoon each of basil and parsley.
The How To
- Preheat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius and line an oven tray with baking paper.
- Use a stick mixer or food processor to whiz up your cooked vegies, garlic and herbs/spinach (if adding). Otherwise very finely chop them.
- Combine with all other ingredients in a bowl and mix well. The mix will be quite wet.
- Take a tablespoon of mixture and using your hands, shape into a nugget about 1cm thick.
- Pop onto your tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking.