I need to start feeding my toddler more finger food instead of purees. The only problem is I'm clueless as to what types of finger food are appropriate for a one year old. I see many vague guidelines such as making sure pieces are small/soft enough to avoid choking but I having trouble coming up with a good variety of food that fits that criteria. I was about ready to feed him raisins before I looked them up and saw they were listed as a choking hazard due to stickiness.

So far, my toddler likes banana, tofu, and scrambled egg. (He also likes cheerios but his tongue always thrusts them out so he doesn't actually swallow them.) What are other healthy food options to try?

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asked 23 Apr '10, 00:45

Kiesa's gravatar image

Kiesa ♦
accept rate: 26%

My little guy was never really interested in being spoon-fed, so pretty much every thing he eats is a finger food. :)

You mentioned that your son likes cheerios but is pushing them back out. When I first started giving my son cheerios, I would break them in half. Once he was able to manage half a cheerio, I started giving him whole cheerios. I've recently also starting giving my son Goldfish crackers which you could also break up for your baby if they were too big for him.

Fruits and veggies - Cut into bits - as he gets better at eating finger foods I've been increasing the size of the pieces. But I started out with pieces that were about the size of a cheerio.

  • blueberries (cut into quarters)
  • very ripe Bartlett pears (I experimented with a number of different types of pears to try and find ones that I felt my baby wouldn't choke on. These pears seem to almost melt in your mouth and you can mush them with your tongue or gums easily. Sometimes I give him a whole, peeled Bartlett pear. He can't get a very big bite and mostly scrapes bits of pear off with his teeth and gums. It is very funny to watch and he loves having the whole fruit to play with.)
  • kiwi
  • orange (I peel the inner skin off the segments and then break the segment into pieces for him. It's bit of work, but he really likes it!)
  • very ripe pineapple
  • very ripe cantaloupe
  • avocado
  • cooked carrots
  • cooked sweet potatoes
  • cooked brocoli (broken up into little "trees")

I also like to give him bread with different things spread on it. I break the bread into bite-sized pieces. Here are some things I've spread on bread for him:

  • yogurt
  • fruit smoothies
  • guacamole (I make a baby friendly version with mashed avocado, lime juice, garlic powder and onion powder.)
  • hummus
  • mashed peas
  • thinly sliced or shredded cheese (Cheese sticks nicely on top of guacamole, hummus and mashed peas.)

Fish, such as salmon, is easy to break into bite-sized pieces. I also break bits of roast chicken into little pieces for him (you can kind of shred the chicken with your fingers or a fork if you are worried he won't chew it well enough).

That's a few ideas! Over time, I've found ways to make almost any food into a finger food. I always test a couple pieces of the finger foods before I give them to my baby to make sure that it is easy to chew.

Good luck!

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answered 23 Apr '10, 03:13

cat_g's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

I also found ways of turning most food into finger food.

(23 Apr '10, 04:34) K D

I read that most fish is not recommended until 2 years of age. I would at least try to stick to sweetwater fish, as most sea fish has high levels of heavy metals (I can search for a source if needed)

(23 Apr '10, 12:48) brandstaetter

Thanks for the wonderful ideas!

(23 Apr '10, 13:08) Kiesa ♦

Oh, and a question. For the bread, do you have to cut it up into little bits first or is it okay to just give him a slice?

(23 Apr '10, 13:32) Kiesa ♦

@Kiesa I cut it into bits before giving it to our baby. But one of my friends whose son is almost a year gives him the whole slice. I think it depends on if your baby is the kind of guy who likes to shove the whole thing in at once or who will take bites. My baby still tries to push the whole slice into his mouth so I give him smaller pieces so he won't choke.

(23 Apr '10, 13:48) cat_g

@brandstaetter I have also read that you should avoid fish that are high in heavy metals such as tuna. But I have read that fish such as salmon and rainbow trout are safe for babies and can be introduced early. I don't have a source handy, but I have read that the omega fatty acids in fish are great for babies developing brains.

(23 Apr '10, 13:54) cat_g
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

Some of things I remember giving my kids were (Most of these ideas came from a NZ book called "Alison holst baby food and beyond": chopped soft fruit, Dried fruit bread stick's sandwiches (in addition to ideas above I used pate and middle eastern type dips) grated cheese, cooked pasta - no sauce grilled cheese on toast cooked carrot and broccoli and beans,cucumber, peas, Chicken nuggets, Frittata with vegetables - chopped into pieces, hard boiled egg, Pancakes soft cold meats

I was amazed how much they could eat without many teeth.

The other things I would add is if you put too many different things on the plate you often find that the kids wont try everything. I would only put three different things on at time and give more once they have eaten that.

You probably do this but I at first I would make sure I am nearby when they have finger food in case they do have trouble chewing something.

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answered 23 Apr '10, 03:24

K%20D's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

edited 23 Apr '10, 04:39

Finger foods our daughter loved and still does are:

cut up fruit: blueberries, bananas, peaches/nectarines, quatered grapes
puffed wheat
baby mum mums
Nutrigrain bars
Shredded or cut up pieces of cheese
Cheerios -I give her the multigrain variety, I find they taste a bit better
Rice Crispies
Toast cut into fingers -sometimes I would add smooth almond butter

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answered 23 Apr '10, 13:40

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦
accept rate: 18%

baby mum mums ROCK!!

(23 Apr '10, 14:33) Lin

My daughter loved them in the first year. Since she started eating food with more taste, she's not as much of a fan, she'd rather tastier crackers like whole wheat vegetable thins.

(23 Apr '10, 15:13) Tammy ♦♦

My two both loved cucumber (peeled to start, then with peel once they were able to bite/chew better), cherry tomatoes (cut up into halves/quarters to start, progressively moving to whole), and, surprisingly, dill pickles. My daughter (now 5) has since stopped eating tomatoes, but still loves cucumber and pickles. My son (now almost 3) loves all three still, with tomatoes probably being his favourite.

They were both also big on breads and crackers (often spread with cream cheese, but also plain), and on the sweeter side graham crackers were always a big hit.

My son has always loved (and still does) any type of fruit. To start, we were only giving him soft ones (bananas, berries, melon, ripe pear, etc.), but it didn't really take him long to progress to the harder ones (especially apple, which is his favourite fruit). We just had to make sure those ones were cut up a bit smaller than we would otherwise cut up softer fruits.

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answered 23 Apr '10, 16:47

Clark's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Nutrigrain/Fruit and cereal bars (not to be confused with granola bars) were favorites with my kids as well as cinnamon graham crackers

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answered 23 Apr '10, 03:13

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

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Asked: 23 Apr '10, 00:45

Seen: 5,916 times

Last updated: 23 Apr '10, 16:47