Try these healthy baby finger food recipes and ideas to encourage your baby to self-feed. Baby finger food does not have to come from a box of cereal or a tube of puffs. Please keep in mind that your baby should only be offered finger foods that are soft, easily mashed, and age appropriate. Read our tips and hints for offering your baby finger foods and learn about the developmental readiness needed for your baby to enjoy baby finger foods.
Finger foods can be any foods that you wish to serve to your baby as long as the foods are age appropriate.
Did You Know? Your baby does not need teeth to chew. Babies use their gums to mash until their molars appear between 12-18 months of age.
Fruit Finger Food Ideas
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Baby Finger Food Recipe Ideas – Not your regular finger foods for baby
Some of these recipes are suitable for babies who are 6-8 months of age and have had the ingredients listed. Please use your judgement when offering your little one finger foods!
Apple Turkey Loaf/Sticks
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 whole egg or 2 egg yolks, beaten
- 1/2 cup pureed carrots
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup unprocessed natural wheat or oat bran
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- pinch of basil
- pinch of garlic powder
Step 1: Place ground turkey in a large mixing bowl.
Step 2: Add the egg/yolk, carrots, applesauce, spices, bread crumbs and bran.
Step 3: Mix well – If this mixture appears too dry, add more carrots or applesauce. If this mixture appears too wet, add more bran and/or bread crumbs
Step 4: Place mix into a lightly oiled (olive oil) loaf pan and bake at 350F for approx. 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. **You may wish to cover with foil to prevent the top from burning
Step 5: When finished baking and cooled, remove loaf from pan and slice as you would for bread. Break into small bits for finger feeding or mash or chop gently
This recipe may also be made into “Turkey Sticks” for Toddlers and older babies who are able to handle more textured/chunky finger foods.
Cook the ground turkey separately, add the other ingredients and puree
Homemade Chicken or Turkey Nuggets
- 5 uncooked, thin turkey breast cutlets (you could use a pound of boneless and skinless chicken breasts)
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup wheat germ (raw)
- 1 egg (you may omit the egg if you wish, see directions below)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- spice mix: sage, thyme, pepper
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Step 2: Dice or cut the turkey into small chunks and grind in a food processor.
Step 3: Mix the spices together using equal portions; I always measure my spices in shakes and I used 1 shake of each.
Step 4: Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until nicely combined – If you have decided to not use the egg, add 1 tablespoon of water.
Step 5: Shape mixture into nuggets or logs or anything you please, be sure your hands are moist (dip them into a bowl of water) so that the nuggets will stay together!
Sweet Potato Fries
- 6 medium to large sweet potatoes
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F)
Step 2: Scrub sweet potatoes, clean and/or peel them if baby cannot handle the skins
Step 3: Cut the sweet potatoes into sizes that will suit your needs or, cut into strips that you may then cut down after baking
Step 4: In a large bowl, add about 1/4 cup of olive oil.
Step 5: To this you may add cinnamon, ginger, a pinch of brown sugar, etc.. (I add cinnamon and sometimes a bit of brown sugar).
Step 6: Toss the cut up sweet potatoes into the bowl and stir so that the potatoes are drenched with the olive oil mix.
Step 7: Dump mixture onto a baking sheet and drizzle the remaining olive oil in the bowl over the potatoes on the baking sheet. Stir and swirl the potatoes on the baking sheet before placing in oven. Bake for approx 30-45minutes or until tender.
The skins may become crispy but the actual potato “meat” will not. They will be a bit mushy like. These will not look or bake up like regular white potato French Fries so don’t be alarmed.
This is the basic way to make sweet potato fries so feel free to improvise as much as you want!
Tofu Finger Cubes
- 1 Package Firm Tofu
- Crushed/Powdered Cereal, Crackers, Granola or Wheat Germ
- Herbs and/or spices if desired
Step 1: Slice tofu into small cubes that are manageable for your baby.
Step 2: Crush up some Cheerios or graham crackers (or similar crunchy cereals/crackers). Add the optional spices at this point.
Step 3: Toss tofu in a Ziploc bag with your crushed cereal/crackers.
Step 4: Close bag and toss to thoroughly coat tofu cubes.
Serve these tofu finger cubes as finger food for a snack, or as the protein source at a meal.
- 1 package firm tofu
- 1/4 cup flour (more or less)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup fine dry bread or cracker crumbs (mixtures are fun)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 dash or a few grinds of pepper
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Step 2: Cut tofu into your favorite configuration (my toddlers like fingers)
Step 3: Spread flour on a small plate or flat dish
Step 4: Beat egg yolks in a shallow dish
Step 5: Mix remaining ingredients in shallow dish
Step 6: Coat each piece of tofu in the flour to cover, then into the egg, then crumbs, and then to the rack. Tip: Chilling will help to set the coating, but you can just bake it right away if you prefer.
Step 7: Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until crisp
(Optional) Serve with a dipping sauce like pureed sweet potato or pureed peaches.
Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese Nuggets
This recipe is suitable for babies who can handle texture and mash foods with their gums. It’s great for moms and dads, too!
- 1 16-oz package frozen broccoli, cooked, drained, and chopped
- 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (you could try using baby cereal if you want, as we know it works well with “baby meatballs“)
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (use real cheese, not a “processed cheese food” product)
- 3 large eggs or 5 egg yolks (substitute eggs with fruit or veggie puree if desired)
- Olive oil, to coat baking sheet
Note: Most pediatricians say it’s OK to use whole egg in a baked good when baby is over 8-9 months old without allergies. We would recommend that you substitute 5 egg yolks for the whole eggs if serving this to those under 1 year old. As with introducing any new foods to your baby, ask YOUR pediatrician.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Step 2: Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside
Step 3: Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well. Add a fruit or veggie puree to substitute for the eggs if desired.
*Optional: Add seasonings like garlic powder, pepper, extra basil, or oregano if you prefer.
Step 4: Shape mixture into nuggets or fun shapes such as squares or fingers and place on baking tray.
Step 5: Bake for 20 to 25 minutes then turn nuggets over after 15 minutes.
Serve warm. Be sure to crumble these if your baby needs smaller pieces to pick up.
Mini Banana Pancakes (courtesy of Elaine)
- 1 or 2 ripe bananas (not overly-ripe or mushy bananas)
- Pancake batter (try Hodgson Mills Buckwheat Pancake Mix)
Step 1: Slice bananas diagonally or into coins
Step 2: Coat bananas with pancake batter
Step 3: Lightly fry in pan until golden brown
Serve these mini banana pancakes as baby finger foods for a snack, or at breakfast time.
HINT: Want to see the banana pancakes up close? Check out our blog post here!
Easy Brazilian Fried Bananas
(you may use plantains as well)
- 1 or 2 bananas
- 1 Tablespoon butter
Step 1: Peel a banana and slice it in half lengthwise
Step 2: Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a small frying pan and melt the butter
Step 3: Place banana “inside” side down in the butter in the pan
Step 4: Fry for approximately 5 minutes, then turn them over gently (bananas will get very soft and may break apart)
Step 5: Fry for 5 more minutes until both sides turn golden brown
Step 6: Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (or leave out the sugar and just sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon). Remove from pan and serve warm.
If it’s appropriate for your baby’s age/stage, you may also sauté onion and tomato first, then add the banana/plantain to this dish for a Caribbean flair—just leave out the cinnamon/sugar.
These wonton snacks are most suitable for ages 10-12 months and up due to possible texture issues. Chop and dice them up if you wish to serve them to 8-10 month old babies.
Buy wonton wrappers and fill them with various things. Examples include:
- Bananas & cream cheese: Fill wontons, wrap shut, brush with butter and dust with date sugar
- Broccoli & cheddar: Fill wontons, wrap shut, brush with butter
- Eggplant & ricotta: Chop up eggplant, mix with ricotta, wrap them shut and brush with butter
Use your imagination and your child’s favorite foods as fillings.
These may be fried or baked. For those that may not be able to handle harder/rougher textures, these do not need to be cooked until crisp as a typical wonton would. Bake them at 350F for about 15 minutes.
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Salt and sugar are never needed when making baby food. Omit these items, preferably at ALL times, in your baby’s meals. Other spices such as cinnamon, garlic powder, pepper etc. may be introduced as early as 7 months with your pediatricians consult.
Read Grating Foods for Baby for more ideas on how to create baby finger foods.