20 easy finger foods for babies

If you feel like you're running out of baby mealtime ideas, check out our list of chunkier finger foods in soft, easy-to-gum textures.

Photo: Erik Putz

Parents often instinctively shred food into teeny-tiny pieces when their babies are first trying self-feeding at six months—probably because they’re afraid of choking. But when infants start solids, they typically only have a palmar grasp—the reflexive closing of their hand around an object—and haven’t developed their pincer grip yet. This means smaller pieces can be way too frustrating for them to pick up. They actually need food prepared in larger chunks. A first, serve things that are about the size and shape of an apple slice or potato wedge; try to make pieces about two fingers wide (about one inch wide and three inches long).

To start, the consistency should be soft and easily mashable between their tongue and the roof of their mouth. (Babies don’t need teeth for this!) By the time your infant develops their pincer grip—around eight to 10 months—more shredded pieces, smaller items and ground textures will work well. Here are 20 finger foods for baby in varying shapes and textures:

Steamed broccoli

Leave enough stem on your broccoli pieces to act as a handle.

Steamed broccoli in a yellow flower-shaped cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Roasted sweet potato

Don’t overcrowd your sweet potato wedges on the pan or they’ll end up soggy and too floppy to grasp.

strips of roasted sweet potato
Photo: Erik Putz

Baked salmon

Salmon is an easy fish to flake into pieces perfect for little fingers.

Chunks of cooked salmon in a green cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Banana

Try rolling slippery foods in chia seeds or baby cereal for added grip.

a piece of banana dipped in ground chia seeds in a teal cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Omelette strips

After omelette strips, you can try serving chunks of scrambled or hard-boiled eggs. 

Strips of omelette in an orange cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Mango

Make sure your mango is ripe enough for gumming, but not so ripe it’s hard to hold.

Strips of mango in a green cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Roasted red peppers

Roasted peppers are sweet and loaded with Vitamin C.

Strips of roasted red pepper in a lime-green cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Steamed peas

It may take a few months before baby’s pincer grip kicks in and they’re able to pick up single peas.

green peas in a blue cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Toast strips

Let your baby try peanut butter spread thinly on easy-to-pick-up toast soldiers.

Toast strips with nut butter in a teal cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Cucumber spears

Aim for chunks similar in size to a potato wedge.

cucumber sticks in a flower-shaped pink cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Tofu cubes

Balance out a flavourful fruit or veggie with protein-packed tofu cubes.

Cubes of tofu in a teal cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Pancake strips

There are plenty of healthy pancake recipes to try; you can even use baby cereal. (Try making a batch and freezing the leftovers.)

Strips of pancake in a pink cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Shredded cheese

Serve cheese in moderation. Processed cheeses (like cheese strings or cheese singles) contain a lot of sodium and additives.

Shredded cheddar cheese in a pink cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Pasta

The ridges on fusilli-shaped pasta are easier to grasp.

Cooked fusilli pasta in a lime-green flower-shaped cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Sliced strawberries

You don’t have to wait to introduce strawberries.

sliced strawberries in a blue cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Avocado

Soft avocado can also benefit from added grip in the form of baby cereal or chia seeds.

avocado spears in a pink cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Shredded chicken

You can also switch it up by making easy-to-pick-up ground-chicken meatballs.

Shredded chicken in a blue heart-shaped cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Chickpeas

Once your baby is closer to a year old, pop open a can of chickpeas and rinse. You can serve them raw or roasted. (If you’re concerned about choking, smush each pea a bit.)

chickpeas in a star-shaped blue cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Rice balls

Try forming steamed rice into little balls to make it a slightly less messy finger food. (Serve white rice in moderation; brown rice is better.)

three rice balls in a red silicone cup
Photo: Erik Putz

Puff snacks

These packaged supermarket puffs are great for on-the-go snacking. (Check the label for the age recommendations.)

a pink bowl of baby puff snacks
Photo: Erik Putz

Read more:
Is baby-led feeding different from baby-led weaning?
3 things that aren’t actually signs your baby is ready for solids

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