When it comes to snacking with babies and toddlers (less than 2 years of age), it is easy to get stuck in a rut. It is hard to encourage variety, like I mentioned in the first Baby Bites post, when you have run out of new snack ideas!
The latest Baby Talk Magazine for March shared “33 Fun Finger Foods” with their readers. I thought I would share a few of their ideas and some of my own! Give some of these tasty snacks a whirl!
1. canned black olives (cut and pitted)
2. ripe avocado
3. cubes of seedless watermelon
4. cooked black, chickpeas, and soy beans mashed
5. small squares of tofu
6. homemade cereal/granola bars, broken in to small bits (watch out for nuts)
7. ripe, cut up mango (mix with avocado pieces!!)
8. sweet potato “fries”
9. cubed banana rolled in a puffed rice cereal
10. flakes of cooked, boneless wild Alaskan salmon
11. whole wheat pancakes or waffles topped with jam, pureed baby food, or yogurt
12. whole wheat pita and hummus (cut up)
13. small bits of homemade veggie burgers
14. slivered cherries
15. bran muffin bits
16. soft baked peaches, diced
17. bits of soft baked acorn or butternut squash
18. scrambled egg yolks
19. cooked pasta
20. homemade lentils
Use caution when introducing nut butters, as food allergies can be severe (even life threatening). If nut allergies run in your family, avoid nut butters until the baby is at least 2 years old.
Babies under 1 year of age should not have honey. Honey may have the botulism bacteria, which can make your baby very sick. Babies less than 12 months of age cannot fight off the bacteria very well. Look for honey in the ingredient list of foods you may be giving baby and avoid preparing any foods with honey that you will be sharing with your infant.
Sometimes it is important to introduce foods, not for the health benefits, but for the taste and texture experience. Babies need exposure to foods that wiggle, jiggle, squish, crunch, and munch!
Avoid: whole nuts, raisins or other dried fruit pieces, popcorn, seeds, hot dogs, or hard gummy candy (all choking hazards)
Before age 1, make sure foods are all about the size of a pea or the fingernail of your pinkie finger.
Most importantly? ALWAYS watch your baby when they are eating any kind of finger food. Even if the baby has eaten that food a gazillion times, they can still choke!
QUESTION: What is your baby or tot’s favorite snack? Anything out of the ordinary?