Last updated on January 24th, 2023 at 05:34 pm
What are the Finger foods: Finger Foods for Picky Toddlers
Your toddler is growing when they are fully ready or prepared to adjust their food type. As a mother, you already noticed that your toddler seems to like “finger foods” and is ready to start one. You must take reasonable measures on the type of finger foods that you would be feeding your toddler. Here we are going to be discussing the best Finger Foods for Picky Toddlers
Hence, you should make sure that they aren’t the “strong” ones but ones that can chew easily with the type of dentition they have at that particular stage of development.
Although for some finger foods, you might have to soak them to get them to become soft, so while assisting them when they are eating, you should make it “ready-made” for your toddler.
Video Credits: Firstcry parenting
The toddler stage and their improved abilities
Your toddler is no longer a “newborn” nor an “infant”. The toddler stage usually spans from age one(1) to four(4) or 12 months to 48 months. They are usually past the stages of newborns and infants because newborns are usually referred to as ” a baby from the first day at birth to about 2 months of age“, while the infants are from the onset of birth to one(1) year old.
Around the Toddler stage, your baby must have started walking, running, jumping, eating solids, carrying light objects, recognizing you and familiar faces, speaking one or two words, showing motor skills, and having impaired cognitive, emotional, and social abilities.
Feeding phase [s] in babies when they are ready to move from purées to soft chunks?
The feeding stages vary following their developmental stages. However, having scaled through from breast milk or formula then to solids and eventually to table foods, this period is usually exciting.
The different phases involved are:
Phase1: Purees (from 4 to 6 months)
Phase 2: Solid inconsistent (from 6 to 9 months)
Phase 3: Soft, chewable chunks (from 10 to 12 months)
There is only the restricted feeding of raw or cooked honey, which is only meant to be consumed by babies up to 12 months, to prevent or avoid the risk of “infantile botulism”.
A pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr Kristen Treegoob, mentioned that ” babies can have any food that is textually appropriate for their developmental feeding stage [s] “.
In conclusion, it is normal for 6 months old to get still pureed, and likewise, it is safe to give both a 6 and 12 months old Peas!
Get to Know More About These Phases!
- Phase 1( 4 to 6 months): usually spans from a period of 4(four) months and 6(six) months. At this particular stage, your baby food should have no chunks whatsoever. Jennifer Thompson, RD. an advanced practice dietitian at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore also added that “formula or breastmilk can be added to pureés to make them thinner”.
Also, a pediatrician at West Bend Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin said that ” The reason we advise introducing solids at 6 months and starting with iron-containing food is that iron stores built up during pregnancy are depleting, and iron is important for infants’ brain development”.
In addition to that, Custer said that babies should “absolutely not” decrease their breastmilk or formula when they kick-start with solids.
- Phase 2 ( 6 to 9 months ): as time goes on, their food becomes solid inconsistency that the Phase 1 pureés. Treegoob advises that this stage is only for those babies who are not quite ready to chew!.
- Phase 3: you can now congratulate your baby has arrived at this “Spoon-feeding” stage. Whereby, some of them might want mom or dad to spoon-feed them while some would prefer doing it themselves, happily!
This is because most of them already have the fine motor skills to self-feed!.
Signs your toddler is ready to “kick-start” finger foods.
Your toddler does not necessarily need to have a lot of teeth to handle the texture of their food type- in such a case; they are good at chewing soft foods very well.
Basically, your baby would let you know that they are ready to eat the “grown-up” foods by crying when you do not give them that moment you are having one or trying to grab them from you.
Characteristic qualities of a good finger food[s]?
The quality characteristic of good finger food is that it has to have a “soft texture”. Therefore, you are to slice it into smaller chunks while serving it for them, for example, diced pasta, small pieces of well-cooked vegetables, such as Carrots, Peas, or Zucchini, and pea-sized bites of soft meat or chicken.
You might also want to add “small unsweetened round cereal and cereal puff” to become a part of their food.
Foods you should avoid feeding your toddler!
Solid foods are now very suitable for your toddler (from ages between 1 and 4 years) because they can chew without any difficulty.
Your child needs to be given foods that supply enough nutrition, growth, good health, and adequate energy for moving, learning and playing. But, by doing so, you need to avoid foods that may cause them to “Choke”. These foods are:
Sticky foods such as peanut butter and Marshmallows
Small-sized hard foods such as seeds, popcorns, nuts, chips, pretzels, raw carrots, and raisins.
Slippery foods like; whole grapes, large pieces of meat, poultry, hot dogs, and also candies.
Always make sure that for every food you feed your toddler, you must cut them into smaller chunks and be there to watch while they are feeding or eating!.
Your child could be allergic to some foods. These foods can be milk, eggs, peanuts, and other forms of nut(s), wheat, fish, soybeans, and she’ll fish.
What to do if your child is allergic to some of these foods?
You should not fret or worry too much; what you have to do is seek medical personnel’s assistance by taking your child to the hospital. Talk with your doctor! Usually, it is certain for most children to grow out of food allergies.
Best finger foods to get in the market for your toddler.
It is usually exciting when going shopping or going to the market. But, just while you are right at it and planning on getting your toddler some finger foods because they had already shown interest in it, you need to be more careful and make sure to get the best for their health.
A few of the best finger foods you can get would be listed below!
Soft beans: a typical soft legume that is perfect for your baby to use for practising their pincer grasp. You can get soft small beans with thick skin, such as pinto beans and black beans.
white and sweet potatoes are usually a great source of starch and dietary fiber to your baby’s finger foods combination. When cooked well enough, they become soft to mash without molars and offer a natural sweetness.
usually flaky and soft, and enriched with Omega- 3 to help enhance your kid’s cognitive development.
perfectly soft when it is well cooked and is usually mildly sweet.
Meats supply proteins when served with veggies like steamed carrots, peas, or corn. Chop it into smaller pieces for them and make sure it is well cooked.
Just an egg would do, and do not forget to scramble. You also don’t need to add any ingredients to it. Eggs are a great protein source.
sweetened steamed corn is the right formula for your baby to practice their pincer grasp.
zucchinis are light examples of vegetables. Soft and diced zucchinis can go with protein and a healthy carbohydrate for a well-rounded meal.
Babies and toddlers who love mildly bitter flavored foods would find Green beans and other bitter vegetables as they grow older. Make sure it is well steamed and chopped for your little one to start enjoying it.
Chopped, soft bananas are also good for your toddler.
A moderate amount of finger foods to serve my toddler
This can only be achieved when it is your toddler who determines it. Although the day-to-day and meal-to-meal appetite may vary, it is a normal routine. The only thing you can do as the mother decides the time, when, and where your child can eat. However, to know the satisfying calculated amount per serving, the following guidelines would help you know how much your toddler should be eating each day!.
Fruits and vegetable Group: at the minimum amount of 5 servings each day.
1/4–1/3 cup cooked, canned, or chopped raw
1/4–1/2 small fruit/vegetable
1/4–1/3 cup juice (limit fruit juice intake to no more than 4 ounces per day)
Meat Group: at the minimum amount of 2 servings each day
1-2 ounces lean meat, chicken, fish
2-4 tablespoons dry beans and peas
Milk Group: at the minimum amount of 3 servings each day
1/2 cup milk or yogurt
1/2–1 ounce of cheese
Note: You do not need to give your toddler low-fat foods
Fat Group: at the minimum amount of 3 to 4 servings each day
1 teaspoon butter oil, margarine, and oils.
Grain Group: at the minimum amount of 6 servings each day
1/4–1/2 slice of bread
1/4–1/3 cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal
1/4–1/2 bun, muffin, or bagel
Healthy Eating Habit You Should Make Your Toddler Embrace for Healthy Growth.
The toddler stage usually needs more attention and grooming, part of which you should be able to make them know that there are “do’s” and “don’t” when eating. When your toddler adopts these healthy feeding habits, there is usually a lesser risk of “choking hazards“, hence the need for learning healthy eating habits.
- Emptying their feeding bottles to make them want to drink water
- Must not eat snacks or meals while watching TV
- Must know how to eat slowly
- Must not tongue-lick plate after finishing a meal.
- Must know when to use a fork and a spoon.
In addition, they should not sleep immediately after having a meal to avoid indigestion.