The moment I introduced solids to my son he showed a distinct preference for 'real' food items over pureed and mashed items. Whilst I spent hours steaming, boiling, roasting and mashing some yummy concoctions for my little guy, he'd happily turn his nose up at the proferred items in favour of whatever was on his brothers adjacent plate. He definitely demonstrated that he was a fan of the baby led weaning approach, and so following his lead, we ditched our sloppy offerings for foods that he could hold on to and feed himself with.
Here's a handful of no cook first finger foods that are perfect if you've got an independant infant on your hands too, and want to grab something quick and easy for them to munch on:
1. Banana - you can start with slices of banana for little mouths and progress to giving them half or whole bananas that they can hold themselves, taking small bites of this potassium rich food as they go.
2. Avocado - this creamy fruit make a great first finger food for babies as when sliced it is easy for babies to handle and also great for them to squash up and mash into their mouths. Packed full of 'good fats' for a baby's brain development, these are a wonderful first food.
3. Corn/Rice Cakes - these are particularly handy when you are on the go, and your baby is seeking a quick snack. Seek out corn and rice cakes that are low sodium and more suited for infants.
4. Cheerios (or other suitable baby cereal). Cheerios are a great first finger food as they dissolve well in the mouth and are 100% whole grain oats and packed with iron. Due to their shape and size they are great for helping your child practice picking things up too.
Get ready for some mess
5.Plum - these are a nutrient rich fruit and a natural remedy for constipation. They are high in fibre and make a perfect finger food due to their natural sugars.
6. Cheese - such a great provider of calcuim for babies, and an easy snack to prepare. Cut cheese into strips or slices and your little one can hold these in their hands and munch down on them.
7. Watermelon - this is coming in very handy in my house right now as my youngest is cutting his bottom teeth. By storing watermelon in the fridge, you provide a cooling fruity treat for your infant, which if they are teething will also help to relieve sore gums. As the fruit contains so much water, it can assist with hydration during the summer months too.
8. Crackers - another easy snack for when you are on the go and your infant is hungry. You could finish with cottage cheese for an extra treat that tops up the calcuim levels too.
9. Peach - these are a juicy finger food to give to your baby and can prove particularly handy if your child is prone to constipation as they are a trusted natural laxative. Not only that, but they are packed with vitamins A and C and their natural sweetness will be a winner with kids.
10. Mini Sandwiches. As your child progresses into solids, mini sandwiches on whole grain bread can be a great lunch time offering perfect for when they've mastered biting and chewing. There are so many sandwich fillings to choose from with easy favourites being banana, tuna and avocado, cream cheese and pumpkin and chicken and cream cheese. You can even cut them into shapes for extra fun.
With baby led weaning, or with feeding a baby in general, you should always supervise your baby and even if it's just a snack, you should never leave your baby alone with food. Food is still the most common cause of infant choking.