You can usually start giving your baby finger foods around eight or nine months. Finger foods are not only a great way to introduce nutritious snacks, but they also keep babies busy and help them develop their fine motor skills.
To prevent choking, always supervise your baby and start with small, soft foods, such as ripe fruit and soft, cooked vegetables, pasta and meats–all sliced into pieces no larger than 1/4- to 1/2-inch.
Here are some great finger foods to try:
• grated cheese
• “O” shaped cereal or puffed rice cereal
• ripe fruit (bananas, pears, peaches, mango, apricots, plums, papaya)
• cooked veggies (green beans, carrots, peppers, sweet potato, broccoli, asparagus)
• soft pasta, brown rice, lentils
Joanne Saab is a registered dietitian who practices in pediatrics at McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. She is co-author of three books in conjunction with Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children entitled Better Food for Kids, Better Food for Pregnancy and the best-selling Better Baby Food.