It's much easier when kids and toddlers can feed themselves. And that's what finger food is for. So here's the perfect list of quick, easy, healthy, and delicious finger foods for toddlers.
Healthy Kids Food
Whether you've started feeding your child purees or did baby led weaning from the start, there's a point where finger food becomes one of the main ways of feeding.
And not only because it's easier for us parents to let our children feed themselves, but also because it's a great way for toddlers to develop their oral-motor skills.
Finger food is basically any food prepared for the child that they can feed themselves without cutlery. (For How to teach your child to use cutlery read this.)
Apart from wanting to serve toddler food in a way that's easy for them to grab, hold, chew, and swallow you'd also want to include some variety to toddler finger food and keep serving some healthy, fresh, and nutritious meals.
That is why this list is valuable.
- Healthy Kids Food
- Finger Food For Toddlers
- When Can Kids Start Eating Finger Food?
- How To Serve Finger Food To Kids
- Finger Food For Todders: Grains
- Finger Food For Todders: Fruit
- Finger Food For Todders: Vegetables
- Finger Food For Todders: Protein (Meat, Eggs, Poultry, Fish, Legumes)
- Finger Food For Todders: Milk and Dairy Products
Finger Food For Toddlers
And when you get the hang of mixing and matching different ones you'll soon have yourself a huge list of finger foods for kids and toddlers that you can make in no time.
So we're here to help you get started.
The list is based on kids that have mastered the pincer grasp so from around 9 - 10 months of age.
When Can Kids Start Eating Finger Food?
Right from the start. Really. Teeth or no teeth. When it comes to children and finger food you can start serving them as soon as your baby has started solids. The trick is to know how to serve them by age.
How To Serve Finger Food To Kids
For babies younger than 9 months you'd want to serve food cut into longer, thinner sticks since they're probably still picking things up with their palm ("palmar grasp"). This is called baby-led weaning.
You'd want to also avoid serving raw veggies, round stuff like blueberries or chickpeas or grapes, and sticky blobs like peanut butter chunks. These could all be choking hazards.
At around 9 months of age you'll probably notice that your baby is starting to pick up thinks with their thumb and finger which is called the "pincer grasp". So now would be a good time to start serving baby finger food diced or cut up into small pieces (the size of a pinky fingernail).
But still making sure that foods are mashable between your fingers.
As your baby becomes a toddler, keep serving foods that are easy to chew, mashable between your fingers, and cut into small pieces.
If you notice that your toddler is stuffing things in his mouth and swallowing before chewing then start cutting food into even smaller pieces and serving smaller amounts.
Finger Food For Todders: Grains
- Blueberry Oat Cakes
- Banana Bread
- Black and White Muffins
- Banana Spinach Pancakes
- Easy sheet Pan Pancakes
- Whole-grain crackers
- Whole-grain toast or bread
- Whole grain pasta, cut up
Finger Food For Todders: Fruit
- Sliced single fresh fruit (e.g. apple, banana, berries, kiwi, mango, orange, pear, pineapple etc.)
- Dried fruit (cut up to size of your pinky fingernail for younger toddlers and kids)
- Fruit salad
How To Serve Fruit As Finger Food
- Apples and Pears: cooked with skin removed until 8 months of age; soft varieties grated or cut into sticks/diced until about 2 years of age; whole apples after 2 years of age
- Bananas: peeled and cut into longer sticks until 9 months of age; cut into coins and halves until about 18 months; whole bananas after 18 months
- Berries: cut into quarters under 1 year of age; cut into halves under 4 years; whole rounds after 4 years of age (this depends on the size of the berry)
- Clementines and Oranges: cut membrane under the age of 2; whole segments after the age of 2
- Pineapple, Mango, Kiwi: cut into thin, long sticks under the age of 9 - 10 months, diced after the age of 1 year
- Avocado: sliced into longer thin slices under the age of 9 months; diced afterwards
Finger Food For Todders: Vegetables
- Baked Cheesy Broccoli Vegetable bites
- Baked broccoli or cauliflower florets
- Cooked or steamed brussels sprouts
- Roasted sweet potato, pumpkin or squash
- Sliced fresh veggies (e.g. avocado, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumber) with dips
- Zucchini Cake (my toddler loooved this one so much)
- Quinoa Vegetable muffins
- Vegetable Mozarella omelette
How To Serve Veggies As Finger Food
- Broccoli: steamed, baked or cooked florets and cut into smaller pieces under the age of 18 months; whole steamed, baked or cooked florets afterwards
- Carrots: cooked cut into long thin slices under the age of 9 months; cooked and diced after the age of 9 - 10 months; between 2 and 4 years raw carrots cut into thin slices
- Cauliflower: steamed, baked or cooked florets and cut into smaller pieces under the age of 18 months; whole steamed, baked or cooked florets afterwards
- Pumpkin: steamed, cooked, baked or roasted and cut into long thin slices under the age of 9 months; steamed, cooked, baked or roasted and diced after the age of 9 - 10 months
- Squash: steamed, cooked, baked or roasted and cut into long thin slices under the age of 9 months; steamed, cooked, baked or roasted and diced after the age of 9 - 10 months
- Sweet Potato: steamed, cooked, baked or roasted and cut into long thin slices under the age of 9 months; steamed, cooked, baked or roasted and diced after the age of 9 - 10 months
Finger Food For Todders: Protein (Meat, Eggs, Poultry, Fish, Legumes)
- Cooked chickpeas (make sure it is soft so not a choking hazard)
- Grilled meat cut into long thin sticks or diced depending on age
- Baked salmon, shredded or diced (depending on age)
- Hard-boiled eggs cut up
- Shredded meat like poultry (turkey, chicken)
- Sliced veggies or whole-grain crackers with hummus
Finger Food For Todders: Milk and Dairy Products
- Broccoli Cheesecake
- Cheese, sliced or cubed
- Cheesy broccoli bites
- Mozzarella sticks
- Yogurt Berry Bark snack (chop the berries into smaller pieces for younger toddlers)
These healthy baby and toddler finger food examples are here for you take note of and mix and match to your liking. Or serve as singe snack or meal. You can always take a few examples and bring them together for a perfect main meal for the whole family.
Check out these also:
- Starting Solids - How To Transition To Finger Foods
- 6 Ultimate Baby-Led Weaning Tools
- Choking Hazards And How To Avoid Them