Finger food meal ideas for baby

20 easy finger foods for baby

If you feel like you're running out of baby mealtime ideas, check out our list of chunkier finger foods in soft, easy-to-gum textures.

Parents often instinctively shred food into teeny-tiny pieces when their babies are first trying self-feeding at six months—probably because they’re afraid of choking. But when infants start solids, they typically only have a palmar grasp—the reflexive closing of their hand around an object—and haven’t developed their pincer grip yet. This means smaller pieces can be way too frustrating for them to pick up. They actually need food prepared in larger chunks. When starting to prepare finger foods for baby, first serve things that are about the size and shape of an apple slice or potato wedge; try to make pieces about two fingers wide (about one inch wide and three inches long).

To start, the consistency should be soft and easily mashable between their tongue and the roof of their mouth. (Babies don’t need teeth for this!) By the time your infant develops their pincer grip—around eight to 10 months—more shredded pieces, smaller items and ground textures will work well.  Here are 20 finger foods for baby in varying shapes and textures:

Steamed broccoli

Leave enough stem on your broccoli pieces to act as a handle.

Photo: Erik Putz

Roasted sweet potato

Don’t overcrowd your sweet potato wedges on the pan or they’ll end up soggy and too floppy to grasp.

Photo: Erik Putz

Baked salmon

Salmon is an easy fish to flake into pieces perfect for little fingers.

Photo: Erik Putz


Try rolling slippery foods in chia seeds or baby cereal for added grip.

Photo: Erik Putz

Omelette strips

After omelette strips, you can try serving chunks of scrambled or hard-boiled eggs. 

Photo: Erik Putz


Make sure your mango is ripe enough for gumming, but not so ripe it’s hard to hold.

Photo: Erik Putz

Roasted red peppers

Roasted peppers are sweet and loaded with Vitamin C.

Photo: Erik Putz

Steamed peas

It may take a few months before baby’s pincer grip kicks in and they’re able to pick up single peas.

Photo: Erik Putz

Toast strips

Let your baby try peanut butter spread thinly on easy-to-pick-up toast soldiers.

Photo: Erik Putz

Cucumber spears

Aim for chunks similar in size to a potato wedge.

Photo: Erik Putz

Tofu cubes

Balance out a flavourful fruit or veggie with protein-packed tofu cubes.

Photo: Erik Putz

Pancake strips

There are plenty of healthy pancake recipes to try; you can even use baby cereal. (Try making a batch and freezing the leftovers.)

Photo: Erik Putz

Shredded cheese

Serve cheese in moderation. Processed cheeses (like cheese strings or cheese singles) contain a lot of sodium and additives.

Photo: Erik Putz


The ridges on fusilli-shaped pasta are easier to grasp making the perfect finger food for baby.

Photo: Erik Putz

Sliced strawberries

You don’t have to wait to introduce strawberries.

Photo: Erik Putz


Soft avocado can also benefit from added grip in the form of baby cereal or chia seeds.

Photo: Erik Putz

Shredded chicken

You can also switch it up by making easy-to-pick-up ground-chicken meatballs.

Photo: Erik Putz


Once your baby is closer to a year old, pop open a can of chickpeas and rinse. You can serve them raw or roasted. (If you’re concerned about choking, smush each pea a bit.)

Photo: Erik Putz

Rice balls

Try forming steamed rice into little balls to make it a slightly less messy finger food. (Serve white rice in moderation; brown rice is better.)

Photo: Erik Putz

Puff snacks

These packaged supermarket puffs are great for on-the-go snacking. (Check the label for the age recommendations.)

Photo: Erik Putz

Read more:
Is baby-led feeding different from baby-led weaning?
3 things that aren’t actually signs your baby is ready for solids

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FILED UNDER: baby Baby 6-9 months baby development Baby first food baby food baby's first year Finger foods service seo Starting solids

15 Nutritious Finger Food Recipes for Your Baby

This post is long overdue because so many of you have asked me for more recipes of finger foods for babies. But with this blog and my work gradually moving into a more consulting/counseling space, I just do not have a lot of time to test recipes and take pretty pictures anymore! 

Luckily, I can still curate a selection of safe, balanced and nutritious finger food recipes for your little ones.

Please note: none of the recipes below contain salt, sugar or commercial sauces. So many “baby friendly” or BLW recipes available online are not suitable for babies at all because they have salt, sugar, salty seasoning and even mayonnaise.

So while you are in good hands on this page, be aware of these age-inappropriate additions when you look for recipes on your own.

Read: Seven things you need to know before giving your baby family food

Read: How much salt is safe for babies?

Also, although I am all for trying new recipes with your baby, try to make minimally processed one-two ingredient finger foods the bulk of their diet, especially in the first few weeks of starting solids. This way, your baby will get to learn to appreciate the flavor and texture of whole foods and you will save plenty of time and energy in the kitchen. 

If you need some inspiration, make sure to download my selection of 65 whole finger food ideas that require no or minimal cooking.

Finally, if you need a whole step-by-step plan on how to start your baby on solids using the mixed approach (finger foods+purees), check my online program with videos, handouts, recipes, sample meal plans, videos of babies eating, photos of finger foods from all food groups, schedules and more.

Ready for the recipes? Scroll below to find your pediatric dietitian-curated selection of sweet and savory finger foods for your baby.


Sweet finger foods

1. Basic banana oat cookies

Source: My Kids Lick the Bowl


A great treat for the whole family, created by My Kids Lick the Bowl. This nutrition writer and mom of 3 has lots of recipes for babies and toddlers on her website, so make sure to check it out.

2. Banana toast for babies

Source: One Handed Cooks

A very simple variation of a regular toast, slightly sweet and perfectly nutritious. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or snack, created by One Handed Cooks.

3. Apple and oat pancakes

Source: My Kids Lick the Bowl

Another great recipe from My Kids Eat the Bowl. Everyone’s favorite that takes minutes to make and can feed the whole family.

4. Baby cereal pancakes

Source: Wholesome BabyFood

Love this quick way to use the leftovers of any type of iron-rich baby cereal, by Wholesome Baby Food.

5. Three ingredient muffins

Source: WINKGO

The easiest muffin recipe that are perfect for little hands.

6. Porridge fingers

Source: Healthy Little Foodies 

Just a few wholesome ingredients and a few minutes in the microwave is all you need to make this delicious breakfast or snack for your baby. Genius idea from Healthy Little Foodies.

Savory finger foods

7. Broccoli potato bites

Created by your truly, this recipe is one of the most popular articles on my website. I had to tweak the recipe a little to make sure the bites hold their shape better and it look like now it works like a charm.

8. Tuna and sweet corn mini quiches

Source: Little Grazers

Rich in protein from cottage cheese and Omega 3 from tuna – a nutritional powerhouse for babies, kids and adults alike, by Little Grazers.

9. Sweet potato frittata slices

Source: My Fussy Eater

I really like this protein rich and fast way to reuse leftover cooked sweet potato from My Fussy Eater – we get a lot of that in our house.

10. Sweet potato hash

Source: Bethany King

Sweet potato recipes are very popular with babies because, well, they taste sweet! But make sure to try a version with a regular potato – it is also very nutritious and tasty. Recipe credit – BLW ideas.

11. Turkey-ricotta meatballs

I created this recipe because my kids found the texture of regular meatballs quite tough and chewy. Ricotta works as a magic ingredient here, keeping them moist and very tender.

12. Sweet potato quinoa bites

Another hit that I hope you try. The texture and flavor are absolutely wonderful, if I may say so about my own creation :).

13. Pea fritters

Source: Healthy Little Foodies

These fritters by Healthy Little Foodies can be whipped in a food processor in minutes and are perfect for little hands.

14. Chicken veggie patties

Source: Charisse Yu

Easy to make and you can use as many veggies as you wish (really helps when you need to clear out your fridge!) Lovely idea by Charisse Yu.

15. Baby’s first Greek yogurt pizza

And a final Feeding Bytes recipe to round up this selection. This pizza dough has only 2 ingredients and the toppings are all baby-friendly. My whole family loves it!

More on safety and finger food ideas for babies: 

Iron rich finger foods

Breakfast finger food ideas

Nutritious toppings for toast

The difference between gagging and choking

If you would like to get the whole framework and all the steps to start your baby on solids using the mixed approach, check my Stress Free Solids program – it’s completely online and has videos of babies eating both finger foods and purees, in addition to recipes, schedules and the latest scientific advice on introducing allergens. You will also learn how to progress between textures on time, so your baby learn to self feed and eat table foods fast!

Baby food you can eat with your hands - Encyclopedia Baby food

Finger food

Levchuk Victoria ©

It is worth trying healthy baby food recipes to stimulate your child's interest in food. Children's food, which is eaten with their hands, should not exceed the size of a small box of porridge. It is also necessary to take into account that the child needs to be offered products that are age-appropriate and soft like mashed potatoes.

Hand food for children can be any food that the baby likes and is age appropriate. nine0003

A child does not need teeth to chew. Babies use their gums to soften food until their molars appear between 12-18 months of age.

TIP: Puree food or cut into small pieces to make it easier for your child to chew.

Table of Contents:

Fruit Ideas You Can Eat With Your Hands

Fruits are colorful and highly nutritious, small soft pieces of fruit can be eaten with your hands. Fruit is an excellent food for a child, which is eaten with the hands, just be sure to remove the seeds and bones. nine0003

  • Soft baked peaches - cubes
  • Banans
  • Small pieces of ripe apple
  • Cubes of ripe pears
  • Small plum cubes
  • Small pieces of apricot
  • Smile fuckers for fruitful fruit. it was possible to eat with fingers (we mix no more than three types of fruit)

In order for fruits to show themselves in a new way, sometimes it is enough to sprinkle them lightly with spices or wheat germ. nine0003

Vegetable ideas that you can eat with your hands

Vegetables are like fruits, you can eat them with your hands; make sure the vegetables are soft, cooked, seeded and peeled as needed:

  • soft cubes of baked sweet potatoes
  • soft cubes of baked white potatoes
  • small cubes of soft boiled carrots
  • small cubes of soft peas
  • cubes of soft boiled broccoli
  • small pieces of soft boiled green beans
  • small pieces of soft baked pumpkin or zucchini
  • large cubes of soft boiled vegetables mixed as a vegetable salad (no more than three types of vegetables)

You can try frying some of the vegetables - they make delicious snacks! Do not forget about herbs and spices to improve the taste.

Other finger food ideas

More snack foods - snacks aren't always fruits and vegetables. You can try some of the ideas below:

  • tofu cubes with oatmeal or wheat germ
  • boiled pasta (coils or butterflies)
  • small pieces of cheddar or gouda cheese, etc.
  • small cubes of boiled chicken, fish, beef or turkey, cottonseed 4 cereals, multi-cereals, etc.
  • small toasts with fruit, pure or with thin cream cheese
  • omelet

-7 days of waiting after using a new product, in order to avoid an allergic reaction from the baby. If necessary, you can consult with the child's pediatrician. nine0003

Social networks:

Children in the kitchen / What dishes can prepare a child 10 years old- Article "Cooking with children" on

in 10- 10- summer age is the time to get acquainted with kitchen appliances - electric stove, microwave, oven, mixer: new gadgets appear every year, and modern children are interested in everything related to technology and progress. nine0003

Talk to your child about the rules of safe behavior in the kitchen, about the fact that not everything turns out quickly and accurately at once, do not scold for failures - it will take more than one year until the child acquires confident culinary skills. Discuss in advance that cleaning the kitchen after cooking is a joint affair, and not a mother's duty - this also brings up responsibility and accuracy.

At the age of 11, a child already knows how to count and will easily learn how to measure and weigh the right amount of food, keep track of time, and perform actions in the right sequence in accordance with the recipe. All this develops logical thinking, mathematical abilities and, of course, fine motor skills and imagination. nine0003

Recipes for 10 year olds should be accessible, the dish should be tasty and healthy, the cooking process should be fun and safe, and that nothing in the recipe should be boiled or fried for a long time.

Baked Bananas with Chocolate

All children love bananas and chocolate, this simple yet effective dessert recipe is a great occasion for the first lesson in using the oven. Even a child who has never tried to cook before will cope with such a dish. nine0003

Mini Pizza

Pizza is loved by children both at the age of 4 and at the age of 16, and a 10-year-old child can surprise his parents by making his own pizza. Or do it with friends. It is unlikely that the child will have enough skill and patience to knead the dough, so as a basis, you can take ready-made dough - yeast or puff, divide it into portions and roll out each. A frozen pizza base, pita bread, pita bread or just toast bread is also suitable.

The filling can be very varied - based on tomato sauce, sour cream or yogurt, with hard or soft cheese, with vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, cauliflower or broccoli), with chicken breast, sausage or sausages, olives or pickled cucumbers. nine0003

There are dessert pizza recipes: with jam, fruit puree, canned and fresh fruits or berries, chocolate and nuts.

Life hack

A pizza bar is a good idea for a homemade children's birthday party: children are offered a choice of ingredients, everyone assembles their own pizza like a designer, bakes under adult supervision and eats the prepared dish with appetite. Children are interested and tasty, and parents solve two tasks at once - to treat and entertain guests. Every year at such a holiday you can embody different ideas - tartlets, fondue, sandwiches. nine0003

Fruit fondue

A simple recipe that does not require special skills and is suitable for first culinary experiences. Any fruit, wooden skewers and chocolate is all you need for cooking. You only need a stovetop or microwave to melt the chocolate. It's the perfect sweet snack or bright addition to any celebration, from birthdays to New Year's Eve.

If fruits are dipped in chocolate and cooled beforehand, a carbonated fruit kebab is obtained and can be served as a ready-made dessert. nine0003


Children love smoothies, which makes parents happy: a healthy smoothie of fresh fruit or vegetables with or without dairy products is always welcome. Teach your kids how to use a blender - a 10-year-old can master both a stationary and a submersible unit, and making smoothies is a pleasure: the process of turning pieces into a homogeneous mass of children is simply mesmerizing. Smoothies can be prepared not only according to ready-made recipes, but also invent your own. nine0003

Desserts without baking: chocolate sausage and "anthill"

Recipes of Soviet sweets proven over the years are also liked by modern children. They love chocolate sausage and are often surprised to learn that it is a dessert and not real salami. A child can cook such a dish absolutely without the participation of parents: sharp tools and heating devices are not needed for its preparation. A package of cookies, a pack of butter, cocoa - and you're done!

Almost the same products, but the look and taste are completely different - "Anthill" can be prepared in the form of cakes or a large cake, and a great result is guaranteed, even if this dessert is the first in life. For kids, no-bake cake recipe is best. nine0003

Homemade fast food

Teach your child how to cook sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs at home, and you will save health and money on trips to the eateries so beloved by children. It is very useful to calculate together with your child how much you can save on visiting such establishments, for example, in a year and what you can buy in return.

The quality of products at home can always be controlled - use natural minced meat for cutlets, chicken fillet, buy sausages without harmful additives (there are such), cereal buns and fresh vegetables. nine0003

For the filling of a burger, offer your child a ready-made cutlet, a slice of baked meat, chicken or turkey.

Cold desserts

Jelly or ice cream are desserts that are relevant at any time of the year, for the preparation of which you do not need a stove, and the creation of such desserts is also a visual physical and chemical experiment: children are curious and informative to observe the transformation of a liquid into jelly or puree in ice cream.

The simplest jelly is made from any fruit or berry juice, even from fruit drink or compote, with the addition of pieces of fruit, berries or confectionery decorations. Jelly based on milk or fermented milk products - kefir, yogurt, sour cream - is not only tasty, but also a hearty dish suitable for breakfast or a light dinner. nine0003

Making ice cream is one of the best ways for children to experiment in the kitchen. The simplest and safest ice cream without unnecessary additives requires only two ingredients - condensed milk and cream. Based on the basic recipe, you can cook any other ice cream - fruit, chocolate, vanilla. Light ice cream is easy to make from fruit or berry puree.


If children do not eat certain foods well, then self-cooking is one of the most effective ways to take a fresh look at familiar dishes: food prepared by one’s own hands seems more appetizing to children, and the effort spent on its creation increases its value and cause a desire to try. nine0003

Even a child who doesn't like vegetables is more likely to eat a homemade soup or salad than a ready made one. All children are interested in grinding and mixing products of different colors and textures and will surely want to taste the result.

Vegetable or fruit salads are the easiest thing a child can cook. The smallest ones cannot be trusted - you need a knife for cutting, so 10 years old is the time to learn how to cook salads. Salad recipes are best chosen depending on the time of year: seasonal vegetables and fruits are the most useful. And they are very fun to decorate! nine0003


Sugar cockerels, Lollipops, Chupa Chups - all these are different names of lollipops, permanent sweet hits of whole generations of children for many years. In the modern era of confectionery abundance, when sweets are available not only on holidays, parents try to limit their children's consumption of sweets, especially hard candies, primarily because of the damage to their teeth. However, if you use a safe substitute instead of sugar in the recipe, you can make candy healthy. nine0003

Children can make their own lollipops from isomalt, a natural sugar substitute. It not only does not harm the teeth, does not contain extra calories, but also contains prebiotics that are useful for digestion.

Healthy lollipop recipe consists of only one ingredient - isomalt, which is sold in pastry shops. To prepare the candy mass, it must be melted in a saucepan and, if desired, add natural food coloring (1-2 drops of dye for 80 grams of isomalt). When the mass begins to cool, candy canes can be formed. nine0003

You can prepare such sweets without a mold - the candy mass is simply poured with a spoon onto a silicone mat in the form of even circles, into which you just need to insert a stick until the candy is frozen. After about 5 minutes, the lollipops will be ready - they turn out to be transparent, similar to ice or glass. Working with hot mass requires caution, but in general the process is extremely simple and safe.

Isomalt lollipops can be wrapped and used as a gift, brought to the school fair or used to decorate a cake. nine0003

What can be done?

Have your child cook one of the family meals, salad or dessert.

You can have a culinary party, even if there is no reason - both girls and boys will like such leisure.

Learn more