Pasta finger food babies

How to Serve Pasta to Baby (recipes, tips & more!)

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Pasta is a great way to offer energizing carbohydrates for your baby’s development. We’ll review the health benefits, the best types of pasta for your baby, FAQs, feeding tips, and so much more! Great for baby-led weaning, the finger food stage, and stage three baby food purees! 6+ months and up.

Medically reviewed and co-written by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and Lauren Braaten, Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT).

Pasta Baby Food

Let’s face it – there’s nothing cuter than seeing a smiley, squishy baby covered from head to toe in pasta noodles and sauce (your kitchen floor, on the other hand….not so cute, but it’s washable. Maybe you should just get a dog now. Or borrow the neighbor’s dog?). Pasta is a perfect first food for your baby, and not just because of its yummy comfort food quality, although that’s a bonus.

Pasta can be a great source of iron, fiber, folate, protein, and B vitamins. It also makes for a soft finger food that is just as easy for your baby to self-feed as it is for parents to cook up in the kitchen. And when paired with protein, high-quality fat, and veggies, it makes for a well-rounded meal that will satisfy your baby AND your whole family.

First time making homemade baby food? Then, I would suggest that you start by reading my very in-depth Guide on how to Make Homemade Baby Food – which goes over all the important information such as the best cooking tools to have on hand, safe storage, how to know when baby is ready for solids, how to introduce purees, the best first foods for baby, and more! If you are doing Baby-Led Weaning, then be sure to check out my Complete Guide to Baby-Led Weaning – which covers what exactly is baby-led weaning, to every parent’s concern of baby-led weaning and choking, this guide goes over it all. I will also share how to know when baby is ready for BLW, the top 10 best first foods, a helpful sample blw feeding schedule, helpful tools to have on hand, and much much more!

Want more information? Then make sure to check out my best-selling cookbook Little Foodies: Recipes for Babies and Toddlers with Taste.

Reasons to Love Pasta for Baby

  • Great for baby-led weaning or the finger food stage
  • Good in a Stage 3 Baby Puree
  • Provides an easily customizable base for a meal that’s family-friendly
  • Great source of carbohydrates that provide energy
  • Readily available and budget friendly
  • Many options – including whole grain, bean-based, or gluten-free
  • Perfect for pairing with a protein, veggie, and high-quality fats to make a balanced meal

Benefits of Pasta for Baby

Pasta can be a great food for your baby, for both developing oral motor skills and nourishing their bodies.

  • full of carbohydrates to provide energy
  • whole grain or bean-based pasta provides fiber, which helps keep their digestive systems regular
  • depending on the shape, pasta can help develop pincer and palmar grasps
  • a soft consistency, making it easy for your baby to chew
  • there are many types of pasta that expose your baby to different tastes and textures
  • can be paired with many sauces to keep meals new and exciting
  • bean pastas are a good source of protein
  • can be a good source of iron, which is very important for babies 6 months and up to get from their diet

Best Types of Pasta for Baby

There are so many different types of pasta on the market these days made from grains, beans, eggs, rice, and other ingredients, and they all offer different nutrients. There’s not one best pasta for your baby so try mixing it up to get a variety of textures, flavors, and nutrients. Here are some highlights of different types of pastas:

  • lentil pasta: high in fiber, iron, protein, gluten-free
  • black bean pasta: high in fiber, iron, protein, gluten-free
  • chickpea pasta: high in fiber, iron, protein, gluten-free
  • whole wheat: higher in fiber, manganese, and selenium, not gluten-free
  • white flour: low fiber, higher in B vitamins and iron, not gluten-free
  • egg noodles: low fiber, higher in B vitamins, iron, and manganese, not gluten-free
  • rice noodles: low fiber, protein and iron, gluten-free
  • edamame and mung bean pasta: high in fiber, iron, protein, potassium, gluten-free

Best Shapes of Pasta for Baby

Generally, the younger the baby, the bigger the pasta shape should be to help minimize choking and to meet their grasping skills.

  • 6+ months: conchiglioni, farfalle, rigatoni, penne, ziti, lasagna noodle strips, chopped longer noodles like spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine, or capellini
  • 9+ months: macaroni, cut ravioli, conchigliette, plus noodles offered at 6 months
  • 12+ months: spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, ramen, rice noodles, plus noodles offered at 6 and 9 months

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add in pasta and cook 1-2 past the ‘al-dente’ time on the box.
  3. Drain and add back to the pot.
  4. Add in butter, oil, pesto or other sauce of choice.
  5. Spoon into a bowl or onto the highchair tray and sprinkle with a pinch of cheese.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I introduce pasta to your baby?

You can introduce pasta when your baby shows signs of readiness, usually around 6 months. That being said, many kinds of pasta contain wheat and/or eggs which are 2 of the most common food allergens. It is recommended to wait to introduce the top eight allergen foods to your baby once a few other well-tolerated foods have been introduced, especially if your baby is at high risk for food allergies. With pasta, it might be best to introduce eggs and wheat separately before pasta to be able to identify any allergies.

Is cooked pasta a choking hazard?

Cooked pasta is not typically a choking hazard, though anyone can choke on any food, so always supervise your baby while they are eating.

Is pasta a common allergen?

Many kinds of pasta contain the common food allergens of wheat and eggs, so always read an ingredients list if your child is allergic to one of these. The good news is that there are many types of kinds of pasta on the market that do not contain these ingredients, so you should be able to find one that meets your baby’s needs. As with any food, start with a small portion and be aware of any signs that might be an allergic reaction after introducing it. If you suspect your child has food allergies, talk with your pediatrician about the best way to introduce allergens.

Does pasta cause constipation in babies?

Too much pasta from refined grains like white flour can be constipating. However, whole-grain pasta or pasta made from beans may help relieve constipation since they are higher in fiber.

Baby Feeding Tips

  • When making pasta for babies, it should be cooked fully and a little past al dente, so that it’s easily squishable. If you or the rest of your family prefers a little firmer pasta, just take out portions for them and cook the rest a little longer for your baby.
  • Serve pasta with a little bit of olive oil, ghee, or sauce to make it easier to mash for beginning eaters.
  • Use kitchen shears to cut noodles into smaller bite-sized pieces as needed.
  • Pasta can be served on a pre-loaded fork to your baby or let your baby use their hands.

Pasta for Baby-Led Weaning

Pasta is a great food for your baby to self-feed, whether for baby-led weaning, which happens around 6 months of age, or during the finger foods stage after traditional weaning at 8-9 months.

6+ Months – Bigger Shapes: rigatoni, rotini, ziti, farfalle, lasagna noodle strips, etc. At this age, offering larger pieces of wide, flat, or tubular-shaped pasta will help your baby grasp the pasta better.

9+ Months – Smaller Shapes: elbow, ravioli, penne, rotini, bow tie, cut noodles, etc. At this age, your baby will develop a pincer grasp, where they can pick up smaller pieces of food using their thumb and index finger. You can also continue to serve larger, wider pieces of pasta if your baby is more successful with this size and shape.

12-18+ Months – Noodles: spaghetti, rice noodles, udon, ramen, etc. At this age, your toddler might be more willing to accept a pre-loaded fork with pasta on it, but it’s totally fine if they still prefer using their fingers. Continue to offer a variety of noodle shapes and textures.

Pasta for Traditional Weaning

If you started out feeding your baby using traditional weaning (aka spoon feeding), your baby will typically be ready to start trying pasta anywhere between 7-9 months (although always keep in mind that each baby is different, and your baby’s developmental progress and skills may look slightly different).

How you offer pasta at this point really depends on the individual baby. You can offer small, soft pieces of pasta and a pureed sauce together, either on a pre-loaded spoon or for your baby to self-feed with their hands. Or your baby might be ready at this point to try self-feeding bigger, wider pieces of tubular pastas, such as rigatoni, rotini, ziti, farfalle, or lasagna noodle strips.

Favorite Pasta Recipes

Salmon Pasta with Peas

5 stars (3 ratings)

This easy Favorite Salmon Pasta with Peas is a nutrient-rich meal, not only for your toddler and kids, but for your whole family! Great for baby-led weaning and the finger food stage! 6+ months and up.

Get the recipe

Easy-Peasy 5 Veggie Pasta for Baby

4.93 stars (38 ratings)

This wholesome baby-led weaning meal is made by tossing together your favorite pasta, a whopping 5 different veggies and a simple yet delicious basil dressing. Everything is the same finger food size for easy eating for baby. 

Get the recipe

Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce

5 stars (24 ratings)

This Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce is a great way to get even the pickiest of eaters to eat their veggies! Filled with tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, leeks and red peppers, this sauce is full of nutrient-dense veggies all while still tasting like a delicious homemade tomato sauce.

Get the recipe

Chunky Summer Veggie Pasta

5 stars (5 ratings)

This Chunky Summer Veggie Pasta for Baby and Toddler combines all the flavorful tastes of summer into one bite-size dish!

Get the recipe

Baby’s First Bolognese

4. 97 stars (27 ratings)

A thick and hearty bolognese sauce with added veggies is the perfect way to introduce this classic sauce to your baby. This sauce is versatile and can be served over your favorite pasta, brown rice, zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. 

Get the recipe

Curry Pasta Salad for Baby + Toddler

5 stars (8 ratings)

Bite sized pasta, broccoli, carrots and chickpeas get tossed in a tasty mild curry sauce that will delight any baby or toddler’s growing taste buds! This finger food salad is a fun way to introduce curry to baby. Perfect for baby-led weaning and the finger food stage!

Get the recipe

Summer Pesto Finger Salad for Baby + Toddler

5 stars (5 ratings)

This Pesto Summer Finger Salad for Baby + Toddler is full of bite-size pieces of corn, tomatoes, zucchini and orzo pasta all mixed together with a spoonful of flavorful pesto. This finger salad is a great way for baby to enjoy the delicious tastes of summer.  

Get the recipe

  • 8 oz pasta
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sharp cheese (asiago, romano, fontina, gouda, etc) thinly sliced (optional)
  • Bring a large pot to a boil, add in pasta and cook according to the package. For babies just starting to eat pasta, cook the pasta 1-2 minutes more than 'al-dente' or the package direction.

  • Drain, and add pasta back to large pot. Add in the butter, and melt while stirring.

  • Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

Age: 6 months and up

Storage: you can store any leftover pasta in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Sprinkle on cheese after reheating.



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Easy to make baby pasta recipes for different stages from 6 months

Chances are pasta is already a staple food in your house: it's cheap, versatile, easy to cook, and appeals to just about everyone. And your baby is no exception.

You can serve pasta to your baby in many different ways. If you're weaning your baby with purees, it's actually simple to puree pasta within a sauce.

If you're doing a Baby Led Weaning approach, you can chop regular pasta into tiny pieces (scissors make light work of this task), or buy special baby pasta shapes from the supermarket.

Full-sized pasta shapes also make great finger food, either plain or with a sauce.

Remember pasta contains wheat and so gluten - unless it's gluten-free pasta. If there's a history of these allergies in your family, watch carefully for any signs of allergy when you first give your baby pasta. You can use rice-based or gluten-free pasta if your baby does show allergic symptoms.

We've rounded up some of the best pasta recipes for babies aged 6 to 12 months, organised by age suitability, including sauce ideas, pasta bakes, easy-cook pasta dishes and so much more.

1. Easy cheesy pasta sauce

A lunchtime recipe that takes under 10 mins to prep and only 12 mins to cook. Suitable from 6 months.

2. Simple tomato pasta sauce

Simple, but effective. Suitable for babies aged from 6 months.

3. Easy salmon pasta

A clever way of introducing fish to your baby's diet. Suitable from 6 months.

4. Sweetcorn and sweet potato pasta

Easy to prep, and suitable for children 7 months and older. Perfect way to serve pasta as a finger food.

5. Annabel Karmel's hidden vegetable sauce

A great recipe for reluctant veggie eaters - this sauce contains carrot, leek, red pepper, courgette, onion as well as tomatoes. Suitable from 8 months+

6. Cheesy pasta with broccoli

Try with peas or green beans! Suitable for 7 months+

7. Pasta, carrot and lentil soup

A yummy way to use pasta for your baby's mealtimes a bit differently. Suitable from 8 months

8. Green pasta bake

Courgette, leek, peas and broccoli are a healthy green pasta accompaniment. Suitable from 8 months

9. Spaghetti bolognese

Italian baby food at its best. Chop up the spaghetti into small little strips (around 5cm). Suitable from 8 months

10. Pasta with cream cheese and peas

Add mushrooms or ham if you want to experiment with flavours for your child. Suitable from 8 months+

11. Baby pesto pasta sauce

Just blend it together and you've got an unusual pasta sauce for your baby. Suitable for 8 months+

12. Chicken pasta bake

Delicious and oh-so-easy pasta dish that can serve the whole family. Suitable when mashed or chopped from 8 months

13. Meat-free spaghetti bolognese

Tasty bolognese sauce made from soya mince, a nutritious vegetarian alternative suitable for babies from 9 months

14. Macaroni cheese with broccoli and cauliflower

Perfect for lunch, great for experimenting with different vegetables, and suitable for 9 months and above.

15. Traditional lasagne

You can experiment with other mince meat or soya. Suitable from 10 months

16. Rigatoni with 5-veg pasta sauce

An easy way to make sure little ones get a healthy mix of veg in their diet. Suitable for 10 months+

17. Spinach and parmesan spaghetti

You can use this recipe with courgette spaghetti, too. Suitable for 10 months+

18. Cannelloni

Makes enough for a baby, a toddler and 2 adults. A lovely family meal - with your choice of filling. Suitable from 10 months+

19. Vegetarian lasagne with green lentils

A fab way to give your veggie baby some protein. Suitable for 11 months+

20. Tuna pasta bake

A delicious tuna and sweetcorn pasta dish with cheese sauce and a cheesy topping. Suitable from 11 months

21. Beef and kale lasagne

Kale is a great source of essential vitamins. A great meal for the whole family. Suitable from 11 months

22. Pasta with tomato and ricotta sauce

A tasty tomato and cheese sauce that's a big children's pasta favourite. Suitable from 11 months

23. Trout and broccoli pasta

Oily fish trout is a rich source of protein and full of nutrients, including vitamins B1, B6, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. Mix with the high fibre and vitamin A offered by the broccoli, and this a healthy pasta dish. Suitable from 12 months

More recipe ideas:

  • 28 easy-cook baby recipes for kids over 10 months
  • Our complete guide to weaning and baby food
  • 18 inspirational weaning Instagrams to follow now

Macaroni and cheese recipe for children


Macaroni and Cheese: Pixabay

will please even even the most demanding does not want. How to prepare their ? Read in the article.

Macaroni and cheese recipe

Everyone loves macaroni and cheese: both adults and children. To make such pasta yourself, it is not necessary to be a professional chef and have delicacies on hand.

Photo: YouTube / Simple recipe

To implement this recipe you will need:

  • durum wheat pasta or baby pasta - 0.3 kg;
  • Dutch cheese - 150 g;
  • butter - 2 tbsp. l.;
  • milk - 30 ml;
  • salt.

Modern pediatrics, contrary to popular belief, calls pasta dishes not only desirable, but also a necessary product for a children's menu.

Durum wheat pasta contains carbohydrates, amino acids valuable for the child's body, vitamins A, E and group B, which are involved in the formation of bones, teeth, joints, nervous tissue and increase the skin's resistance to infections. nine0005

In addition, pasta is a valuable source of calcium, potassium, sodium, which are so necessary for a growing body.

Photo: Pixabay

Age from the 1st year is considered ideal to start introducing complementary foods from pasta. However, now there are special children's pasta on sale, approved for use from 8–9 months.

Due to the high content of carbohydrates, vitamins and animal proteins, cheese does not lag behind meat or fish in terms of usefulness, especially when the child does not like and does not eat them. But due to the high fat content, it is recommended to give it only from the age of one. nine0005

Before making macaroni and cheese, many mothers wonder when they can start introducing their baby to this dish. It is difficult to give an unequivocal answer to it, because it depends on a number of factors:

  • Ability to chew.

If the baby does not chew food even at the age of 1.5–2 years, it is better to postpone this moment.

  • Pasta size.

Large feathers or horns are more difficult for a child to chew than ordinary small vermicelli or spaghetti. nine0005

Avoid macaroni and cheese altogether if your baby:

  • suffers from constipation;
  • is allergic to dairy products or gluten, which is found in flour products from cereals;
  • is diabetic or obese.

In the absence of contraindications, feel free to take note of this recipe. Let's talk about how to cook delicious macaroni and cheese further.

How to cook macaroni and cheese for children

Macaroni and cheese is often included in the menu of kindergartens. In order to feed at home and at the same time please the child with pasta in the same way as for an afternoon snack in his kindergarten group, do the following:

  1. Take a thick-walled saucepan and pour 3 liters of water into it, assuming that for every 0.1 kg of pasta you need a liter of liquid.
  2. As soon as the water begins to boil, add a pinch of salt.
  3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and stir well so that it does not stick to the bottom. Some housewives at this stage pour a tablespoon of sunflower oil into the water with pasta so that they do not stick together in finished form and better retain their original shape.
  4. Reduce the flame and, without covering the pot, cook the pasta for a few minutes less than indicated on the package. Slightly undercooked, they still have time to cook and do not turn into flour puree. nine0008
  5. Drain and rinse the boiled horns or shells with hot boiled water through a colander.
  6. When the pasta has drained, return it to the cooking pot and add the softened butter. If the baby eats ghee well, use it: in terms of nutritional value, it is no worse than regular butter and is allowed from 8 months.
  7. Stir to evenly coat the pasta with the dressing and pour in the amount of milk indicated in the recipe.
  8. Bring pasta with milk and butter to a boil over low heat. Don't forget to stir constantly. nine0008
  9. After that, turn off the heat and add the last ingredient to the pan - hard cheese, chopped on a fine grater.
  10. Close the lid and shake the contents. Wait 5-7 minutes and serve: during this time, the cheese will have time to melt and become like a delicate milk sauce.

Similar ingredients can be used to make macaroni and cheese in the oven. To do this, mix the boiled pasta, butter, milk, cheese and transfer everything to a greased baking dish. nine0005

This dish takes longer to cook, about 25 minutes, at 180-190°C.

If you want to make the dish richer and more flavorful, add an egg to the recipe. Moreover, beat the yolk into the pasta itself, and beat the protein with a mixer until foamy and cover the side dish with it.

Whether you cook macaroni and cheese in the oven or the classic way, eating it can always be turned into a fun game. Take, instead of the usual ones, pasta in the form of animal figures or letters and show your imagination. Then the kid will remember lunch not as a severe punishment, but as a trip to the zoo or to the land of knowledge. nine0005

Original article:

Why all kids love pasta so much and why parents shouldn't be afraid of it - article on TCHK

They ask for their spaghetti and "shells" again... buckwheat according to Pokhlebkin's recipe (very useful) or delicious pilaf according to the canons of Stalik Khankishiyev! nine0005

Well, what to do with them?

First, exhale and don't worry. If the child looks healthy and full of energy, most likely one more small portion of pasta will not hurt him.

Put a saucepan on the stove and while the pasta cooks, read this article to find out why pasta is such a good food for a growing body.

Why kids love pasta and why pasta is good

First of all, pasta is cool. All these bows, spirals, horns and even those very banal spaghetti - they look interesting and attractive. Secondly, pasta is quite tasty. And thirdly, they are... useful. Yes, just imagine. And here we stop to better understand. nine0005

Feared by all healthy eaters, pasta actually has a whole host of benefits!

Hearty and Nutritious Pasta

It sounds cliche, but eating a plate of pasta gives us a powerful portion of healthy carbohydrates that give us energy. Agree, for children this is a very important factor, because they constantly need to charge their “battery” in order to run fast and ask their endless questions endlessly.

Pasta helps maintain weight

Pasta really fits into the concept of weight loss. A recent Canadian study found that pasta, being a low glycemic index (GI) food, "...does not adversely affect the adiposity process and even reduces body weight." According to Canadian scientists, it's time to officially include pasta in the list of healthy diet products.

GI is a measure of how quickly carbohydrate-rich foods can raise blood sugar levels. The faster the absorption, the sooner the sugar level rises. nine0005

Pasta is good for the heart and endocrine system

Because low glycemic foods help us control weight, they also help reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. What's more, according to the American Diabetes Association, pasta can be part of a healthy diet for people who are already familiar with diabetes.

Pasta is essential for growth and development

Pasta contains a number of important nutrients, but they are especially rich in copper, an element that is really necessary for a growing organism. Copper improves motor skills, hemoglobin synthesis and bone formation, as well as increased learning ability and antioxidant protection. nine0005

Pasta is an invention of the Italians and part of the famous Mediterranean diet, which is considered one of the best today. That is why pasta can be a great addition to a healthy diet.

Why parents should love pasta too (if not already…)

All adults need to recognize pasta's right to exist, because:

  1. It's affordable. The basic ingredients for regular pasta are simple and cheap: flour, water, salt, and maybe a few eggs. Whether you're making your own noodles or buying pasta from the store, it's always a great way to feed a whole bunch of kids without feeling hit on the wallet. nine0008
  2. It's easy. Even a child can cook pasta. But, while he has not yet grown up to such a feat, the simplicity of the recipe will please the parents themselves. To create this culinary masterpiece, which always goes with a bang, no effort is needed.
  3. It's fast. If a child wants to eat "right now" or children's guests suddenly fell on you, and you only have a few minutes, pasta will always come to the rescue. For such a case, it is worth keeping vermicelli, asterisks and the like, a quick-cooked trifle. nine0008
  4. It's varied. Butterflies, shells, letters, little animals, spirals and nests - a huge selection of all kinds of pasta opens up endless possibilities for imagination.

How to make pasta healthier

If you're still unsure if pasta is the right food for kids, take the advice of nutritionists and take it easy.

  1. Don't buy anything. Choose pasta made from durum wheat and whole grain flour: it contains much more fiber. Such pasta will certainly give not only a feeling of satiety, but also support the health of the digestive system. nine0005

  2. Complement with other products. Yes, children can eat nothing but pasta, but for horns and shells to be part of a balanced diet, they should be served with some protein (such as chicken or cheese) and vegetables. All this can be put to the child in separate piles, because at a young age people do not always like a hodgepodge of food. Pasta itself is best seasoned with olive oil.

  3. Limit the size of your pasta portion. nine0222 Nutritionists advise filling the volume of the entire plate with carbohydrates by no more than a third, the rest should be the proteins and vegetables mentioned above.

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