Healthy Finger Foods for Toddlers
I have always heard that having a mix of healthy finger foods for toddlers can make your job easy as a mom. Are you facing the same challenge as me? Has your baby done with the just-liquid things and is ready to eat the solid ones? Does that toddler keep trying to snatch the food items from your hands? Then, yes, your baby is ready for the intake of proper food. Are you confused about what to give your baby to eat and that is healthy too at the same time?
So, here are some healthy finger foods for toddlers that will fulfill your baby’s basic bodily requirements. Finger foods are actually individual and small portion size foods that we intake out of our hands.
Introducing healthy finger foods for toddlers is linked with the proper weaning of the child and it is the method to gradually make your baby eat the adult diet.
13 Types of Healthy Finger Foods for Toddlers
You can introduce finger foods to your baby from seven to nine months of age. It varies from baby to baby, but average range is 6-8 months.
Some healthy finger foods for toddlers are mentioned below:
Bananas – (Peeled in the form of long strips) as bananas contain carbohydrates and provide the essential nutrients that are required by the body.
They mainly contain potassium, Vitamin B6, folate, and Vitamin C. Overall, they keep the nervous system and skin healthy and are involved in the iron absorption and maintenance of blood pressure.
Sweet potatoes – The vitamin A content of sweet potatoes plays an important role in eye health, acts as an anti-oxidant, and has a role in immune functions.
Broccoli – It is super-nutritious as it contains proteins and fibers with some minerals and vitamins (vitamin A, C, E, K and some B complex vitamins). Just cook it until it acquires the soft consistency and then provide it to the baby.
Meat – It is always a healthy food as it contains a good proportion of zinc, iron, proteins, Vitamin A and B vitamins. It may be cooked chicken or cooked beef (cut it into small pieces or shred it).
Eggs – These are a good source of nutrients as they contain fats and proteins. Egg proteins are called the ‘reference proteins’ and are said to be the best among food proteins.
Yogurt – It is one of the healthy finger foods for toddlers as it is a rich source of calcium and contains proteins too with some amount of calories. A 2-4 oz. Serving yogurt is good for a baby at his mealtimes and snack times.
Green beans – A significant finger food rich in Vitamin K and contains a small amount of calcium, too, thus maintaining the strength of bones by keeping them healthy and reducing the risks of fractures.
Oats – These are one of the healthiest grains and are rich in fibers, minerals, and vitamins. Other whole grains that you can serve your baby are wheat, millet, brown rice, and barley.
Salmon – It is one of the most healthy finger foods for toddlers. It is rich in omega 3, proteins, vitamins, potassium, selenium, reduces the risk of heart diseases, involved in brain health and management of weight. You can serve salmon baked, steamed, broiled, or grilled.
Avocado – (Make small chunks or pieces). It is a great food for babies as it helps in digestion and develops the brain (healthy brain). It contains a high amount of fibers and healthy fats. An avocado is dense in nutrients and is naturally sugar-free. RDI (Recommended Dietary Intake) of avocado is about 14% for children, which is actually a 25g portion (dietary fibers: 2g).
Hummus – Spread it on a toast and give it to the baby or just let him use it as a sauce to dip vegetables into it.
Cheese – (a dairy product). It can be given in the form of small pieces or shred them. You can add it to eggs, pasta, and other food items.
Iron-containing foods – These foods are very important for a child as iron is an essential nutrient that plays a key role in the growth of the brain and neurological development. Iron is a component of hemoglobin, which in turn is a component of red blood cells. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the other body parts, boosts the immune system, and keeps the skin, nails, and hair healthy.
If the baby’s diet lacks iron, he will be grumpy, so much tired (weakness), look very pale, suffer from headaches, feel shortness of breath, and grow more slowly than normal.
Iron-based Healthy Finger Foods for Toddlers
So, iron rich foods are also healthy finger foods for toddlers and include:
- Dark green leafy vegetables (Spinach, broccoli, kale)
- Lean meat
- Beans (White beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, legumes)
- Green peas
- Dried fruits (nuts, raisins, prunes, dates, apricots, etc.)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Iron-fortified cereals and grains
- Peanut butter
- Fruits (apples, bananas)
Fruits as Healthy Finger Foods for Toddlers
Nutrient rich fruits that you can give your baby to eat are:
Vegetables as a Healthy Finger Foods for Toddlers
Some vegetables that a baby can eat as finger food are:
- Baked potatoes
- Butternut squash
These are actually the most healthy finger foods for toddlers that fulfill their nutritional requirements and keep them healthy. This diet ensures bone and teeth health, reduces the risk of chronic diseases (heart diseases, stroke, etc.) later in life, keeps energy levels high, and boosts a baby’s immunity.
Thus, the diet should contain all healthy food items like meat, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, grains, eggs, nuts, etc., that have all the nutrients, i.e., Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
I hope you like this useful post about best foods for your toddler’s growth and development. Besides, you can also read about diet and supplement advice for toddler’s immune system boosting. Moreover, you can check some quick recipes of immune boosting diet for toddlers. Please be sure to avoid harmful eatables in your toddler’s diet.
BY ARMISH FATIMA