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Pantry Basics

Mommy and Me: Finger Foods
June 4, 2012 • Posted by Christina Fong

After about eight or nine months, your baby will have the motor skills to not only throw food at the wall but in their mouth. Sure, you can rejoice in the fact that you no longer have to fight to spoon feed them but why not join in on the finger food merriment? Eating with your hands is fun for any baby, toddler or adult! All you have to do if pick the right foods to eat together.

Cereal Low-sugar cereals or O-shaped cereals like Cheerios are perfect for your baby to practice their newly acquired pincer-grasping skills. Just keep cereals containing honey or high fructose corn syrup away from their little hands and mouth. While they’re busy playing/eating, you can prepare a healthy bowl of trail mix filled with the same cereal, a variety of nuts, and some dried fruit.

Non-Citrus Fruits Small, diced up bits of naturally sweet fruits such bananas, mango, and melon are soft enough for your baby to break apart and colorful enough to play with! The riper they are the better and of course, make sure you remove any seeds or pits before serving them. To add a little more flair to your serving of fruits, you can dip your bananas in Nutella (it’s the new peanut butter!), sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on your mangos, or lightly pour some ginger syrup over your melons.

Sweet Potatoes Babies need their veggies and sweet potatoes satisfy both nutritional and sugar needs. Although we tend to lose a lot of those nutrients during the cooking process, steaming or baking the sweet potatoes preserves more nutrients than boiling them. The grown-ups can enjoy oven-baked sweet potatoes as well or help themselves to some sweet potato fries with a side of mayo, pesto or really any type dip.

Avocado Soft and creamy, avocados are perfect for babies because of their texture and high nutrient content. Just serve them diced, and watch your baby pick away. They’re also great for adults because they go amazingly well with a lot of other foods, such as mangos and sweet potatoes, without overwhelming them. Try a mango and avocado salad with citrus dressing or avocado-dipped sweet potato fries.

Egg Yolks While egg whites are off limits for babies under a year old, egg yolks are free for the taking! They’re full of protein and when scrambled or better yet, hard-boiled, are easy for your baby to munch on. Luckily, eggs white and yolks are safe for you to eat. Eat your hard-boiled eggs halved with an avocado spread and sprinkle of salt and pepper or cut up slices and put them in a sandwich. If you don’t particularly like them hard-boiled, scramble your eggs and use them to make French toast with honey and cinnamon for flavor.

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