You’ve made it through the starting solids stage alive and now your mini is a mealtime pro…So, naturally, the universe hits you with yet another challenge: finger foods. But, in all honesty, this is where the fun really begins. Your babe can finally start eating some of your favorite foods and participating in mealtime in a whole new way. That being said, there are definitely some unique hurdles that accompany this transition. That’s why we’ve pulled together some of our most frequently asked questions to help you tackle this stage of toddlerhood.
When should I start introducing finger foods to my little one?
There are a few ways to know when you should start introducing finger foods to your little.
Firstly, read your babe’s body language! if you have noticed that your mini has become less interested in their purees and seems to be reaching for your food or growing increasingly more curious about the food that is on your plate, it might be time to introduce some finger foods.
Second, if your babe has been eating textured purees like Little Spoon’s Quinoa Raspberry Pear Coconut Milk Vanilla Date Wheat Germ Oil and is accustomed to this thicker consistency, you can begin to introduce softer solids like Little Spoon’s pinchable and easy-to-eat Broccoli Bites.
On the other hand, if you have chosen the baby-led weaning route, you might be a bit ahead of the game. Your babe is used to exploring foods with their fingers and feeding themselves. Little Spoon has plenty of finger-food focused Plates such as the Turkey Kale Sliders and Cauli Croquettes that are perfect for baby-led weaning and beyond. We often see families cutting these meals into smaller, more digestible bites for the in-between phase.
What are the first finger foods I should introduce?
Once your mini has become accustomed to thicker textures, we suggest introducing a soft, pinchable food so that your babe is not too overwhelmed by the new texture. If you can easily puree the food with your fingers or a utensil, then the food should be safe for your babe. Little Spoon’s toddler and kid’s meals have nutrient-packed soft food options for early eaters. The Broccoli Bites and Cheesy Black Bean Pupusas are both great ways for your baby to start experimenting with soft foods and get their fill of veggies. We suggest cutting these bites into even smaller pieces if your babe is still early into their finger food phase.
What if my toddler resists the transition?
As with starting solids, your babe might be a bit hesitant to try new foods at first. That’s why repeat exposure is always key when it comes to mealtime. It can take up to 15x for a baby to accept a new food and that rule of thumb does not change in toddlerhood. We also suggest pairing any new food with a safety food on the same plate. So, if you know that your mini loves pasta, be sure to incorporate that into their meal along with whatever new ingredient you want to introduce. If you notice your babe is starting to show signs of picky eating, sticking to simple, familiar meals can be particularly helpful. That’s why Little Spoon makes veggie-packed familiar favorites like Mac and Three Cheese with Hidden Butternut Squash and Carrots and Chicken Super Nuggets with Sweet Potato Carrot Poppers and Broccoli.
How do I know when to introduce meat into their diet?
That is entirely up to you and your family’s diet preferences! There seems to be a great deal of fear around introducing our kiddos to meat at the wrong time. However, as long as the meat is properly cooked and cut into small enough pieces, you can most definitely feed it your little one. Little Spoon’s Penne and Kale Turkey Meatballs are a great place to start. However, as with any new food, your baby may reject the meat at first. If you are choosing to skip out on the meat altogether or your babe has not yet warmed up to it, make sure they are getting the iron and protein they need with beans, veggies, and eggs.