Finger foods are anything edible your baby can hold. They need to be in small sizes that are easily picked up by small hands.

Your baby may become interested in finger foods anywhere from 8 months of age. Babies need to be able to sit with little or no support and have commenced eating solid food before being introduced to finger food. At first they may grab the food using their fist but this will change as their pincer grip develops (this is when babies use their thumb and index finger to pick up objects such as food). Finger feeding encourages this development and helps with hand to mouth coordination.

Your baby does not have to have teeth to enjoy finger foods.

Before offering your baby finger food, wash their hands and sit baby up in a highchair. Do not let baby lie back in the stroller when eating. Never leave your baby alone when eating as they may choke.

Always feed your baby when they are sitting down in a high chair or at a little table and chairs as they move to the end of the first year of life.

Finger Food Suggestions

Breads and cereals

  • Wholemeal toast with mashed avocado or mashed pumpkin on top
  • Cooked pasta twists plain or with a tomato sauce
  • Soft, cooked brown rice pressed into a small ball
  • Rice cakes
  • Italian bread sticks
  • Set polenta

Fruits and vegetables

  • Soft, ripe or cooked fruit wedges (e.g. banana, pear, peach, kiwi fruit, rockmelon, mango etc)
  • Peeled orange or mandarin with the flesh removed from the segments
  • Grated apple or cooked peeled apple slices that are soft
  • Dried fruit soaked in water until soft
  • Soft, well-cooked cool vegetables (e.g. broccoli florets, cooked carrots, roasted sweet potato, zucchini, cooked asparagus spears etc)
  • Avocado and cucumber cut into sticks

Dairy foods

  • Grated hard cheese
  • Cheese cut into sticks

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs and legumes

  • Small pieces of well cooked meats
  • Small meat or chicken mince balls
  • Cooked flaked fish removing any bones
  • Scrambled egg yolks
  • Firm tofu chunks

What to avoid

Foods to avoid include those that don’t breakdown into small pieces easily. These can be a choking hazard.

Hard foods that might cause choking include:

  • Hard biscuits,
  • Raw apple (if not grated),
  • Uncooked carrots,
  • Uncooked celery,
  • Sausage skins,
  • Whole peas,
  • Corn,
  • Beans,
  • Grapes that have the skin still covering,
  • Nuts,
  • Popcorn,
  • Hard lollies,
  • Corn chips, and
  • Small bones or gristle.

Want to Know More?

The Raising Children Network – Finger foods: in pictures
Pregnancy, birth & baby – Introducing solid food

If you still have questions, contact our Parenting Line