Contrary to popular belief, your baby doesn’t have to live off of rice cakes and unseasoned veg when they first get the munchies for solids. With my first baby I conformed to the overly cautious mother’s society, and often found myself giving her the same snacks everyday just because I didn’t sit down and think about what other options were out there. As a result she became less adventurous and it was harder to get her to try new things.
It's good to offer a wide variety of finger food
Babies can actually enjoy a much, much wider range of flavors. The plain, dry, boring stuff isn’t unhealthy, but getting them interested in tasty, healthy food creations now is much more satisfying and may ward off fixations on unhealthy foods, such as chips and biscuits. Pediatricians have expressed the importance of exposing babies to a variety of healthy foods and tastes, especially because of the extreme rise in childhood obesity.
So here are some baby-friendly but tasty options!
Easy, tender and tasty. It’s also great for your baby to get used to the taste and texture of meat and it's a great finger food.
Veg, all kinds of Veg!
Sweet potatoes and mushed carrots are the stereotypical vegetables for babies, but diversify their interest and increase nutritional value by including all types of vegetables in their diet. Cooked until soft, they make great finger food snacks.
Fish used to be completely off the chart for babies because of the allergy risks, but studies show no evidence that not giving fish and other common allergenic foods to babies will prevent allergies. It is safe to give fish from 8 months. Plus there are brain nutrients in fish that are limited in other foods!
It might sound strange, but the majority of babies actually enjoy sour foods. Try blueberries, papaya, kiwi or cherries (after removing the stones of course!).
There are also a lot of yummy recipes for your little one on our Recipe Hub.
It can be a little scary trying your baby with unconventional foods, but they definitely reap the benefits. And the old-fashioned advice about waiting until your tot is 1 or older before introducing allergenic foods no longer applies to the majority of babies and evidence now shows it is safe to introduce many foods from 6 months. See our Baby Food Chart for details of which foods to introduce when.
Ensure you experiment safely with the new interesting foods, making sure you introduce them one at a time and waiting at least three days between each one, just in case they do have a reaction. This usually shows itself though nappy rash, changes in poo or rashes/redness on their skin. Always consult your pediatrician first, especially if there is a family history of allergens.
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