Tuesday, May 25, 2010

TTT: Toddler Finger Food

For some reason, the switch from a diet of formula & baby food to whole milk & table food has seemed like a sudden transition for both of my kids. Suddenly I have to think! About what this little person should eat! This little person who is hungry all the time and who can choke on just about anything!

It's puzzling.

I decided to compile a list of easy, healthy finger foods for toddlers, in the hopes that I'll be able to remember some of these options the next time I'm stumped.

1) Cheerios - okay, this one is a gimmie. David loves Cheerios, and he has the shirt to prove it.

2) Toast strips - plain, buttered, topped with melted cheese; there are lots of options for toast!

3) Steamed diced veggies - carrots and broccoli are easy to steam in the microwave, and can be diced quickly with a pizza cutter.

4) Shredded roasted meat - since I like to cook whole chickens in the Crock-Pot, I have a good supply of shredded meat in the freezer. It's tender and moist, and is easily shredded into toddler-safe bites.

5) Diced fruit - bananas, strawberries, apples, peaches - diced fruit is always a big hit! (I usually don't give David banana as a finger food, because it gets absolutely everywhere and somehow turns into something the consistency of spackle.)

6) NutriGrain or similar fruit & cereal bars - I haven't tried these with David yet, but Wendy loved them! I need to find a recipe for them to try to make them at home. Anybody have one?

7) Well-done macaroni with or without sauce - our family eats a lot of pasta, and David already knows that he loves it! I usually cook ours al dente, but for David's sake, I've been trying to make it a bit softer.

8) Shredded cheese - David loves it! But holy cow, does it make a big mess!!

9) Diced hard-boiled egg - a good, inexpensive source of protein.

10) Plain rice cakes - crunchy and satisfying, they make a good between-meals snack for a hungry baby!

Whew!! It took me a long time to come up with a list of ten finger foods. Do you have any suggestions?

For more Top Ten Tuesday lists, visit OhAmanda.com!


Kimberly said...

We do a lot of the same things. Blueberries. Peas...mine like them still frozen. And they LOVE shredded cheese, though I finally just sliced some up in strips the other day and they both inhaled it. They like hot dogs cut into strips. Steamed broccoli florets are a bit hit with the baby. And pears cut into thin slices and peeled are great. I wish my kids would go for beans. They like hummus, but I wish they would just eat the beans.

Jeni said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Kimberly! I hadn't thought to try beans...I wonder if he'll eat them?

Betsy said...

We love little melba toasts -- you can get whole wheat ones at Trader Joe's. My toddler loves shredded carrots too -- although, like cheese, very messy. I wrote about good first solid foods here:

You've covered most of the good finger foods I have listed.

Alicia said...

I wish I had some suggestions for you. We are just starting table foods and I get stumped when trying to figure out what to give him. He gets a lot of cheerios...

Eco said...

Corban loved beans of all sorts at that age -- still does, in fact. Now I know this isn't the healthiest thing in the world, but when we were guests of people without little one, we would bring one of those microwavable vegetable soups. Campbell's lid actually has little holes, just like a colander. So we'd heat it up and then drain the broth off to leave the pasta letters and all the veggies -- she loved it.

And of course, yogurt was a big hit, too. YoBaby is a good brand and if our Wal-Mart carries it, it's probably available by you, as well. :-)

The other thing I tried was tuna fish and she loved it as a baby -- only recently have I been able to get her to eat it again. But her diet consisted mostly of dairy, fruit and veggies so it was nice to sneak in a little protein, once in a while.

Such a fun time!

Allison @ Alli 'n Son said...

I never thought about using rice cakes as a snack. My son would love those.