This is a guest post from Catherine McCord, author of Weelicious.
I’m thrilled to be guest posting for Lisa as nothing makes me happier than real food!
I started Weelicious six years ago after the birth of my son when I couldn’t find any interesting homemade baby food recipes online or information on how to actually get kids to become great eaters from day one. Then as the baby food stage quickly disappeared I found myself in the abyss of wondering how to feed my toddler. Like many moms I was scared of him choking, needing an epi-pen if he tasted peanut butter, or not getting enough nutrition when feeding himself.
What do you feed new eaters transitioning from purees to solid foods? It was actually a lot easier than I thought. First, he could eat almost everything my husband and I were eating, just in much smaller bites and portions. I tried my hardest to avoid sugar and salt in his recipes until he was 18 months and then added sweeteners and sodium in small amounts. I really wanted both of my kids to fall in love with the natural flavors of food instead of the enhancers.
Many popular finger foods that kids love can be easily made at home so you know exactly what’s going into your child’s food and their body. Some of my family’s favorites are: Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Bites, Animal Crackers, Whole Wheat Cheddar Crackers.
Sometimes it helps to present foods in new ways to get your little ones interested in eating them. Like forming rice around cheese in these Mexican Rice Balls, or presenting broccoli in a new and very flavorful way with these Broccoli Cheese Patties, or even freezing peas and greens in ice pop form! That’s right, I said it, freeze greens and peas in popsicle molds for a refreshing and super healthy treat. Try these adorable Pea Wee Kiwi Pops or Green Ice Pops.
Here are a few more favorite recipes that are perfect finger foods for toddlers.
If you’re having trouble introducing your little one to new foods, I’ve got some ideas to help!
You certainly don’t need to spend lots of time in the kitchen to prepare finger foods for your growing toddler. All the recipes listed above are easy to make, and most can be frozen so you always have them on hand. For those times when you just don’t have to time to do anything, here are some finger foods that can be served to your toddler as is, or with minimal tweaks and preparation:
Toddler Finger Foods
- Toast Bites (whole-wheat toast bread and cut or tear into bite-sized chunks)
- Bites of Ripe Fruits (mango, apple, peach, pineapple, berries, etc)
- Whole Wheat Bagels – these make great teethers, too!
- Frozen Peas
- Cubed Tofu
- Cooked Beans
- Cheese Cubes
- Spoonful of Nut or Seed Butter
- Cooked Bite-Sized Pasta
- Steamed Vegetables (such as cauliflower, broccoli, carrots or corn) sprinkled with Toasted Sesame Seeds
- Chopped Boiled Eggs or Scrambled Eggs
- Cubed Chicken
- Whole-Grain Rice Cakes
- Cooked Salmon
- Slightly over cooked Brown Rice (makes it easier to stick to little hands)
Please share your favorite healthy toddler food with us in the comments below!
Launched in 2007, Catherine McCord, mom to Kenya (6) and Chloe (4), created Weelicious.com as a platform to show parents around the world how easy and beneficial it is to expose children to wholesome and delicious homemade food. After personally struggling with how to feed Kenya, Catherine recognized a need for realistic, accessible and nutritious recipes for parents using minimal ingredients that are fully loaded with flavor. Weelicious, which now houses over 700 original recipes and has spawned into a cookbook, isn’t about taking risks or presenting challenges in the kitchen. Catherine inspires her community with ingredients that are readily available and recipes that are fast and easy to follow. Debuting a new recipe or tip daily and how-to cooking videos posted every Tuesday, Weelicious is a wealth of information and has quickly developed an international audience on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. She also recently introduced weekly meal plans that take the guesswork out of what to cook – and the foods are all ones that kids love! You can check those out here.