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Easy First Finger Foods for Baby

Our Story:
    So, I am one of those first time moms that kind of freaked out when the pediatrician told me my son was old enough for finger foods. My son only had two little bitty front teeth and I was supposed to give him cheerios? Compounding the problem we went home and started trying small pieces of finger foods then our little one came down with a nasty cold shortly there after.
He wasn't used to chunky food and also couldn't breathe through his nose so he was constantly choking and gagging. It was enough to give me an ulcer. I've learned a lot since that first attempt at graduating him into "real food." I just wanted to share some of the things I've found.

    

Crackers & Cookies:
    One snack that worked amazing for a first finger food was Parent's Choice Little Rice Cups. They are the first picture in this post. You can buy them at Walmart. This was a perfect easily dissolved snack for a first try at finger foods! Their most important feature being they were large enough for my little man to hold onto and he would gum it till it was soft enough to bite little pieces off and swallow. These a month later are still our favorite go to snack.
    Another favorite was Gerber Graduates Puff Cereal Snacks. They come in a variety of flavors and can usually be bought in bulk at Sams Club. 
    Gerber also has Graduates Arrowroot Cookies. I would hold these off till your little one is a little experienced with biting, gumming and swallowing. They have a tendency to come off in a little bigger chunks and take more gumming then the first two snacks I mentioned. Once my little man got the hang of it these quickly became a favorite.
   Now these are all specially made for babies snacks so they cost more then just plain normal crackers. Once your baby gets the hang of eating you can try things like cheerios which will cost you less money:)
Veggies & Fruits:
    At first I was kind of at a loss on what to feed him other then the prepackaged Gerber snacks and foods. I actually bought diced carrots packaged by Gerber. Looking back I know that was silly but I didn't know better. Here is some awesome things I found to give your little one.
   Great Value (Walmart Brand) has plastic cups of diced veggies and fruits. They are amazing! Del Monte and Dole also have diced fruit cups they just cost a little more. I gave my little man Great Value Sweet Peas today for the first time and he ate an entire cup of them! Oh, my goodness he loved it! What better way for an easy already diced up food for baby to snack on that doesn't cost an arm and a leg! Just because it says "baby" on it! This truly is what I would classify as one of my greatest finds. As you put the dices of fruit on babies plate make sure they are small & soft enough. Occasionally you might need to brake a peach chunk in half and green beans of course need to be cut up. The pears are the hardest fruit so far that we've tried (still a little too hard for my guy) and the mangos are the softest!
   Other things we've used are sliced up ripe bananas, small pieces of sliced cheese and pieces of cooked pasta. Things we plan to try but haven't yet are small pieces of broccoli, chunks of well cooked sweet potato, blueberries, small cubes of melons, lightly toasted bread or bagels and cheerios.
Miscellaneous Snacks:
Another snack that Gerber makes is the Graduates Yogurt Melts. Now at first my little guy wasn't so sure about these but after giving them a go he can't get enough of them. It makes a nice "desert" for him to enjoy. Also I can pull these out when I need him occupied for a quick couple of minutes while I finish a task that needs to be done and he can't resist them! They work nice for when your sitting in a restaurant too because they don't make a mess and are easy to pick up. Just make sure to let your little one try them a couple times because evidently they are an acquired taste:)

Being Safe with Finger Foods:
    Make sure to give each new food 4 days before adding anything else new to babies diet. That way you will know if an allergy comes up and what the allergy is to. Also make sure to always be there watching and on hand just in case baby chokes or needs assistance. Most importantly talk to your child's pediatrician if you have any concerns and before doing anything you are unsure about:)
Also check out my post Growing Little Ones : Easy Meals and Finger Foods for a One Year Old

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