The possibilities for finger foods for babies and toddlers are endless. Here are more nutritious, organic and delicious ideas:
Cook beans, lentils, dried peas well and let cool. Smash them a bit so they are more flat than round. There are so many legumes available and they are so inexpensive and super healthy. Remember that the darker the color, the more the phytonutrients, (plant nutrients) so black beans are the winners.
Another high-protein finger food is hard-cook omega-3 organic free-range eggs, being sure that all yellow and white are thoroughly cooked so any salmonella is killed. Break the egg into bite-sized pieces for finger foods. It’s fun to add natural foods colors to mashed hard-cooked eggs. A little beet juice will make pink (as in princesses), turmeric is bright yellow, spirulina is extremely green. (If you haven’t heard of these foods, such as spirulina and turmeric, search for them online or look for them in your local natural foods store – they are Super-duper foods!)
At 8 months, begin your little sweetie on organic yogurt with “active yogurt cultures.” Yogurt with active cultures must be kept either refrigerated or frozen. (Buyer beware: There are now brands of yogurt at room temperature on the supermarket shelf–these do NOT contain live cultures.) Refrigerated kefir is another fabulous dairy product containing healthy active cultures. Yogurt and kefir (a drink similar to yogurt) contain calcium and lots of protein too.
Shredded pieces of natural organic cheeses make nice finger foods also: Swiss, provolone, mozzarella. Large or small curds of cottage cheese work nicely too, and since they are white, can be colored for fun.
WARNING: Only dairy and cheese products be made from pasteurized milk, not raw milk, should be fed to babies and toddlers and other people who are immuno-compromised (weakened immune system), such as those with HIV, chronic disease, the elderly, and women who are pregnant.
Omega-3 Healthy Fats
For DHA and EPA, break up small pieces of canned salmon that lists high DHA and EPA amounts on the can. You’ll find them in the natural foods store. Flax seeds are high in lignans other omega-3′s (but not DHA and EPA). Ground flax seeds (or other seeds) in your “Tribest” grinder or in a coffee grinder. Eat them right away and do not store, because the oils turn rancid very quickly after the seeds have been broken open. Be sure to clean all oils out of your coffee grinder thoroughly because rancid oils become toxic. I like the “Tribest” blender/grinder because it can be taken apart and washed in the dishwasher where even the tiniest crevices get clean.
We complete our talk of fabulous finger foods for baby and toddlers by introducing seeds and dips!