First solid foods for toddlers - The best finger foods

Starting Solid Foods for Toddlers

    Your baby is 6 months old? His birth weight has doubled and he still looks hungry? You have increased the number of feedings for more than 5 days (even at night) and your toddler still doesn’t seem satiated? It may be time to take another step and start introducing the first solid foods for toddlers ... Yes, but when to start giving baby solid foods? What are the best solid foods to start baby on? And what’s the best finger foods for picky toddlers?

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Best first baby foods

When to start giving baby solid foods?

Is he really ready?

We already know that before introducing solid foods, the toddler must demonstrate certain natural abilities, such as sitting without support or holding his head straight. It is equally important to know that before the age of 6 months, the majority of toddlers are not physiologically ready to eat complementary foods, because:

They do not produce enough saliva;
The neuromuscular coordination necessary to swallow solid foods is not complete;
Their digestive system does not produce enough enzymes to digest foods;
Their kidneys are unable to accept a large amount of protein;
Their immune system has not reached full maturity, which increases the risk of developing food allergies.

How can I get my toddler to try new foods!

Introducing solids to baby

  • For the first experience to be positive, choose a time when your baby is in a good mood. 
  • Give him his milk and wait 30 minutes before offering him his first solid food, such as cereals. 
  • It is important not to force the baby to take the full amount. 
  • This first experience can be easy for some babies and difficult for others

Baby’s first solid foods list

In the past, it was recommended that a well-established food introduction order be followed to address certain concerns: child development, food allergies, etc. However, knowledge and practices related to baby nutrition have evolved.

The order of the introduction of solid foods may differ according to customs and cultures. The important thing is to start with iron-rich food for kids, a mineral essential to the development of the child. Up to the age of two, you can offer some foods at least twice a day, such as:

Baby cereals fortified with iron; 
Poultry and meat; 

It is always recommended to offer only one new solid food at a time and wait 2-3 days before introducing a new one. By doing this, you will allow baby to get used to each new food that will be presented and it will be easier for you to detect if food causes an allergic reaction or discomfort.

Once one or more iron-rich foods have been introduced into the toddler’s diet, it is possible to add other foods to offer diversity. After a few weeks, the four food groups will be part of his menu.

That said, it is no longer advisable to wait until the baby reaches a certain age before giving him certain foods such as egg white, fish or peanut butter. It is becoming known now that this does not prevent allergies. The presence of an allergic disorder in a member of the family (father, mother, sister or brother) is, however, a risk factor.

During the first year of life of infants, solid foods supplement breast milk and formula, they do not replace it! That's why they're called complementary foods.

It should also be noted that cow's milk should not be introduced into the baby's diet until 9 to 12 months of age because it contains too much protein and mineral salts, which could harm their kidneys. And it does not contain enough lactose, linoleic acid, vitamins A, B1, B6, C, D and E, copper, manganese and iron, all essential elements that your toddlers need for healthy growth.

Baby-led weaning first foods

Solid Foods: Best Baby cereals 

Some baby cereals even contain probiotics, for the health of the intestinal flora of babies. Read labels carefully to choose the best product for your toddler. Opt for cereals without sugar, salt, preservatives, and flavors or artificial colors.

At the beginning of the introduction of cereals, make clear and smooth purees, mixed with breast milk or formula. Start with a teaspoon of mash (5 ml), once or twice a day, after drinking. Gradually increase the portions. By the age of one, your toddler should be able to take about ½ to ¾ cup (125 to 175 ml) of cereal.

To know!
It is important not to sweeten the food (cereals and others) that you serve your baby and to opt for products without added sugar. This will allow him to appreciate the natural foods and reduce the risk of dental caries formation.

In addition, whether it is pasteurized or not, cooked or not, honey can cause botulism for toddlers less than one year of age, a form of severe paralytic poisoning that can lead to death.

Solid Foods: How? What texture?

Complementary foods for toddlers, including baby cereals, should be spooned, not in a bottle, to avoid the risk of toddler’s choking.
 As your toddler gets used to eating, gradually you will be able to feed him thicker and stronger foods. Although he has no teeth, his gums allow him to chew.


7 months baby foods, you can offer slightly smoother purees made with a fork;
8 or 9 months baby foods, an infant can eat soft foods, mashed with a fork or cut into small pieces, served with a spoon ... or invited to take with his hands!
9 months to 1-year toddler foods, Toddler eats everything (or almost!), as long as his food is cut into small pieces.

What are the best finger foods for picky toddlers?

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Healthy finger food for Toddlers

Here are some great finger food ideas for toddlers to check out:

Fruits: should be soft to be easily mushed in your toddler’s mouth.
Vegetables: should be well-cooked and soft. Cut into small pieces or stick.
Grains: Try to introduce a variety of whole grains to your toddler (brown rice, oatmeal, barley, whole-wheat pasta,…)
Broccoli cheese quinoa bites.
Veggie mac and cheese muffins.
Spinach banana mini muffins.
Triple veggie quinoa muffins.
Maple cinnamon sweet potato rounds.
Zucchini cheddar whole wheat waffles.
Cheesy chicken meatballs.

Foods that are whole or in large pieces may get stuck in the trachea of toddlers and prevent air from reaching the lungs. Also, to prevent choking (suffocation), do not offer small, round, firm foods - for example, nuts, pastilles, popcorn, fresh or dried grapes, sausage slices.

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