Hannah is 9 months old ... I simply cannot believe that, and refuse to accept that very soon we'll be thinking about planning her first birthday party ... yikes!! My baby is growing up!! Having said that, I'm finding these days so much easier, and I'm really thankful for that. In my experience with a newborn, you have mighty hard work on your hands and very little sleep for about 6 months, then it gets much more fun, as bub starts sleeping better (hopefully), and their little (or big) personality comes out. Hannah's sleeping, and is so much more independent in the way she plays. With crawling and trying to pull herself up on everything, her little antics are just hilarious. She has a really big personality, and I love learning more about her every day.
One other thing that has changed though are her eating habits. Hannah is a FANTASTIC eater...in fact I'm pretty sure she eats about as much as Bethany. But this little munchkin has decided she will no longer eat from a spoon. Now don't get me wrong ... I'm more than happy for her to feed herself with finger food, but I want her diet to stay balanced with lots of varieties of fruit and veg. This can be a bit tricky seeing as she has no teeth yet so her ability to eat some of those foods (especially the tougher vegies like broccoli, or stringy ones like spinach) without the pureed option is a little limited, and she often gets sick of them and throws them on the floor before she actually eats anything. So I'm writing this post to share the ideas I've come up with, and to hopefully get some ideas of any other easy-to-eat finger foods you may have.
My first baby finger food idea was named by Bethany ... Melted Apple. It's just an apple that's been peeled and sliced, then zapped in the microwave for 2 minutes with a teaspoon of water. Comes out nice and soft, and almost purees itself when popped in little Hannah's mouth, but is still sturdy enough for her not-so-gentle little hands to grab. Bethany also loves this one. I find it such a quick and easy healthy snack option to take out. I simply zap it just before we leave the house, run it under some cold water to cool it down, then pop it in a little box. Easy finger food that's really not too messy either.
This next one was my Mum's idea ... we have ice-cubes of pureed mixed vegies left in the freezer from when Hannah used to like pureed foods, and rather than waste it I simply defrost one and spread it on a slice of bread. Fold the bread in half and cut little sandwich fingers. Once again, a great way of getting a variety of vegies into this little munchkin, without it being difficult for her to eat. She loves her bread, so a sandwich is a good option. I've also spread the pureed vegies on to a Cruskit for her, but that was a little more messy.
My last finger food regular is one I got from the book Baby Love by Robin Barker (though I added the vegemite bit!). It's especially good for when we're out and about...Toast Rusks. I get a slice of bread, spread a really tiny amount of vegemite on it (yep, vegemite is an absolute staple in our house), then cut into about 4-5 fingers. Put the fingers vegemite-side-up on a plate and microwave for 1 minute.....watch it like a hawk, 'cause I have burnt them before. When the minute's up, check them...if they're still a little soft / damp, flip them over and zap again for another 15 - 30 seconds. This is a good option for a snack while Hannah's sitting in the pram, because they're hard so they take some time for her to suck, soggify (I just invented that word) and eat.
Anyway, these are just a few options I am using, in addition to cubing and steaming sweet potato, pumpkin, potato, carrot, zucchini etc. I think we're going OK, but I certainly am running out of ideas to keep things interesting. I would love it if you could share your baby finger food ideas with me too!