Finger Foods for Baby With No Teeth
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. Around six months of age is when babies are ready for introduction to solid food. If your baby can sit up without support, and is at least six months old, she is ready for finger foods 1. Even if she does not yet have teeth, there are plenty of soft finger foods that are safe to feed her. Babies have very hard gums, and they will use them to break up softer foods in their mouth. Be sure to cut foods into small pea-size pieces that cannot get stuck in their airway. Some foods can be cut into a stick shape so babies can hold it in their palm with a bit sticking out to chew on.
Soft fruits such as bananas or very ripe pears can be served raw, cut into proper-size pieces, even for babies without teeth. Bananas can be cut in half lengthwise, and cut into sticks to make it easier for your baby to pick up, pears can be peeled and cut into wedges to be held in your baby's fist, or pea-size pieces to be picked up with thumb and forefinger. Apples, peaches and plums can be baked until very soft, sprinkled with cinnamon and served in wedges or small pieces. Ripe avocados can be served in wedges. Slippery fruits can be coated in oatmeal flakes or finely ground cereal to make them easier to pick up.
Sweet potatoes are a popular finger food for babies without teeth 1. They can be cut into sticks and roasted until soft. Carrots, broccoli, beets and other potatoes can be served the same way. Don't be afraid to season your baby's vegetables with a light seasoning; just avoid salt. Cumin or Italian spices have a nice flavor and are mild enough for your baby. Green beans can be steamed until soft and cut into small pieces.
Bread and Pasta
Babies without teeth usually love lightly toasted bread, a chunk of a bagel, or pasta noodles because they are very easy to "chew". Babies without teeth can gum bread or a bagel and it will dissolve in their mouth. Just be careful to check your babies mouth for stores of bread hidden in his cheeks or at the roof of his mouth, when he is done eating. They can also handle pasta fairly easily; some good shapes to try are the elbow noodles, bowties and rotini. Sprinkle the pasta with a bit of Parmesan cheese.
Babies without teeth can handle some meats as well. Ground meats such as turkey, beef or pork can be served cooked and crumbled up onto baby's tray, or as a meatball cut into four pieces. Chicken breast, cut into pea-size bites is another meat a baby can try.
Babies without teeth can eat a variety of snacks throughout the day. Infants nine months of age and older can have small bits of cheese. Babies six months of age and older can have non-sugary cereal pieces, specially made baby snacks such as whole grain puffs and yogurt bites. Other good snacks for a baby without teeth include:
- soft cooked ravioli
- berries (except strawberries)
- roasted chickpeas
- whole grain crackers
- plain or with hummus or cheese spread
- happy baby eating banana near his mother image by Vasiliy Koval from Fotolia.com