I was very excited when each of my kids moved from jars of strained spinach to actual finger food that they could feed themselves, because yay for independence—and the resulting semblance of family dinner. Having a toddler who’s moved on to finger foods doesn’t have to mean a steady diet of processed puffs or O’s, especially with these healthy finger food recipes in your back pocket. They’re easy to make, easy for kids to manage on their own, and best of all, an easy way to introduce healthy foods that also taste great.
So great, in fact, you may sneak a few bites yourself.
Salmon is super brain food for your growing kiddo, which is the main reason I love these little Salmon, Quinoa, and Veggie balls at The Nutrition Mama. But also, let’s be honest, they win because kids love food shaped into balls! Your kids will be grabbing for these, especially if you serve them with some ketchup or soy sauce. Even the big ones may get in the action.
Skip hard-to-manage leafy greens and mix up diced pieces of your little one’s favorite fruits and veggies for a kid-friendly salad. I love this Blackberry, Cucumber, and Melon Toddler Finger Food Salad at Baby Foodie, because how great does this combo sound?! While there, be sure not to miss Michelle’s tips on other things you can add to keep this salad fresh longer and add extra flavor with tons of nutrients, too.
Papaya was included in Smart Bites for Babies’s top 10 brain foods for babies due to all the DHA Omega 3’s it offers. Sweet, tropical flavor that is also good for you? Yes, please. We love this idea for topping papaya with shredded coconut, not just because it makes papaya even tastier, but also because it helps keep it from slipping through little fingers. If coconut is not your thing—or even if it is!—be sure to click through for other brain foods and ideas for how to serve them to little eaters.
It can be so easy to grab less healthy convenience foods at breakfast time, especially if you’re rushed in the morning or just sleep deprived from taking care of a baby. But planning ahead with a batch of these Broccoli and Cheese Frittata Fingers at My Fussy Eater will help you be prepared to give your baby’s day a healthy start. This also makes a great make-ahead lunch or dinner for you and your toddler, too.
Our BTDT tip is to set aside some veggies for baby while cooking for the rest of the family. If you’re into it, these tips for roasting veggies for babies at Hello Bee will help. And speaking of help, we also love this brilliant hack for making slippery veggies easier for toddlers to grab at The Romaezies. Avocado will get away no longer!
These Fruity Oatmeal Breakfast Bites at Feeding Finn are perfect for busy mornings or as a grab-and-go snack for while you’re out running errands with the baby. Much better for you than a store-bought granola bar, and tastier too.
It’s so easy to fall back on an easy PB&J sandwich and this recipe for Almond Butter and Jam Sandwiches at Smart Bites for Babies takes it a step further without adding any additional work. Plus, if you can get them loving almond butter when they’re babies, they’ll at least have that healthy eating habit for a long time. (Just keep in mind that almonds are a high-allergen food that should be introduced carefully. Check out this helpful guide on how to introduce high allergen foods on our editor Stacie’s site, One Hungry Mama.)
My kids were addicted to zucchini bread when they were little, but some recipes have as much sugar as cake. These Zucchini Bread Mini-Muffins at Jess Fuel have just half a cup of brown sugar, enough sweetness to make them delicious without draining your energy later in the day. Plus, the mini size is perfect for toddlers to manage on their own.