Great Ideas for Baby’s First Finger Foods

Russian real homemade dumplings

Discover these easy tasty recipes for baby’s first finger foods.

Cheesy Polenta Shapes

Polenta with mushrooms, tomatoes and thyme on a white plate. closeup horizontal

Thanks to its affordability and versatility, polenta (boiled cornmeal) is a great family staple.

Directions

Cook polenta according to package instructions, stir in a handful of grated cheese and pour into a 1/2-inch layer on a rimmed cookie sheet to cool. Once it’s firm, use a cookie cutter to make playful shapes.

Wild Salmon Sliders

Grilled Asian Spiced Salmon Sliders

These little patties are a great way to introduce fish to – or increase the amount of it in – your baby’s diet. We like using exceptionally nutritious salmon (make sure to use wild Alaskan salmon, which is low in mercury), but any flaky fish will do.

Directions

Mix together well-drained canned salmon, finely chopped veggies, a dollop of plain yogurt, a handful of bread crumbs and a sprinkle of chopped chives or dill. Bake or sauté palm-sized patties in a lightly oiled pan until firm, 5 to 10 minutes.

Sweet Potato Dumplings

Skip the mash and change things up with these bite-size nibbles made with ricotta for a boost of protein and calcium.

Directions

For every cup of sweet potato mash, add 1/3 cup ricotta cheese, 2 tbsp maple syrup and 3/4 cup flour (cinnamon, too, if your baby’s not allergic to it). Roll dough into 1/2-inch logs and cut age-appropriate bites (about the size of a chickpea for an 8-month-old). Cook in boiling water for about 5 minutes, until dumplings float.

Fruity Wontons with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

wonton

Use store-bought wontons to make a fruity handheld treat that can be eaten at mealtime or on the go.

Directions

While boiling a pot of water, mash baby’s favorite fruit with a little bit of spice like cinnamon, if she’s not allergic to it, or ginger. Place 1 tsp of the fruit mash in the middle of a wonton, moisten edges with water and fold the edges. There are lots of methods, but the easiest is to fold in half diagonally, making a triangle. Place in boiling water until wontons float, 4 to 6 minutes. Try them with a plain yogurt dipping sauce.

Mini Meatballs

Raw meatballs

Meatballs can be shaped to perfectly fit a baby’s hands, and it’s easy to pack them with extra goodness.

Directions

Freeze a big batch to have available any time. Mix ground meat of your choice with finely chopped veggies, fresh herbs, wheat germ and anything else that suits your fancy. We like quinoa and Parmesan, yogurt and mint leaves; or cottage cheese and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Roll into golf –ball-sized bites and bake until cooked through well, 20 to 30 minutes.

Zucchini Pancakes

zucchini pancakes

Pancakes aren’t just for breakfast! Serve this veggie version any time of day.

Directions

Grate a zucchini and sprinkle the shreds with a tiny pinch of salt. Let sit for 30 minutes and then squeeze out all the water. Mix with your favorite fresh herbs, an egg yolk and enough flour to hold together. Form them into mini pancakes and fry in a lightly oiled pan, browning on both sides, until cooked through, about 7 to 10 minutes.