Are You Stuck in a Finger Food Rut?

Here are some healthy & quick finger food ideas.


Just about the time that you and your baby get comfortable with purees, the stage ends and it is time to move on to finger foods. Finger foods present new challenges and questions: 

What size pieces are appropriate? How much variety is necessary? How much should my child eat? 

This new food phrase is more complicated if you need to pack lunch for daycare or for a sitter. An increasing number of daycares are requiring parents to provide meals and snacks for their child.

 Thinking of new and creative foods can become stressful, especially with some heating/cooling restrictions of daycares. Many daycares do not have microwaves to heat food and also do not have space to store refrigerated food. Daycares also have allergy restrictions and many are peanut free. Before preparing any foods, make sure to ask your daycare about what is and is not allowed.

Every parent wants their child eating a variety of wholesome and nutritious foods, but busy parents do not want to spend a lot of time cooking, planning or thinking about what to feed their child. Busy parents want simple, nutritious meals that they can grab and go. Daycares encourage finger foods so children can feed themselves. Daycares, like parents, probably also do not want foods that make a huge mess. 

Here are some finger food ideas that are quick to prepare, simple to pack, and will please your little foodie!

Easy: For the Grab and Go Parent 

Yogurt with mixed berries

Cottage cheese and fruit

Diced mixed vegetables (ideas: carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, green beans, squash)

Crackers/whole wheat bread with hummus or jelly

Dr. Praeger's vegetable patties (need to be microwaves so multi-task and microwave in the morning while your child eats breakfast or you shower)

Cheese sticks

Hard-boiled eggs

Medium: For the Parent who Preps

Pasta Primavera: macaroni or small pasta, mixed with diced vegetables (optional: add a little olive oil and parmesan cheese)

Mini Sandwiches: Place turkey and cheese on a tortilla or whole wheat bread and cut into small bites

Rice, Bean & Vegetable Bowls: combine brown rice or quinoa, add any bean (lentils or northern white beans are goo options) and any vegetable medley (apples, carrots, broccoli, sweet potato).

Macaroni & Cheese (optional: add in spinach, broccoli, tomato)

Bite size pieces of grilled chicken, tofu or salmon prepared the night before or earlier in the week.

Hard: For the Parent who Knows Her/His Way Around a Kitchen

Muffins: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins or Mini Whole Wheat Muffins 

Mini Frittata: Egg frittata or any combination of cheese and vegetables

Veggie Balls: Spinach, zucchini or broccoli balls

Nuggets & Tots: Broccoli and cheese nuggets, Breaded chicken nuggets, Cauliflower Tots

Meatballs or Loaf: Sweet Potato Apple Turkey Loaf, Mini Veggie-Filled Meatballs

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