Once your baby has reached about 10 months of age, he or she will likely be ready to move past baby purees and into the exciting world of self-feeding. Although meals can get more creative with thicker solids in the mix, the transition from Stage 2 to Stage 3 baby food can also be a real challenge.
To ease your baby through this big milestone, below you’ll find a list of recommended first finger foods, followed by ideas for mixing and matching them into well-balanced, wholesome baby food meals.
Stage 3 Baby Food: 12 Nutrient-Packed, Single-Ingredient Baby Finger Foods
For the healthy growth and development of your baby, Stage 3 baby foods need to provide more calories from a wider variety of sources. At this stage, your baby has already begun to eat solids and is now ready to practice the “pincer grasp” with larger, thicker, chunkier and squishier foods.
Try starting out with these easy-to-grab, easy-to-mush finger foods for babies:
- English peas
- Soft beans
- Boiled potatoes or yams
- Cooked carrots
- Green beans
- Scrambled eggs
- Firm tofu
- Lean meats
- Bite-sized pasta
For some of the larger items above, like potatoes or meats, cube the ingredients into pieces big enough to pick up with little fingers, but small enough to prevent choking. This is about three-eighths of an inch. Smaller items like peas and beans can be left in their full form.
We love these finger foods because not only are they packed with critical nutrients, they are also a great stepping stone toward more complex Stage 3 baby food. They let your baby become familiar with the many sensory and motor changes that are happening—like differences in food texture and appearance, the use of fingers or utensils to eat and the potential frustration of self-feeding (especially if your baby is teething).
Mix and Match: 6 Healthful Ingredient Combos for Wholesome Stage 3 Baby Food
The real fun begins when you mix and match stage 3 baby food ! Here are six ways Nurture Life creates nutritious, ready-to-eat baby food meals from favorite first finger foods.
1. Beef Meatloaf, Broccoli & Butternut Squash
Antibiotic free beef layered with organic steamed butternut squash and broccoli bits provides plenty of protein and iron for a balanced meal that supplies your baby’s increasingly active body and curious mind.
2. Chicken Meatballs & Pasta
Tiny pasta like ditalini is one of the most quintessential finger foods for babies, especially when cooked to a soft state for easier mushing. This dish adds bite-sized chicken meatballs to the mix for a hearty serving of protein.
3. Salmon Cake, English Pea & Potato
Our adorable mini salmon cake is seasoned with lemon and dill to give your baby a bright introduction to fish. Paired with organic english peas and soft potatoes, this finger food meal gives your baby balanced nutrients and a healthy boost of vitamin
4. Egg Bite, Sausage & Sweet Potato
This classic breakfast made finger food-friendly includes sous vide egg bites layered with Italian sausage and sweet potato. This egg-cellent finger food provides a boost of protein, calcium and iron for any time of the day.
5. Turkey Meatloaf, English Pea & Potato
Perfectly sized for grasping and handling, sweet peas and diced potatoes are ideal stage 3 baby foods. In this dish, organic peas and potatoes are served with antibiotic-free turkey meatloaf for a filling, protein-rich meal
6. Pasta Fagioli
Inspired by Italian cuisine, soft ditalini pasta with organic white beans and cubed carrots provides your baby protein and potassium, while tomato sauce blended with butternut squash gives an extra boost in vitamin A.
Stage 3 Baby Food From Nutrition Experts
These six meals have been designed by Nurture Life’s team of child nutrition experts, including our culinary team and pediatric dietitians, to provide the recommended vitamins, minerals and nutrients as your baby transitions to finger foods. Of course, they aren’t the only wholesome baby food combinations you can make. Feel free to play around and mix and match different ingredients—or even parts of Nurture Life’s baby food delivery —to find the perfect Stage 3 baby food for your little one’s taste.
If you have any questions about your baby’s stage 3 meals, don’t hesitate to reach out to our nutrition experts at email@example.com.