Categories: Babies, Nutrition, Snacks

Stage 3 Baby Food: 6 Meal Ideas for Growing Kids

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:

  1. English peas
  2. Soft beans
  3. Boiled potatoes or yams
  4. Cooked carrots
  5. Green beans
  6. Zucchini
  7. Corn
  8. Scrambled eggs
  9. Firm tofu
  10. Lean meats
  11. Salmon
  12. 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

stage 3 baby food | Meatloaf and Squash | Nurture Life

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

stage 3 baby food | Chicken Meatballs and Pasta | Nurture Life

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

stage 3 baby food | Salmon and Veggies | Nurture Life

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

stage 3 baby food

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

stage 3 baby food

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

stage 3 baby food

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

healthy baby meals


Rachael Janas

Rachael joined the Nurture Life team as the Marketing Production & QA Manager. From menu design to nutrient analysis, she covers all things food. Rachael is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with a strong foundation in clinical nutrition and a keen interest in nutritious food with phenomenal flavor. Her passion for incorporating whole foods and creative cuisine while focusing on age-specific nutrient needs of children is essential to Nurture Life’s menu design. Rachael has been practicing dietetics since 2011, with the bulk of her experience in clinical nutrition at Loyola Medical Center, specializing in patients with cystic fibrosis as well as critical care nutrition related to lung disease and lung transplant. She also has experience in cardiac health and nutrition during pregnancy. Rachael received her B.S. from Saint Louis University in Missouri and completed a dietetic internship with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Rachael’s interests include creative cooking at home, using a variety of ingredients, spices and herbs for a unique meal each night. She truly believes nutrition and food should be enjoyable and that all food can be enjoyed in moderation.

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