Babies, How-Tos, Inside Nurture Life

How to Introduce Your Baby to Nurture Life Finger Foods

If your baby is gulping down purees in the blink of an eye, trying to grab small chunks of food off the high chair or even reaching longingly for whatever’s on your plate, it may be time to introduce finger foods! Use the simple guide below to help transition your baby from smooth purees to Nurture Life’s chunky, colorful and oh-so-delicious Stage 3 baby food

What to Order

Nurture Life’s Stage 3 menu is full of nutritious, well-balanced, freshly made finger foods for your baby, and there really is no bad choice on there. If we seem biased, it’s only because we know exactly what’s gone into creating our Stage 3 baby food meals—including input from registered dietitians, infant nutrition experts, parents and (of course!) the world’s most adorable taste testers.

We’ve carefully curated our Finger Food menu to represent the best baby food available, packed with Stage 3 meals that are purposefully different than what you typically see:

  • Perfectly sized for your baby to practice critical self-feeding skills, including the pincer grasp and hand-eye coordination
  • Cooked to the right texture to encourage chewing (no teeth required!) and help develop key mouth muscles
  • Well balanced with a thoughtful variety of veggies, proteins and grains
  • Colorful and exciting for babies to touch, grab, play and explore
  • Vegetable-focused (not fruit-focused like most baby food!) to help develop palates that don’t only want sweet food 

No matter which individual meals you order, you’ll know that you’re giving your baby what they need at this critical stage of physical and cognitive development. We often recommend our Finger Foods for babies 10+ months, but be sure to follow your pediatrician’s advice as well as your baby’s own signs of readiness to transition to finger foods.

Sample Week of Finger Foods for Your Baby

Ordering a full week of meals (one per day) will give you a variety of options to serve your baby.

stage 3 baby food

Here are a few more helpful notes as you choose what to order for your baby:

  • As you can see in the example above, we’d recommend ordering at least a couple of repeat meals so that you can try offering the same foods more than once.
  • Babies who are just starting to transition to finger foods will still get much of their nutrition from breast milk or formula, so one meal per day is often perfectly adequate. As your baby grows and transitions away from breast milk or formula, you can adjust the finger/table foods upward as necessary.
  • Your baby’s transition from Stage 2 purees to more complex finger foods can take time—so even if it seems like it’s not going so well, you are doing it right! The more your baby explores new textures, shapes, sizes and colors, the more familiar and accepting they’ll become. 
  • Nurture Life Finger Foods can be safely frozen, so if you end up with too many meals in any given week, they won’t have to go to waste.

When Your Nurture Life Box Arrives

Your baby may not be able to fully understand what’s coming from Nurture Life, but you can still get them involved and excited through lively explanations and sensory cues! When you receive your baby food delivery box, turn the unboxing into a fun game of peekaboo and play. Let your baby hold their food jars while you name the meal and explain the illustration. (Maybe even a little “Moooooo!” when the sweet potato cow comes out of the box?!)

Nurture Life Finger Foods are made to order without added preservatives, so be sure to store them in the fridge as soon as you’re done playing together.

healthy baby meals

During Mealtime

Now the fun and experimentation begins:

  1. Set your baby up in their high chair.
  2. Set the Finger Food in front of them. 
  3. Give them the freedom to explore the new food on their own: picking it up, playing with it, smearing it around and, of course, dropping chunks all over the place as they try to master that pincer grasp. (And, just in time, here are some tips for managing messy eaters!)
  4. Keep things low key, letting your baby experience the meal without too much interference, assistance or verbal encouragement. Relaxed, playful and pressure-free is the goal, both for you and your baby.
  5. Take note of your baby’s reactions. Even if they’ve rejected a particular food once, twice or three times, that just means that a little more exposure and patience are required. It’s totally normal for babies to need some adjustment time, so just don’t give up!

After the Meal

Once mealtime is over, use Nurture Life’s meal rating feature to provide feedback on your baby’s meal preferences. You can use the mental notes you took while your baby was trying out the meal to rate it 1–5 stars and add some further notes. We also use your feedback to make sure we’re always delivering the best baby food!

As you select your next order of Finger Foods, consider reordering some of your baby’s favorites from this round while adding one or two new meals. Serving a balance of accepted and new foods is a great way to gradually expand a baby’s or toddler’s palate—keeping things moving in the right direction without overwhelming your little one. We offer standby favorites like Pasta Fagioli as well as slightly more adventurous options like housemade Salmon Cakes.

If you’re new to Nurture Life, read more about how our baby food subscription service works here! We also offer well-balanced meals for the entire family from toddlers to adults. If you have any questions about how to order our freshly made meals or what goes into our wholesome Stage 3 baby food recipes, please message us directly at support@nurturelife.com

healthy baby meals

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Lara Field

Lara has been working with Nurture Life since its inception, collaborating with the culinary team on the creation of all menus and recipes to ensure they are nutritionally appropriate and correctly proportioned for every age and stage of a child’s development and providing pediatric nutrition expertise to Nurture Life customers. Lara is the owner/founder of FEED—Forming Early Eating Decisions, a nutrition consulting practice specializing in pediatric nutrition and digestive diseases. Lara has over a decade of experience in clinical practice at two of the top ranked pediatric hospitals in the country, Lurie Children’s Hospital and University of Chicago Medical Center. Lara received her B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and M.S. and dietetic internship from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. Lara truly enjoys the process of eating (and feeding!), from procuring the ingredients at various grocery stores and farmers markets, to organizing her pantry/refrigerator at home to make it easy to select healthy options, to preparing balanced meals with her children. Whether it be a decadent treat to a hearty, home-cooked meal, there is no greater satisfaction for Lara than enjoying food with her family.

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