The Top of Mind Newsletter by New Modern Mom is your guide to a fulfilling life, packed with wisdom on motherhood, travel, career, style and self care. Get the latest resources, news and musings right to your inbox.


Introducing Finger Foods to Your Baby: A Busy Mom’s Guide

Nurture Life




Written by:

Barbara Mighdoll

This post is in partnership with Nurture Life. I only endorse products I believe in and personally use with my family.

Let's be honest, introducing finger foods is nerve-wracking, not to mention so much freaking work. The mental load of this process is daunting. You wonder: How do I know when they are ready? What foods are safe? What if they struggle to chew it? Can I give them what I’m eating? Do they really need three meals? And don't even get me started on cutting everything into perfectly bite-size pieces!

I get it—I've been there myself with two little ones. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed with my first baby. This second time around, I was wiser on how to tackle this milestone and discovered a little secret that not only eased my anxiety, but simplified life for me as a busy working mom: outsourcing my baby’s food prep with Nurture Life.

Get 50% off your first week of Nurture Life with code: NEWMODERNMOM50

Whether you want to cook your baby’s finger food, or outsource it like me, here’s a busy mom's guide to finger foods, featuring a pediatric dietician’s advice as well as mine!

Nurture Life finger foods

Choosing the first finger foods

The best time to introduce finger foods is between 6 and 9 months, when babies have the oral-motor reflexes necessary to support chewing. Look for good head control, sitting with minimal support, and interest in food.


If you introduce finger foods when your baby is 6 to 7 months old, they'll likely start picking up foods using their palms, also known as the palmer grasp. Pediatric dietitian Dahlia Rimmon MS, RDN explains, “At this age, cut food into long strips, about the length of your pinky finger. This helps because the food will stick out of your baby's palm, making it easier for them to grip and eat.”

Between 8 to 10 months, babies develop the pincer grasp which aligns with when many pediatricians recommend to begin feeding your baby a consistent three meals of solid foods per day. This reflex allows babies to pick up smaller pieces of food with their index finger and thumb. Rimmon recommends cutting food into small bite-sized pieces to help your baby practice and strengthen these new skills.


All finger foods should be soft enough that your baby can safely eat them. While babies don't need teeth to eat finger foods (they have really strong gums!) food should still be soft. Rimmon says, “Food should be soft enough that you can easily squish it between your fingers.” Avoid hard, sharp, or very firm foods which can pose a choking risk. Slippery foods may be a choking hazard too. Rimmon suggests, “Roll slippery foods in infant cereal, ground flaxseed, or finely crushed breadcrumbs. This helps reduce slipperiness and gives babies a better grip to hold onto the food themselves.”

Nutritional value

Prioritize foods with high nutritional value. Babies, with their tiny tummies, don't consume large quantities of food, so make every bite count. Aim for a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats. “Think of finger foods as an opportunity to introduce your baby to a rainbow of nutritious options,” says Rimmon. “Soft-cooked vegetables, ripe fruits, well-cooked eggs, and tender chicken or fish are fantastic choices.” Incorporating a range of textures and flavors not only nurtures your baby's palate but also ensures they receive a balance of vitamins and minerals too. 

Here's a list of great finger foods sorted by food group:

  • Protein: Chicken, chickpeas, white beans, lentils, tofu, eggs, ground beef, unsweetened Greek yogurt, salmon
  • Healthy fats: Avocado, olive oil, coconut cream, peanut butter
  • Veggies: sweet potato, butternut squash, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, tomatoes
  • Fruit: banana, blueberries, mango, pear
  • Grains: quinoa, whole wheat, oats

Handling gags and spit-outs

Did you know there is a distinction between gagging and choking? They aren’t the same thing.

Gagging is a normal response you might see when your baby tries new foods or is still learning how to handle them in their mouth. Gagging is actually a safety mechanism that helps protect the airway. When a baby gags you'll likely hear coughing or gurgling sounds, as the gag reflex assists in moving food back towards the front of the mouth. This might prompt your baby to spit out the food and try again. While it’s hard not to panic initially, stay calm and let your babe's reflexes kick in.

On the other hand, choking is silent and happens when the airway is blocked. It can be frightening, which is why it's important to complete an infant CPR course before starting solids with your baby. I learned this first-hand when Caden actually began choking on food when I first introduced him to solids. Thankfully I was able to unblock his airway using the skills I had learned.

How to prepare baby finger foods

outsource your baby's finger foods prep

When it comes to preparing finger foods, you have two choices: cook homemade food in your own kitchen or take a shortcut and outsource your baby's food.

Make finger foods yourself

Just like preparing your own meals, this route requires a lot of invisible work. You need to find recipes (skip the salt and added sugar), make your ingredient list, grocery shop, prep the food, cook the food, cut the food to just the right size, then clean up the mess from not just your baby, but your cooking spree. Here are some tips:

  1. Buy in bulk
  2. Choose freezer-friendly recipes
  3. Invest in good quality storage containers
  4. Portion before freezing
  5. Label everything
  6. Thaw safely

Outsource your baby’s meals

Honestly, using Nurture Life’s Finger Foods made THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE in my feeding journey with my second baby versus my first. I cannot stress enough how these prepared meals helped streamline my daily routine. Instead of the mental load of thinking about what, when and how I would feed my growing baby amongst my crazy schedule, Nurture Life was my savior in delivering nutritious meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner – right to my home weekly. Their finger foods are made for babies 10+ months, and I appreciate that they're perfectly sized and soft. All I have to do is heat them up and serve. Voila! 

Why I Chose Nurture Life Over Other Options

Nurture Life vs other packaged finger foods

If you know me, you know I’m an over-researcher and my quest for a solution to feeding my baby was no exception. Compared to other ready-made meals or store-bought options, Nurture Life really stands out.


Every meal includes veggies, ensuring my baby gets at least one serving of vegetables in her diet. Plus, each dish provides a good source of protein to keep her feeling full and energized. I also appreciate that Nurture Life uses fresh ingredients – nothing is ever frozen unlike some options. Even better, all the meals are freshly made each week, versus other prepared foods and kids meal delivery services that are often made months in advance or frozen.

Ingredient Safety

All of Nurture Life’s food is prepared in a facility that maintains the highest food safety standards. Nurture Life follows strict culinary processes, and they even have dedicated FSQA (Food Safety and Quality Assurance) managers who ensure that safety and quality practices are upheld at all times.

Food is pre-cut into small bite-sized pieces and is soft enough that you can easily squish it between your fingers – the winning combo for starting solids.

You also have the ability to filter options by allergens like egg free, gluten free, milk free, sesame free, etc. This is so important because both my kids had allergies – Caden couldn’t eat egg and Willow needed to avoid dairy.


One thing I absolutely love is Nurture Life’s weekly subscription service, which means I can say goodbye to the hassle of grocery shopping, cooking, and cleanup – everything I need is conveniently delivered right to my door. They offer a variety of kid-friendly dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner like scrambled eggs with sausage and sweet potatoes, shepherd's pie, mini shell bolognese, mini mac & cheese with broccoli, and chicken bite minis. And if you also have an older kiddo like me, you’ll love the Kids Meals options like beef taco pockets, teriyaki salmon, and curly carbonara with hidden cauliflower.

Nurture Life is a Must-Buy for Busy Moms

My initial hesitation in outsourcing my baby’s finger foods food prep was cost, with meals priced at $6.49 individually and discounts given when you purchase 10 items or more plans. But when I consider the amount of time I save, the convenience, and the relief in knowing that my baby was eating foods safe her age, I easily justified these purchases. If you too are anxious about this feeding journey stage, are busy, or simply just don’t like to cook, I can’t recommend Nurture Life enough.

Get 50% your first week of Nurture Life with code: NEWMODERNMOM50

Nurture Life finger foods


This post may contain affiliate links including the Amazon Associates Program. When you make purchases through links in this post, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  I only endorse products I believe in.