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Over the last 6-7 months, as my son has started on more and more finger fingers, I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with different recipes for him to try. This stage is an important time to get infants to try a wide variety of foods. By the time Noah was around 10 months, he was only eating finger foods – no more purees. He no longer liked the consistency and would often blow raspberries back at me, spitting the puree everywhere! Yuck! No wonder why I had so much laundry to do!
Everybody says boys eat a lot, but I figured my grocery bill would start increasing when Noah was a teenager, not when he was less than a year old! In order to keep up with his growing appetite, I needed to make finger food in batches and freeze it! Most of the recipes below freeze great. I made large amounts, put what I needed for a few days in the fridge, and froze the rest!
Planning ahead like this helped me stay organized and not feed him the same food everyday. Another handy tip to help all you mamas stay organized is to use a Bentgo Lunch Box for your little one. These colorful lunch boxes make bringing your lunch to school/daycare/camp fun! There are 5 practical compartments portioned for a child’s appetite, they are leak proof, FDA-approved, use BPA-free materials, and the removable tray is microwavable and dishwasher safe! They come in three different colors – blue, green, and purple. And the best part is the company Bentgo has partnered with the organization Feed the Children, a fully-accredited 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, whose goal is to provide food for children and families in need, not only in the US but in 10 countries around the world. For every lunch box sold on Amazon, Bentgo we will donate 5% of the sales to children and families in need around the world through their partnership with Feed the Children.
I use my Bentgo lunch box every day to pack my son’s lunch for daycare. It’s also very convenient for overnights at Nonna’s or Grammy’s house, happy hour at your favorite restaurant night with your little one, or an impromptu visit to the park! These are some of my favorite finger foods to give my son!
- Mini egg muffins – Saute 1 cup spinach, pour into bowl. Add 6 eggs and 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Spray mini muffin tin and pour egg mixture into cups so they are 3/4 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Freezer friendly!
- Egg muffins version 2 – follow same recipe as above but substitute 1 cup shredded raw broccoli for the spinach. Freezer friendly.
- Baby pancakes with oatmeal and greek yogurt – In nutri bullet or blender, add 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 container (5.3 oz) plain greek yogurt, 1/2 medium ripe banana, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Blend until smooth. Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Drop batter by the spoonful into skillet (size of silver dollar), cook until golden brown, flip and cook again. These also store great in the freezer.
- Quinoa bowl with black beans and bananas – Cook 1/2 cup quinoa according to package directions, set aside into medium bowl. Meanwhile, heat skillet over medium heat and cook 1 cup black beans (make sure to drain and rinse them first), smashing with fork until they are a consistency your baby likes. Add black beans to bowl with quinoa, slice 1/4 ripe banana into tiny pieces. Store in fridge. This was enough for three meals for my son.
- Mini meatballs – In large bowl, mix together 1 lb ground meat*, 1 minced glove of garlic, 1 egg, 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh parsley. Scoop up tiny section and roll into 1 inch ball. Place on a sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. * you can substitute 1 lb ground chicken instead. I’ve made the meatballs both ways! Freezer friendly.
- Mini Salmon cakes – 1 slice whole wheat bread placed in food processor and blended into fine crumbs. In large bowl combine bread crumbs, 1/3 lbs salmon, 1 green onion minced, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1 egg. Gently combine. Divide the salmon mixture into four equal portions and pat each portion into a small cake. Cover on plate and refrigerate for 5-10 minutes. In large frying pan heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the salmon cakes and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes, flip and cook another 2-3 minutes. Cool and serve or store in refrigerator for 1 day.
- Egg/avocado salad – This makes a great finger food and it’s made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. Hard boil two eggs, let cool and chop. Add to medium size mixing ball. Add 1/2 mashed avocado, 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, and 1 teaspoon yellow mustard. Stir together.
- Black beans and cheese quesadilla – Heat skillet over low heat on stove. Sprinkle shredded Mexican cheese over 1/2 of wrap, add black beans, fold in half. Cook on 1 side until starting to brown and cheese starts to melt, flip and cook the other side unti it starts to brown.
- Spinach muffins – Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1 large egg, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 2 cups fresh spinach, 1 ripe banana, 1/3 cup maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons coconut oil into a blender or food processor and mix. Combine 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small mixing bowl. Add the wet spinach mixture to the dry ingredients. Slowly mix until combined. Scoop the batter into greased mini muffin tins and bake for 12 minutes. Freezer friendly.
- Black bean patties – In food processor, combine 1/4 onion, 5 cloves garlic, 1 cup packed cilantro leaves, 2 tablespoons lime juice. Puree well. Rinse and drain a can of black beans. Add to the food processor along with 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Pulse until just combined. Add 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 2 teaspoons baking powder, blend. Spread 1 tablespoon olive oil over large backing sheet. Take large spoonfuls of the bean mixture and form into disks and place on baking sheet. Brush mixture with olive oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Freezer friendly
- Chickpea bars – Follow this recipe but use 3/4 cup applesauce instead of the sugar. I chose to leave out the chocolate chips but that’s your call! Freezer friendly.
- Cauliflower nuggets – A simple way to get your little one to eat more veggies! Freezer friendly.