Monday, October 8, 2012

Finger Foods for Babies: 9 months plus


Our new adventure has been finger foods! While eating dinner a couple of weeks ago my son seemed very interested in what I was eating. Terrified of him choking I was very nervous about giving him table foods. The doctor confirmed that my son was ready, and with 4 teeth able, to start eating finger foods. After much research here are some finger foods that my son has had success with.




  • Sargento Cheese sticks (real cheese verse processed cheese product)
  • Mac n' Cheese
  • Cooked Ground Turkey or Beef (beef can be fatty though)
  • Canned White meat Chicken makes a quick and healthy protein that is easy to chew
  • Scrambled eggs (add a little cheese too if you like)


  • White Rice or Pasta well cooked with Carrot Juice
  • Cereals (pictures above)
  • Cream of Wheat or Rice and Grits (add a little breast milk or formula or 100% Juice)
  • Reduced Sodium Saltines and Goldfish crackers 
  • Animal crackers and graham crackers 
  • Wheat toast (make sure it doesn't have any seeds or big grains) with apple sauce on top

Fruits & Veggies

  • Steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower florets
  • Stewed Carrots, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes and Apples
  • Ripe Strawberries and Blue Berries (or the kind in the freeze section that you thaw or put in one of those teething mesh things)
  • Fruit Cups with natural Juices: Peaches, Pears, and oranges
  • Mott's Natural Apple Sauce: (be sure to read the package, I recently discovered that some apple sauces have a lot of additives and some of them are not even the fruit they claim to be)

Meal Creation Ideas

Every couple of weeks I try to make some small meals for my son and freeze them. This is mainly for my husband or the babysitter but occasionally I make a meal that my son just isn't ready to eat because it is too spicy or had to eat. I bought a bunch of the Gladware Small sized containers when they were on sale to store my mini-meals in. I also find that snack size baggies are great for storing a portion about of fruits, veggies, or cereals.

I will cook a package of ground turkey or beef or a couple breasts of chicken. I will make a pot of rice, potatoes or pasta and then stew a veggie. It takes about 30-45 mins to prep and cook. I will let everything cool down and then portion the food out into the Gladware containers and baggies. I then put it all in the freezer and I am stocked up for a week or so. They are handy to grab and re-heat in the microwave. 

Some combinations I have put together are:
  • Rice with carrot juice, stewed carrots and ground turkey or chicken. 
  • Pasta with stewed tomatoes, ground beef/turkey and a little Parmesan cheese. 
  • Potatoes with carrot & beat juice, chicken/turkey and broccoli florets.
photo.JPG         photo.JPG

On the Go:
Around 9.5 months my son learned how to suck from a straw. This was a great discovery! One day I ordered a kids meal for him and it came with an apple sauce pouch. It turns out to be a no mess food delivery system! I keep these pouches in the car and the diaper bag, they are easier to transport than baby-food jars and I don't need a spoon or bib. When we are out running around he can still have a quick no mess snack that does not require a table! 

This happens to be my favorite brand and my son's favorite flavor! 
*As a side note, I have heard from several of my high school students that they take these pouches with them to school and eat them for snack. They told me  they like them because they are healthy, they taste yummy, and they don't have to taste the veggies...I say whatever works!

Since it takes a while for the little ones to start eating with a spoon or fork and bowls become objects to throw or dump the contents out...When we would go out to eat I found myself putting his food on the table at the restaurants and I didn't like this at all. At first I contemplated buying those disposable place mats for when we dined out but I just didn't like the cost and it seemed so wasteful. That is when I found these two items.

Summer Infant Tiny Diner Placemat

This placemat it awesome! It is easy to clean, light weight and compact. It has a little cup that hangs off the edge of the table that we call the "recycle bin" because it catches the bits that would be wiped off the table. It is great at the restaurant or even at home. You can wipe if down with a baby wipe or you can carry Clorox Wipes in the diaper bag. When we were on vacation the Clorox wipes were very helpful.

top view
It rolls up nicely

It Suction cups to the table

Tommy Tippee Explora Roll-Up Bibs
These bibs are great because they have a built in "recycle bin" and they save me a load of laundry a week. They fit perfectly in the diaper bag and because they are easy to clean they don't leave a mess in my diaper bag either. I have one at home and one in the diaper bag for travel. I love the "recycle bin" because it catches the food that doesn't make it into the mouth. This also means I don't have to change my sons clothes after every meal...

Tommy Tippee Explora Esi-Mat with Weaning Bowl

This is very convenient at home. It allows me to put food in a bowl and not on the table but the mat suction cups the bowl down so that it cannot be thrown or dumped. I call this genius!

The Bowls

The Mat
Munchkin Snack Catcher

These were suggested to me by a mommy friend. They are really awesome because they encourage problem/solution skills, fine motor skills and they reduce mess! They also help keep the dog away from the babies snack! You put their snack in the cup and they have to stick their hand through the soft plastic lid to get the snack out. They have keep holding to pull it through the lid which helps them practice holding small objects!

They are also cool for traveling and safer than a Ziploc bag.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Educational & Entertaining Activities for Infants & Toddlers

I have been blessed with an active child. He loves to explore and discover. It has become a challenge to find new ways of entertaining him and keeping him challenged. During nap time one day I turned to the Internet for help and found some really great sights that offer lots of ideas. Many of the activities are made with materials you can find around the house or are easy enough to collect cheaply at the dollar store. Some of the ideas only require your time and intentional behavior or speech on your part.

There are some really great ideas out there. It also reminded me that moms have been creating ways to keep kids busy and out of trouble for a long time! I am not the first mom to ask myself "Now what do I do with him?!"

I enjoy exploring the ideas and at times creating my own new activities. As a stay at home mom I have to admit that at times trying these activities simply breaks up the boredom too...

Family Education offers Age Appropriate Play ideas.

Baby Center offers Games & Activities. You can click on your child's age to find a list of activities and play ideas.

Productive Parenting is one of my favorite sites. I do wish that they had pictures posted the activities. In their Activities Library you can find a ton of ideas for you and your child based on their age/development. What I like about this sight is that it tells you what to do, variations on the activity, what skills are being learned, and the learning category for the activity.

When I get the chance I will post some pictures of activities and sensory toys that my son likes...I will have to find the time though because I am busy playing...hehe!