Beyond Cheerios: Baby-appropriate finger foods?
I'm losing creative steam here and need some ideas for healthful finger foods for my daughter to pick up and eat as snacks—she's ten and a half months, with only two (somewhat ineffectual) teeth. So stuff that won't make her choke. Cheerios are okay . . . any other melt-in-your-mouth but not too sweet cereals? She has all the usual teething things, homemade zweiback and fennel taralli, and sometimes we give her a hunk of homemade bread. We give her fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables (apples, frozen mango, frozen peas and green beans, jicama, etc.) in a little mesh feeding bag, but she much prefers to eat things without the bag now. I like the idea of the freeze-dried (or whatever they are) corn kernels I've seen in the grocery store, but would prefer something without preservatives and junk, something I could make at home. But all ideas are welcome!
Try blanching various vegetables. Boil or steam them until they are firm/soft and immediately put into ice water to stop the cooking. They will keep in the fridge for several days.
pasta -- you can find all sorts of fun shapes to let her play with. We would just overcook noodles, tortellinis, etc. and give them to our daughter plain so they were easier to grasp.
Rice crackers are good, too, and have that 'melt in your mouth' quality. We really liked the tamarind flavored rice crackers from Trader Joes, but just found out they've been discontinued.
small chunks of avocado are good, but might be tough for her to grasp at this age.
Will she gum stuff? Blueberries. The frozen wild ones are too small to choke on, I believe. The larger fresh ones can be cut in half. Grapes can be cut lengthwise to reduce choking hazard. Pieces of banana.
Once mine started feeding herself like this, we pretty much gave her anything that we ate, but in small pieces. This included steak, pork chop and other tough items. We have not had any choking incidents. Of course your comfort level is the most important thing here.
Ooh thought of another one that wouldn't be a choking hazard - grated apple. We gave ours small piles of this and she enjoyed it. Stains though.