What’s the best way to ensure your baby grows up to love wholesome, healthy foods? The answer might be a whole lot simpler than you think: Let her feed herself! Babies, toddlers, and little kids whose parents let them feed themselves are less likely to prefer sweet foods and more likely to have lower BMIs than their spoon-fed counterparts, finds a new study from the University of Nottingham in the U.K. When tots are allowed to take the lead at mealtime, they’re more likely to listen to their instincts—choosing the foods and amounts that are right for them, researchers say.
Here, ten tasty finger foods to get your child started. Remember, always cut foods (especially hard foods, like carrots) into bite-size pieces, and supervise your child whenever she eats.
Banana-cream cheese sandwich sticks Make a sandwich with cream cheese and banana slices on whole wheat bread and slice into rectangles.
Turkey salad bites Place baby spinach, sliced tomato, and Swiss cheese on one or two pieces of sliced turkey. Roll, cut into small pieces, and serve.
Red and green apple slices spread with almond butter, topped with a dusting of wheat germ
Steamed asparagus spears wrapped in ham slices
Garden pizza Top store-bought or homemade pizza with steamed broccoli florets and cut into small pieces.
Baby carrots and steamed broccoli florets with guacamole for dipping
Squash smiles Peel and slice butternut, acorn, or delicata squash into half-moons. Drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup, and soy sauce to taste and roast until caramelized.
Pancake roll-ups Spread whole grain pancakes with plain yogurt or ricotta cheese and top with grated apple or pear. Roll into a cigar shape and serve.
Your favorite veggie fritatta, cut into bite-sized squares
Reprinted from KIWI Magazine