Get snack savvy with these nutritious food options your baby will love...
Snacking is seen as a no-no for us adults. But, for your baby, there are loads of benefits. Giving your baby nutritious snacks between meals from around seven months gets her used to finger foods and keeps her eating regularly, so she doesn’t get too hungry and perhaps crave something not as healthy. Snacks are also pretty good for encouraging her hand-eye co-ordination (she has to grab and hold onto them, after all) as well as giving you a chance to introduce some new ingredient combinations and expand her palate.
The right fruit
Chopped apple, grapes, peach or banana have an easy-to-eat texture that makes them very baby friendly. ‘Be careful with citrus fruits, though,’ says health visitor Nicola Joseph. ‘They can be a bit sharp for your baby and also have a laxative affect.’
Liven up rice cakes
Mini rice cakes are a good sugar-free snack that your baby can eat from around six or seven months. Add some homemade guacamole for the avocado health benefits – it contains healthy fats that are good for his brain and physical development. Perhaps hold fire on the chilli though – it’s a bit much at such an early age.
Chop some vegetables
Cucumber, carrot, pepper, steamed French beans… Serve with some houmous if your baby’s over six months – chickpeas are a great source of protein which he needs for growth.
Be yoghurt savvy
When it comes to natural or baby yoghurt, try and find ones with low sugar content for the healthiest option – 4-5 grams per 100 is ideal, but just try to stick below 8 grams. ‘You could also give your baby some rice pudding, which gives him some calcium,’ says Nicola.
Cube up some cheese for your baby – cheddar is often the tastiest at that age and Babybels are fine – to give him a calcium, protein and vitamin boost, although keep an eye on the salt content. This is nice combined with a cherry tomato, which you can peel and chop to make it easier to eat.
You can buy mini unsalted breadsticks designed for little ones, and these make a great companion to a baby friendly dip. They give him a slightly different texture to enjoy and are also good for encouraging his hand/eye co-ordination.