Starting Table and Finger Foods -

Starting Table and Finger Foods

Infant Card 7

MN WIC Program

  1. Breastfeeding Your Baby
  2. Bottlefeeding Your Baby
  3. Your Baby Knows How Much Is Enough
  4. Starting Solids
  5. Teaching Your Baby to Use a Cup
  6. Starting Meats and Textures
  7. Starting Table and Finger Foods
  8. Time to Stop Using the Bottle

By 9 to 12 months, your baby will already be fitting into your family’s eating schedule and eating family foods at the table. During this time many babies will:

  • Eat with their fingers
  • Begin to hold a cup by themselves
  • Start spoon feeding themselves with help
  • Want to eat the same food the family eats

Keep your baby healthy by giving foods high in iron for healthy blood:

• Plain meats
• Infant formula with iron
• Breastmilk
• Infant cereal

  • Continue breastfeeding to 1 year of age or longer.
  • Formula fed babies need formula until 1 year of age.
  • Your baby needs foods with more texture to help him learn how to chew. Ground, mashed or finely chopped foods are good choices. Table foods for him should be soft and easy to chew. By 1 year, all his foods should usually be from the table.
  • Prepare for a mess. It’s an important part of learning to eat.
  • If your baby refuses a food, try it again another time. It may take awhile for him to get used to new tastes.
  • Offer finger foods for meals and snacks, like:

• Toast squares
• Cut-up soft vegetables
• Well-cooked noodles
• Crackers
• Breadsticks
• Cheese strips
• Canned fruit or soft
peeled ripe fruit
• Rice
• Bite-sized tuna, meat

  • It’s important to let your child feed himself, even though he can only do it with his fingers. Finger foods can be little pieces of table food, or anything that hangs together enough to get from the highchair tray to the mouth.
  • Be careful! Your baby can choke on foods like popcorn, candy, nuts, grapes and round slices of hot dogs.
  • Pop, kool-aid, fruit punch and tea are not good drinks for your baby.
  • Keep practicing with the cup. Serve breastmilk or formula in a cup at mealtime. Avoid infant cups with spill-proof lids.
  • Start offering your baby small amounts of milk around one year of age. Offer milk only in a cup. When your baby changes to milk you can throw the bottle away! Your baby should be weaned totally from the bottle by 12-14 months of age.
  • Your child will receive these foods from WIC at 1 year of age:

• Milk
• Fruit and vegetables
• Cheese
• Juice
• Eggs
• Adult cereals
• Whole grains
• Dry/canned beans or peanut butter

Suggested menu

Your baby may eat more or less than this. Let him decide how much he wants. Set regular meal and snack times.


Breastmilk or 6-8 oz. formula with iron
4-6 Tbsp. infant cereal
2 Tbsp. soft sliced fruit
½ slice of toast


Breastmilk or 6-8 oz. formula with iron in a cup
1-2 crackers


Breastmilk or 6-8 oz. formula with iron
1-2 Tbsp. chopped soft meat
2 Tbsp. cooked cut-up vegetable
2 Tbsp. soft, cut-up fruit
4-6 Tbsp. infant cereal
½ slice bread


2 oz of water in a cup
1-2 crackers


Breastmilk or 6-8 oz. formula with iron
1-2 Tbsp. chopped soft meat
2-4 Tbsp. rice or noodle
2-4 Tbsp. soft vegetable

Before bed

Breastmilk or 6-8 oz. formula with iron