Author Topic: Finger food ideas  (Read 9628 times)

Offline JayJay

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Finger food ideas
« on: September 15, 2011, 08:33:37 PM »
Howdy Fellow Paleo Parents!

My twin boys are now 1-year olds. My wife was unable to breast feed them after about 8 months, and, as I mentioned in another thread here, they have been drinking the raw milk version of the homemade baby formula developed by the Weston A. Price Foundation, which we make fresh for them every day. They love it and have been thriving on it.

They have also been eating "solid" food now for awhile, which we also make for them. It is usually cooked egg yolks in whole grain organic rice cereal, pureed grass fed beef or bison, pureed pastured chicken, pureed venison, pureed vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas (both not Paleo, I know), spinach, butternut squash, etc. All of this is organic and all hand milled and/or pureed by us. We also feed them pureed or mashed fruits such as banana, pear, apple, peach, etc. My goal is to eliminate the cereal as soon as possible.

A few months ago after they started sprouting teeth, I started giving them "finger foods", including chunks of banana, mango, or peach. They love feeding themselves, and now they are getting to the point of being bored with pureed food so I need to step up the selection of finger foods. I recently started giving them pieces of cooked scrambled eggs, which they like okay. But they are smart boys and really prefer soft egg yolks from a sunny side up fried egg, which we have to spoon feed to them.

I'm looking for some more finger food ideas and suggestions. I need to figure out how to incorporate meat into their finger food regimen. Most of what I buy for them is ground, so I'm not sure what the best way to portion, cook, and present it to them.

Veggies seem a little more self explanatory. Cook well and remove fibrous parts like the stalks on broccoli.

What do (or did) all of you feed as first finger foods and how were the items cut/portioned/cooked, etc.? My mother-in-law takes care of them two days a week too so I need to come up with stuff I can prepare in advance and take over there for her to feed to them later. I do not want her preparing food for them as she has little knowledge of nutrition and only buys the cheapest possible foods. She about crapped when I told her I spend $7.00 for a dozen pastured eggs and $9.00/pound for grass fed beef. She wouldn't buy these kinds of foods in a million years so I need to handle the preparation part so the most she ever has to do is warm stuff up.

Any suggestions are welcomed.

Jay

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Finger food ideas
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 08:53:49 PM »
Barbequed pork ribs are an excellent starter food - both our kids started before age 1 and still love them.  Let them take their time pulling the meat off the bone with their front teeth.  You can skip the sauce if the ribs have enough fat.

Bacon or pork belly slices can be good.  Initially they may suck out the fat and ditch the lean, but that's okay.

Pan fried ground beef, perhaps with bits of onions or mushrooms to absorb the fat, can work, but isn't as appetizing cold.  It may be okay heated up.  I also make really thin hamburgers and press them part way through with the edge of the spatula so they can be pulled apart into small enough pieces to swallow, but again, not as good cold.

If you can find hot dogs that have nothing but meat in them, they are soft enough to eat with just incisors.  Once they get chewing teeth, things get a lot easier.

By the way, I'd cut the sweet potatoes and peas as well as the rice as soon as possible.  Our daughter insists on carby nonpaleo foods while our son refuses anything but paleo, preferably meat, and I'm pretty convinced it was because we started our daughter on cereal baby foods first, and with our son we skipped that and went directly to fruit and meat.


Offline Jean

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Re: Finger food ideas
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2011, 10:17:39 PM »
You could try sauteed finger-sized strips of lamb liver - if it's not overcooked it's very tender and easy to chew. Small meatballs could work too, or you could make chicken "nuggets" with thigh meat.

Lots of veges can be cut into finger-sized strips and steamed until tender. Kids love dipping things too. For example, they could dip veges into soft-boiled eggs, or if you're using butter you could make hollandaise, otherwise there are sauces you can make with fat or marrow.

They might like sashimi too if you have access to high-quality fresh fish, just watch it if they haven't eaten fish before as it's a fairly common allergen.

Offline JayJay

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Re: Finger food ideas
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2011, 12:12:28 PM »
Okay, thanks for the ideas so far.

This morning I gave them bacon and eggs.  ;D

The bacon was just cooked as usual, then I cut it into small pieces. They both loved it but one of them still hasn't mastered chewing and just shoves everything in until no more can fit, then he throws up from his gag reflex. Doesn't stop him from resuming eating though, but very little is making it down the hatch. I've cut back how much I give him at a time for now to try to help him pace himself. He doesn't do this with fruit oddly enough. He eats it just fine. He'll learn I guess.

My other guy feeds himself well and eats everything carefully. Of course, he's the biggest of the two.

On the eggs, the scrambled eggs I made them the other day was the first time they had eaten much in the way of egg whites, and they were cranky all day so I suspect they had some sort of digestion issue with the egg whites. Today I scrambled three pastured egg yolks with just a little white and a couple dribbles of raw milk (just to keep the eggs fluffy rather than tough). They both gobbled it up and I've not seen any issues or crankiness yet. I guess egg whites will have to be introduced slowly.

I'm going to try to make some mini burgers for them for lunch today. The pork ribs are an interesting idea. I take it you use baby backs rather than spare ribs Warren?

On sashimi, interesting idea. I had that for lunch yesterday and didn't think to let them try it. They have had cooked wild salmon already, which they like. We live near a large Japanese-American community here and there is good sushi and sashimi all over the place. I'll give it a whirl one day soon, sans the wasabi, of course.  ;)

Any other suggestions are welcomed!

Offline stephiek

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Re: Finger food ideas
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2011, 06:20:38 PM »
My advice is to give them whatever you are eating.  That's what they want anyway.  I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old, and that's what they always want.  It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job, and really introducing their pallets to some great food :)  My kids absolutely LOVED blueberries.  That's a nice finger food.  I will say that my children did not respond well to ground meat.  I'm not sure if the texture bothered them, or what, but my four year old is just now finally starting to feel like it might be okay in small doses.    Good luck to you and the family!


Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Finger food ideas
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2011, 06:57:08 PM »
I use baby back ribs, yes.  They are an easier size for toddlers.  Chicken and duck drumsticks are also good when they get to the point where they can hold them one handed.  Buffalo drumsticks might work for smaller kids.

Offline JayJay

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Re: Finger food ideas
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2011, 09:37:34 PM »
Just a little update. I finally tried BBQ baby back pork ribs for my boys, and they were a hit as you can see. They love working these things over to get the meat off the bone. Even more so when they are teething. Thanks to Warren for the awesome suggestion!

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Finger food ideas
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2011, 08:05:16 PM »
Wow, cute!  Cave babies for sure.  They look pretty happy with those ribs.