I Give Up!!! - Finger Food for My 8 Month Old!

Updated on June 01, 2010
C.I. asks from Mount Airy, MD
20 answers

My son just turned 8 months. He was doing great on his baby food and then he got an ear infection. He started refusing his solids (excpets puffs, etc) while he was sick and the doctor said no problem. He's better now, and he will still ONLY eat finger foods. So I'm giving up and I'm going to stop wasting all this baby food. (I just wasted pear berry oatmeal, he wouldn't take one bite, and I SNUCK two in. Then I put down cheerios and he gobbled them all!

I'm looking for help thinking of substantial (and maybe even healthy) foods that he can feed himself. (at 8 months old... GOOD GRIEF!) Thanks for the help ladies, how ridiculous is this, he can't eat Cheerios morning until night!!!! I'm giong to the store later, please help!! :)

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answers from Washington DC on

My son gave up baby food around 8 months. We gave him what we were eating (within reason, nothing hard), chopped it up really good and he gummed it down. I'll never forget my reaction when he crawled in holding his sister's chicken finger, all gnawed up. Grind up what you eat, prepare for a mess, and let him enjoy.



answers from Portland on

I agree with the others- almost everything you eat he can eat as well. Keep in mind though that at this age, breastmilk/formula still needs to be his #1 form of food and nutrients. :)
Good luck!

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answers from Tulsa on

We totally skipped baby food and went to table food, so at 8 months that's totally fine! We give him frozen veggies (thawed of course) and cut small. We gave him at 8 months small shredded pieces of chicken breast (very small), brown rice, diced scrambled eggs, couscous, and really anything we were eating--I just make our meal low salt and low/no sugar so it is healthy for him. I try to give him a veggie, grain, and protein with everyy meal. And I always cook the vegggies and fruit till they're soft enough to gum (which is why I like frozen veggies--they are already soft enough). Also note that until babies are over one, they won't totally chew their food or be able to fully digest it, so it is normal if you feed him diced carrots, that you see the same thing come out the other end.

Here are some great sites that talk about baby-led feeding and giving table food. Maybe one of them will help give you some ideas:

Includes info on recommendations from the AAP, WHO and others. It also includes suggestions for the order of food and other ideas behind "baby-led" feeding:

A few more on when and how to start solids that I found helpful (these also give background for the idea of baby-led feeding):
http://www.llli.org/NB/NBsolids.html (a lot of great articles)
http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/first-foods.html (has a note on cereal)

Kelly mom was suggested to us by our baby class instructor, nurse at the hospital,and by the LLL person who sent a couple of these sites. Kellymom is really good for all sorts of things. She is supposed to be very credible and informed.

Some stuff specifically on baby-led feeding:

Good luck! And no matter what you do, as long as you're offering healthy food, you'll be fine, even if some days he eats only cheerios, and other days he's a human vacuum. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wheeling on

Buy some fresh (raw) veggies that you can cook (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, yams, etc) and even canned green beans, peas, carrots, & sweet potatoes. Cook them just soft enough for him to eat them. Bananas are great, but remember bananas, grapes, weiners, and peanut butter are common 'chokers' (anything that makes a 'lump' big and solid enough to choke on should be monitored carefully, cut into very small chunks, or mashed up). Fruits and veggies are the perfect finger foods since that's what he's 'into' these days! : )

I work with 2 handicapped men -- one who's edentulous (no teeth). He eats about anything the other one does except nuts, Doritos, and whatever hurts his mouth. Chop, shred or crumble up soft meats, etc. Everything doesn't have to be 'chewed'. Just so it gets in there w/o choking him!

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answers from Richmond on

If he has teeth, you can quarter grapes for him - my son loves those. Quarter bananas, cooked carrots, small bits of cooked sweet potatoes (those were a big hit with my LO). My son was about 8 months old when he decided we were no longer going to feed him, period. So I let him mainly eat finger foods for a while and started giving him a spoon with a TINY amount of yogurt or applesauce. It took him no time to figure out how to work the spoon (not 100% obviously - still makes a mess at 20 months old). He basically gave up baby food at that point too. This might be the same for you. Good luck!


answers from Chicago on

My son was the same, and by 9mo, we were on table food exclusively. Start introducing fruits, and see how he responds. Little slices of banana, some soft melon, etc... Tear up some toast into little chewable bits and give him that for breakfast... You can really do anything that he can "gum". Drain canned veggies, or a can of soup, and that can be dinner.

Time to get creative. Just introduce things slowly to be on the watch for allergies.
Have fun!


answers from Dallas on

Gerber graduates has a great line of finger foods! My DD refused baby food after 7 months old so I feel your pain! Also, bananas, yogurt, avacado, etc.



answers from Washington DC on

my babies were the same age when we fed them finger foods. Canned vegetables such as peas, carrots, potatoes, lima beans, green beans etc etc. I always made sure that the cans I got for my infants were no salt added (important!)
also if you make baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, lentils, beans, all these are great for babies.
Also the soft tops of steamed broccoli, asparagus spears, shredded chicken or pork, hamburger, rice. Mandarin oranges, watermelon, cheeze-it crackers, mashed bananas, The list goes on and on. Around 10-11 months my babies both ate almost entirely what the rest of the family ate. If we were eating a salad or something that they couldn't chew or gum, then they'd get some spaghetti-os or similar canned thing. a website i found helpful was www.wholesomebabyfood.com
I just made sure that I'd give my babies food with no added sodium, although pepper, garlic, and other seasonings are fine.
Good luck!

oh, and I forgot to mention my baby loved macaroni with tomato sauce, bread, pancakes and blueberries.



answers from Washington DC on

All of your responses so far are great, my only other recommendation is instead of all of the 'canned' veggies, I buy frozen. It is really just as easy, plus you can pull out just as much as you need, heat them on the oven or microwave, and you still have the same great variety as in the can.... peas, beans, carrots, broccoli, etc. This alleviates all of the BPA stuff. Although, you still have to be careful about pesticides. But what are you gonna do!

My son is 8 months old and he basically eats what we eat. I make him some 'baby' foods using fresh fruits, and he will eat that for breakfast, but he does enjoy getting to feed himself. Pasta is great, eggs, some chicken, and soft veggies.

Good Luck!


answers from Asheville on

We used canned, cubed cooked carrots. Our Walmart has four-packs of some veggies that come in the little plastic bowls like a lot of the fruit cups. They come in carrot, green bean, corn and peas. I would wait on the beans and corn, they are harder to chew and corn is hard to digest. Yogurt is great. If you can find the Rice Rusks in the baby section, they also have one that has other veggies in them. My girls loved them and they melt in their mouth.



answers from Fort Wayne on

He can eat anything you can eat. Within reason of course...probably no steak just yet ;) Just cut up the pieces really small so he doesn't choke. It's amazing how tough baby's gums are! The front teeth (which they get first) aren't even for chewing. They use their back gums to "chew" everything. My daughter is just slightly older than yours and she LOVES her table food! She eats EVERYTHING we eat. I try to sneak some baby food in there every once in awhile just to make sure her diet is balanced, but for the most part, she just eats what we eat. She LOVES chicken, green beans, carrots, peas, peaches, pears, rice, applesauce, mashed potatoes, ground beef and bread (I just give her the crust since the middle can get kinda gooey in their mouths).
My biggest challenge is finding things for her to eat for breakfast. I give her waffles, pancakes, toast, bagels, and cheerios.
Just be prepared for a MESS! To help, we put an old sheet down under her. I can just take it outside and shake it off after she gets done eating. And get your camera ready! Nothing makes for cuter pictures than when they have applesauce and mashed potatoes smeared all over their little heads :) :)



answers from Eugene on

I noticed no one suggested beans--my son loved cooked beans (we got canned black beans from Trader Joes--try to get the no sodium if possible).



answers from Indianapolis on

It can be really stressful because everyone will tell you something a little differently than the next.

Here's what the American Academy of Pediatrics says:
as long as the food doesn't pose a choking hazard and isn't a known family food allergen, it's OK to give it to them. no more waiting on strawberries, eggs, peanut butter. I'd verify with your pediatrician to see what they believe, but that's AAP's current statement on introducing foods.

If it were my child, I'd get things like canned peaches/pears (in their own juice, if possible), cut them small enough that they basically disentegrate in her mouth. We gave our kids small pieces of toast (no crust) at that age, yogurt, oatmeal, eggs. Frozen mixed veggies are great when cooked really soft (I took out the green beans because they need more teeth), thinly shaven lunch meat from the deli and real White American Cheese.

The AAP has a parenting website that has sample menus for a child your son's age:



answers from Chicago on

My daughter went to finger foods at 8 months, and last night, my 6 month old wanted finger foods, so I don't doubt he will be there by 8 months too.

Start making your own food. Wholesomebaby.com should have some good ideas for you.



answers from San Diego on

You've gotten some good suggestions. I would just caution against canned items for two reasons, sodium and BPA.

A number of canned items use BPA in their liners to keep the cans intact. Trader Joes and Eden Organics are two that I know do not, but you may want to research them.

I think fresh ORGANIC veggies are best. You can steam them and use them the same way as canned. Get them from a farmer's market and then you know where they come from.

My son started solids at 8 months and tasted til about 14 months when he ate in earnest.

Just keep offering. I don't know if you are nursing or doing formula. If you're nursing, there is no hurry in the whole solids thing. If you eat whole healthy foods, then just fork mash/cut up what's on your plate and feed him that rather than trying to feed him things that require effort.

Good luck.


answers from Washington DC on

My kids loved canned green beans straight from the can - it sounds awful, but they LOVED them. I just cut them small...
They also loved corn from the can and canned carrots... OMG it really sounds gross, but... it's veggies, right?
Cheerios are healthy... my kids ate them ALL THE TIME. I don't care if I never see another cheerio. LOL!



answers from Washington DC on

The only thing I know of that they aren't supposed to have is honey before 1 year (because of botulism)...otherwise unless it's a choking hazard (anything really hard like nuts and some raw veggies and fruits) then it's fine! I would still introduce anything new one at a time to check for allergic reactions. Someone else mentioned www.wholesomebabyfood.com and it's a great sight for ideas. Good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

yeah, actually he can eat cheerios morning, noon and night. Just put out a varitey of finger foods, or cut up other foods and he will decided what he likes. My kids never liked the idea of baby food, they always just had what we were eating, just cut up tiny so that they could feed themselves. Go out and buy some shower curtains in playful shapes and colors to put under the high chair, or his section of table, it will save you a boatload of headaches and tons of discolored floors.
As long as you offer a variety of nutritious foods, he will figure it out. But cheerios may seem like all he wants for a while. Have fun!! Remeber colorful food is healthy food.
BTW, my kids all started on regular foods between 6 and 9 months


answers from Killeen on

Have you tried to feed him at the same time he is eating the cheerios? Messy, but you can get in some more food while he is eating the cheerios. Peas are also great finger foods.



answers from Norfolk on

All 3 of my girls, now 4,6 and 8, at real food by 8 months old. I never gave them stage 2 or 3 baby foods. I just cut what ever we were eating up into small bitesize pieces and they fed themselves. Just look at it this way, you will save money not having to buy tons of baby food and your son will learn to eat a variety of foods that you love too.

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