10 simple, affordable & healthy finger foods for baby (+ a free printable!)

Stuck in a kitchen rut? Sometimes you need inspiration, even in the simplest form! In a busy home it can be challenging to provide varied, nutritious, simple and inexpensive finger foods for baby (that aren’t too messy!)- especially if there are allergies involved and your whole family isn’t able to eat the same food at every meal! My twin one year olds eat A LOT (I’m noticing that x2 makes everything seem like A LOT these days, but in a happy way).

Here are 10 quick & inexpensive ideas to jumpstart your planning. I’ve also made a free printable that you can tape inside of a kitchen cabinet for days when you need inspiration at-a-glance!

baby finger food ideas- printable from pageofjoy.com

Simply click the image to save/ print. Design by Stephanie Page.

This could be a great opportunity for bridge building between generations! Offer to help a mom prep baby food  for the week. Spending time together in the kitchen creates a wonderful environment for getting to know each other better!

(*Please be CERTAIN that every item that you’re serving baby is age appropriate, chopped small enough that there is no present choking hazard and always supervise baby while they are eating. (I love this cookbook for more info about feeding baby from the start and into the toddler years!)


baby finger food ideas on pageofjoy.com
Beans- 
Don’t pass over this nutritional power-house! Beans are super healthy and super affordable! I start with 1 can of beans (black beans, cannellini beans etc., organic if you’re able) rinsed well and drained. Sauté beans in 1T of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for about 4-5 minutes. (***If you’ve already introduced onion/ garlic then I recommend adding about 1T of dried minced onion at the beginning of cooking and adding 1 clove of minced garlic about 1 minute before the beans are finished cooking.) Add a sprinkling of Real salt and serve warm. Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to a week. 

Roasted Carrots-
     Follow my recipe (found here) and then chop finely before serving. You can follow the same recipe to cook potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips etc. Root vegetables for the win! (To shorten cooking time, chop veggies into bite sized pieces before cooking and shorten the recommended cooking time to about 20 minutes, checking for tenderness before pulling from the oven.) (This food chopper saves so much time and is one of my top fave kitchen gadgets!)
 shredded apples, baby finger food ideas on pageofjoy.com
Shredded Apples-
     This is one of our current favorites and is easily doubled or tripled! 1 apple cored and sliced. Coarsely shred the apple slices on a cheese grater. Heat 1 T organic Coconut Oil over medium heat in a pan and add 1t ground cinnamon stirring to combine. Add shredded apples to oil mixture and sauté until tender about 5 minutes. Serve warm. Store leftovers in the fridge about 1 week. (This tastes good cold too! it’s like baby candy. And you know the old saying about taking candy from a baby…)
Shredded Cheese-
     My babies are addicted to cheese, begging for it constantly with their limited words “chssss” chsssssssss”! I often give into their request on this one, despite knowing that cheese isn’t the ultimate health food. Goodness knows , they’re not alone in their love for a little cheese and it’s a fast way to serve up a snack. Shredded cheddar & raisins are a staple for snack-time these days.
Brown Rice-
     My kids love brown rice! Using a rice cooker has made my life 1000x easier (I love this one here and highly recommend it.). I use it 3-4 times a week and eat up the leftovers on a regular basis (due to my unfortunate Gluten allergy). I have ordered delicious organic rice through my “Subscribe and Save” account on Amazon.com but have also found the same brand is available at my Costco for a lower price. (Costco is 3 hours away, so I rarely get there. If you live in a rural area like I do, Amazon Subscribe & Save is an AMAZING way to find top quality food and unique ingredients while saving money. I highly recommend it. My friends like to tease me about having cereal shipped to my front door, but it saves me money and the stress of an overly full cart at the grocery store!).
Diced Banana-
     It doesn’t get any easier than this and my girls GOBBLE them up!
Avocado-
     For some healthy fats, serve these up! Do you like avocados? They aren’t my favorite, but I do enjoy them sometimes. I like to serve them for my babies alongside rice and something a tad sweet like shredded apples or raisins.
Easily chop fruits & veggies!

Easily chop fruits & veggies!

Diced Grapes-
     I can quickly chop grapes for a sweet baby treat when I use my favorite food chopper (whole and halved grapes are a choking hazard). I also use this chopper for every imaginable soup ingredient and lots of baby food snacks! Fruit, veggies, cheese, bread, etc. You will be so glad to have this little gadget on hand.
Peas-
     Simple frozen peas are a quick and easy choice. I love serving these up on a regular basis. Also, try the frozen mixed veggies that are already cut into tiny pieces for a quick heat & serve meal.
Chicken-
     A few small pieces of organic chicken mixed with some rice or beans & veggies is a well balanced meal to serve your little one and my kids always clean their “plate”, so to speak.  Store cooked & chopped chicken in the freezer for quick protein later on.


What are your favorite finger foods for baby? Let me know in the comments! Also, print out the free “Finger Food Ideas” printable and be sure to Pin it for later.

-Stephanie

In light of Eternity

Friends,

Don’t forget to fix your eyes on Jesus today. His mercies are new every morning. Make each choice in light of eternity! I’m loving the encouragement found in this book by Gloria Furman: Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full. If you’re in the busy season of motherhood, I highly recommend checking it out!
-Stephanie

 

Don't forget Eternity, Gloria Furman quote

Wood Photo credit: FreeImages.com/Kathy de la Cruz / Design by Stephanie (pageofjoy.com)

*To save and print simply click on the image above. Feel free to Pin & Share too!

(This free printable is my gift you you. Please Pin, share on Facebook and print! Feel free to frame and give as a gift, use it as a greeting card, tape it to your fridge and use it as wallpaper for your smartphone… get creative! Please do not edit or digitally change this item and please do not claim credit for yourself. I pray that this is a blessing to you! Thank you for visiting me here at pageofjoy.com.)

(This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing, but may help support this blog. All opinions are my own.)

Top 10 must-have items for a new baby (from a mom of 3, including twins!)

Top 10 must-haves for baby from pageofjoy.com

When it comes to bringing a new baby home, there a few things (besides the obvious diapers, milk and clothes) that can make your transition to a larger family MUCH smoother! New babies require a lot of problem solving and, honestly, sleep deprived troubleshooting can get expensive fast if you make impulse buys that don’t end up working well(Are they teething? gas? colic? uncomfortable in their bed? where do I put the baby when the doorbell rings?). Scroll through my suggestions to help you make an informed decision.While every item may not fit your needs, these ALL worked really well for us (after all- we have three kids, including twins!).
Value tip: Some of these items are investment pieces and I encourage you to think long-term when choosing colors and styles! You may think that your future little boy won’t mind sisters hand-me-down, pink, pack & play someday (and he won’t!) but you may not be so excited to show off photos of your handsome man surrounded by pink floral. Choose simple neutral items and enjoy trendy colors and patterns in lower cost areas like clothes and accessories. Another thing to consider is resale value. You’ll have a wider audience of potential buyers when you’re through with an item if it’s not too flashy of gender specific.

Top 10 Must have for a new baby (from a mom of 3, including twins!)

This DO-IT-ALL wonder is useful for many reasons. As newborns, the higher level bed is a great option for sleeping in any room of the house. Later on the lower level is great for an older baby. The diaper changing station is really the best part though, we keep the pack & play close to our living room for easy access and we never use our traditional changing pad that lives in the nursery. The neutral color scheme is icing on the cake. If you’re looking for a super lightweight, simple, travel crib we also really like the phil&teds Portable Traveller Crib.
Value tip: you can use this instead of a crib (especially for the first year!) when you add a mattress like this one here.)
 
Top 10 Must have for a new baby (from a mom of 3, including twins!)
2.Marpac Sound Machine, Natural White Noise (actual fan inside)
While baby is napping, turn on this AWESOME white noise machine. I can’t recommend this highly enough.  We also tuck it in our suitcase when we travel for better sleep on the go!
Value tip: Don’t buy the cheaper versions, I’ve learned the hard way that this one is by far the best.
Top 10 Must have for a new baby (from a mom of 3, including twins!) Top 10 must have items for a new baby (from a mom of 3, including twins!)
3.Hudson Baby Muslin Swaddle Blankets
While on the topic of good sleep, I can’t skip over these darling swaddle blankets. The patterns and prints are super cute. Swaddling is a great way to help baby feel snug & secure as they adjust to being outside of mommies cozy belly! My kids have all loved being swaddled. Bonus: if you have a baby with terrible reflux (like we did!) these are very absorbent. Reflux was a horrendous experience with one of my twin girls, she couldn’t keep milk down and we all got used to carrying these blankets on our shoulders to absorb the constant mess (even her sweet big brother would use them when he held her).
Value tip: These are the closest comparison, in quality and softness, to the other popular swaddle blankets that I’ve found but at a much lower price point.
Top 10 must have items for a new baby (from a mom of 3, including twins!)
These bouncers are unlike anything else on the market. These are THE BEST and I’ll tell you why. This seat easily folds down to a super slim profile for storage and it lightweight but never tippy. The slipcover slides off simply for washing (big plus!) and there are no complicated buckles. The bounce is gentle and it responds to babies movement. I find this useful for a much longer period of time than many other bouncy seats. All 3 of my kids love these bouncy seats! Remember the reflux that I mentioned before? This bouncy kept my baby comfortable and upright enough that she kept more milk down (with no rough jostling and bouncing).
Value tip: Because this seat is SO washer friendly, your re-sale value holds at a higher price than other bouncy seats. 
Top 10 must have items for a new baby (from a mom of 3, including twins!)
5.Fisher Price My Little Snugapuppy Cradle and Swing
I love this sweet swing. We have tried multiple swings and I found this one to work well. I really like that you can run it on batteries -OR- plug it in to the wall! Bonus points for the sweet, yet neutral, style.
Value tip: save money on batteries and plug it in!
Top 10 must have items for a new baby (from a mom of 3, including twins!)
6.Blooming Bath Baby Bath
 The Blooming bath is a super soft flexible bath seat/ cushion that will form to most sinks and allows for a safe & comfy bathing time with new babies. I am very fond of the fact that I can toss it in the washing machine whenever it needs extra cleaning and it has a hook to easily hang dry & store.
 Top 10 must have items for a new baby (from a mom of 3, including twins!)Top 10 must have items for a new baby (from a mom of 3, including twins!)
I can’t narrow it down to one favorite. The Ergo 360 is extremely comfortable and is excellent for long term wear (travel, hiking, walking, shopping etc.) and the K’Tan is my favorite around the house and for shorter term wear (going to church, working in the kitchen etc.) The softer more breathable fabric just appeals to me sometimes and is much easier to put on than “wrap” style carriers, but the ergo has a level of complete hands free comfort that is also beneficial! I carried both of my newborn twins at once in the K’tan (I feel they run a bit large, so double check their sizing measurements and when in doubt buy a size down.)
This will come in really handy after a few months of age and I recommend having it on hand, just in case your little one experiences painful gas, colic or irritability! This natural remedy is safe and effective. I don’t feel bad giving it a try, if baby is fussy and I can’t seem to figure out why, because of the wholesome ingredients!

Top 10 must have items for a new baby (from a mom of 3, including twins!)Top 10 must have items for a new baby (from a mom of 3, including twins!)
9.MAM Mini Air Silicone Pacifier, 0-6 Months,2 Pack

Friends- BUY these PACIFIERS! Ha! I don’t mean to be bossy, but forget the “what if my child’s teeth grow in weird because of using a paci?” “what if they get too addicted to it?”… You know what these paci’s did for us? Calmed the babies and helped them sleep. SCORE! These ones, in particular, don’t fall out and you’ll be so glad that you don’t have to be a “paci prop” at 2 am. Also, I’ve never had an issue with weaning off of them. So, go for it!
I love this sleep training method. I know it’s controversial, but I know many mamas who have used this process to help their little ones learn to sleep well. Friends, it’s worked beautifully for all three of my kids. We don’t have to do long stretches of cry it out (I honestly just can’t handle that, emotionally!) and we get good sleep sooner than later. I also appreciate the tips included that teach about making sure baby is getting enough to eat, help with colic, tips for multiples etc! Full disclosure: BabyWise takes work and commitment. If you don’t stick to it, you won’t see results. I find that you have to really teach baby the “rules” (rhythm and expectations) before you start breaking the “rules” (flexibility!). The point is to clearly and gently show baby the expected rhythm you want them to grow into and then… practice makes perfect! I believe that the effort put in during the first few months makes a world of difference. More sleep for mommy = a calmer, healthier and happier home! Win, win, win.

   Bringing home a new baby is exhilarating, delightful, awesome and sometimes overwhelming. Besides preparing for the practical needs of baby, tuck this quote from Elisabeth Elliott into your mind “Just do the next thing.”. When nights feel unbearably long or breastfeeding isn’t going smoothly, when loneliness lingers or uncertainty sets in… “Just do the next thing.” and then suddenly you’ll be in the midst of another precious moment, savoring the new gift in your arms.

Always remember, if you ever reach an overwhelming point of sinking hopelessness, anger or panic then reach out for help until you find help. Postpartum depression is a reality for many moms. Reaching out for support is a sign of strength, and is the best way to love your children, when needed. Keep on, strong mama and “Just do the next thing.”. Hopefully the items I’ve shared with you will make your job a little (or a lot!) easier!

-Stephanie


(This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing, but help support this blog. All opinions noted are my own.)

Roasted Baby Carrots- Nutritious, Simple & Delicious!

 

roasted baby carrots from pageofjoy.com
This family friendly side dish is SIMPLE, NUTRITIOUS and always a HIT! When I put raw carrots on the table with a meal, we will each nibble on a few. When I serve up a pan of roasted carrots they’re always gobbled up in a hurry! I highly recommend serving this budget friendly side dish soon!

-Baby carrots (about 1.5 lb, washed and ready to eat) (May substitute whole carrots,washed & trimmed)
-2T Extra Virgin Olive oil
-Salt & Pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl (I like this one)  combine carrots, EVOO and S&P, gently toss until carrots are coated (These spatulas are my fave!). Pour onto lined baking sheet and spread into an even layer, making sure no carrots are stacked on top of each other. Roast about 35-45 minutes, flipping after about 20 minutes, until slightly caramelized and tender. Serves 6-8.

*To serve a crowd: double the batch, switch your oven to convection baking and cook two full sheets at once on separate racks in your oven.
*For smaller portions, this recipe is easily halved! It keeps well in the refrigerator for about a week, too.

What is your favorite, healthy side dish?

-Stephanie

Chicken & Rice soup

chicken and rice soup pageofjoy.com

This warm & delicious soup is a hit year-round! We often eat chicken, rice and steamed veggies for dinner and I love using those leftovers to throw a big pot of Chicken & Rice soup together easily. Naturally gluten free and full of flavor, this soup is sure to be a hit with your friends & family too.

Chicken & Rice Soup
Recipe by: Stephanie Page, pageofjoy.com

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 C diced celery
  • 1 C diced carrots
  • 1 C diced yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 cups chicken broth (I STRONGLY recommend this brand– it’s DELICIOUS & organic!)
  • 1 1/2 C cooked & shredded (or diced) chicken (*if using raw chicken, cut into small pieces and see directions below for details)
  • 2 1/2 C cooked brown riceDIRECTIONS
    In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add celery, carrots, and onion and cook until celery and carrots are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add minced garlic and cook about one minute more, stirring, until fragrant. Add broth and bring to a boil. (*raw chicken, see below) Add cooked chicken & cooked rice to pot and simmer until warmed through, about 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Serves 6-8.(* If using raw chicken:  Add chicken, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook until chicken is cooked through. Then add rice and simmer until warmed through. Season with S&P then serve.)

(This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing, but may help support this blog. All opinions are my own.)