What do we feed a 10 month old?
July 13, 2012 5:20 AM   Subscribe

What else can we shovel into the gullet of our insatiable 10-month old?

The kid is huge for his age (25lb +/- depending on when the poo-bomb hits), already has all his front teeth, with canines on the way. He can handle almost anything we throw at him; he can do savage, savage things to a PB&J sammy. The kid hates baby food, and honestly, I can't blame him. The stuff smells like freegans dived it out of a used-food store's dumpster. And it's expensive. He just doesn't dig on being fed really, he likes to feed himself.

We've just been playing the game "hey-will-you-eat-this?" lately...the rules are pretty simple, but we're still running out of things to feed the kid.

So far we're consistently throwing the following into the coal-chute:
-plain yogurt with fruit
-PB & J sammies.
-mild-ish chicken tikka masala w/ rice
-cheese sticks
-loads of fruit (so much, we're trying to cut back)
-sweet potato oven fries
-toast sticks with butter
-pancakes with shit in them
-spanish-style rice & beans (oh my god, it's a massacre every time)

We always thought that we'd just take our own food and grind it up for him, but he doesn't like being fed. He wants to feed himself really bad, so finger foods are best. Right now because of the heat (er, more the humidity) we're cycling through a pretty steady menu of soba noodles, stir frys, po' boys, tikka masala, and a bastardization of karaage on banh mi (like a pan-asian po-boy, and we're in love with it).

Winter would be easier to feed this kid in, because it's more baked and cooked stuff like casseroles and roasted veggies that lend themselves to small-dude portions, but what do we do in summer? We're totally ok buying pre-made things to heat up.

TLDR; What do we feed a non-picky 10 month old, who likes to feed himself, without turning on the oven?
posted by furnace.heart to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
Chicken nuggets? There are some you can microwave rather than bake.

Ham? I get a spiral-cut ham every few months and immediately break it down and put it in containers. You can give him as much or as little as you want, it's pre-cooked, and you can put just about any sauce you want on it. Get it on sale and it's less than $2 a pound, too.*

Soft tacos? Seems like they'd be a mess, but you're already mostly there with the spanish rice, so heck, why not? All manner of ingredients to pick apart and stuff one's face with.

I'd recommend nuts, but he's a bit young and might choke if he doesn't chew them properly. Maybe in a year or two, eh?

*You also wind up with a hambone for things like split-pea soup, which is no bad thing.
posted by valkyryn at 5:33 AM on July 13, 2012


I have a 12-month-old gigantic eater. (and a 3 year old who was also a gigantic eater)

Toast sticks with hummus. Pita with hummus. (Also, you can spread baby food purees on toast, like a jam. That's how we used up our extra baby food when my kids became all-finger-food babies.)

Any variety of pasta. We do a lot of spiral pasta because it's easy for them to eat and easy to cut into smaller pieces. Pasta salad is popular in summer.

Kraft cheese crumbles that you put on a salad are easy for babies to pick up, as a change from cheese sticks.

Ground beef. I've been making a pound of taco meat (just so it has some flavor for him) and giving him portions of that.

Is he eating your stir-fry? That's easy enough finger food. You'll just have to take five minutes to cut up the the veggies and meat into small pieces in his portion.

Various baked chicken dishes (chicken parmesan, spicy mexican salsa chicken) were SUUUUPER popular at that age, although it's pretty hot to heat up the oven. Toaster oven?

Really the only thing we've found that we eat that isn't good for him is linguini ... too hard to pick up (and tedious to cut up into tiny pieces). Otherwise we just feed him what we're eating, sometimes deconstructed -- like we'll give him a hoagie roll torn up into pieces, and giving him the sandwich filling cut into little bits, and let him just eat it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:37 AM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


At that age, we just fed our baby table food (and she didn't even have teeth). Just cut it up into small pieces and and monitor closely for choking. That may have been when her addiction to peas started too.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:41 AM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh, I should amend my previous statement to say that we carefully monitored her salt intake, and stayed away from cured meats/nitrates and honey.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:42 AM on July 13, 2012


Give him his own spoon -- start with stuff that really gloms onto the spoon; tiny pasta in a lot of cheese, yoghurt thickened with wheat germ, oatmeal, refried beans, that sort of thing. Don't "help," he'll get it.

Google "baby-led weaning" (for ex.) -- the theory will not be of use here but the stuff about giving food in larger sizes will be

If you can deal with a toaster oven, I went through a lot of whole wheat mini pitas topped with pesto (less messy and less likely to be boiling hot in some spot than tomato sauce), lots of chopped veg and enough cheese to bind it all; you can make them en masse, bake half-way, freeze individually, toaster oven them as needed

You don't mention tomato and cucumber? Those are easy prep, easy chew. I am a salad nut and was determined to have a salad-loving kid, so I started early; at the age your kid is now I was very finely mincing tomato, cucumber, peppers, throwing in a bit of feta and olive and some dressing and handing this over as "baby Greek salad," and it was managed with the spoon; I gradually increased the size of the pieces as spoon/fork skill moved ahead, slowly introduced shredded lettuce, and, yeah, salad fan.
posted by kmennie at 5:43 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heavy rotation on our toddler's menu (he was not into eating finger foods for a long time, so we started some of these when he was around 14 months or so): Applegate Farm hot dogs, cut up into hot-dog-sticks. Also, veggie burgers have been a surprising hit. Ham steaks and mashed potatoes, little dude goes crazy for ham sticks. Quesadillas.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 5:47 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mashed potatoes

Spaghetti-o's (I think they're gawd-awful, but kids love them!)

Dumplings of all sorts, pot stickers, perogies, pelmeni, many of these can be found in the freezer section.

Grilled cheese

Steamed and chilled veggies to dip into dressing or hummus, cauliflower, broccoli, snap peas.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:50 AM on July 13, 2012


Corn on the cob.

(Based purely on the fact that I loved watching my teething daughter gnaw on them ferociously. But she loved gnawing on them ferociously too.)
posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:54 AM on July 13, 2012


Our ten-month-old eats a couple bananas and avocado a day--and whole peaches when we have those. She also gnaws on apple cores (with considerable amounts apple still on). I throw her whole frozen green beans to work on. Be careful with the wheat-germ suggestion above--it might make a mean diaper rash. (Incidentally, watermelon gave my daughter a nasty rash a few days ago. It did the same thing to my other kids, but I forgot. It seems like the perfect, messy baby food).

Seconding just chopping up small whatever you're eating (maybe reserving some for him before adding lots of spices for the adults...)
posted by katyh at 5:57 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


And salads made of thinly julienned vegies. Zucchini (do you call them courgettes?), capsicum, carrot, snow peas, green beans. Slice thinly to reduce the choking hazard, and it's also good practice for his fine motor skills to pick them up.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 6:00 AM on July 13, 2012


If you are not adverse to boiling some water in this weather, things like gnocchi and ravioli (both also cut to age appropriate eating size after cooking) have been big hits lately with our 13-mo. monster eater.
posted by safetyfork at 6:10 AM on July 13, 2012


I have a friend whose kid loved Trader Joe's baked pre-seasoned baked tofu at that age.
posted by something something at 6:24 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised no one has mentioned Cheerios. Just dump them on his food tray and let him pick them up one at a time. Oh, and in the hot weather, otter pops (or juice pops you make yourself.)
posted by eleslie at 6:27 AM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have three of these monsters at home, ages 5, 2, and 1. They once finished an entire 8 serving tray of Stouffer's Lasagne. I had 1 piece and split that with one of them. Heaven help me when they turn into teenagers.

A huge hit around our house is beans, in any form...

A can of pintos, drained, add some bbq sauce. It's embarrassing how much they eat of it. You can always make your own sauce too.

A can of pintos, drained, added to browned onion, puree. Also a hit.

A can of any beans, drained, and added to browned onion. Season as you wish.

Mix together equal parts of diced red pepper, drained/rinsed black beans, and frozen corn. Add half part red onion, some diced jalapenos, add oil, lime juice, and cilantro/salt/pepper.

Beans in burritos. Beans with cornbread. Beans and rice.

Peanut butter noodles has been my salvation in the heat this summer. Peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, cracked red pepper flakes, a tich of sugar. Mixed and stirred in with whatever pasta I found in the back of the pantry. I usually stir in shredded carrot and some scallions if I have them.

We also do loads of fresh fruits and veggies.
posted by wg at 6:33 AM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Guacamole! Add frozen corn or black beans to it to bulk it up even more.
posted by saladin at 6:34 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anything you can get a melon baller into, then cut the balls into quarters. Except watermelon. That instant diaper rash thing seems to be universal.

You can slow bake a lot of vegetables overnight in a 250 degree oven without steaming the house up too much. Or hit the grill outside. New potatoes, hard shell squash, sweet potatoes, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, turnips, parsnips - all seem to do okay with olive oil and s&p on a cookie sheet in a slow oven for six to eight hours, and taste good served warm or cold.

Bread and butter pickles were a big hit with denephew, but not so much with deniece. She wanted hamburger dills, and made that face to go with them every time.

My mom was a stickler about no processed sugary treats until we were old enough to brush our own teeth and that one hung on through the grandkids.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 6:41 AM on July 13, 2012


hard boiled eggs
posted by at the crossroads at 6:42 AM on July 13, 2012


Don't forget you can eat lots of vegetables raw that adults don't normally eat (in large quantities, anyway) raw. My little brother at that age had a HUGE thing for eating the heads off of big broccoli bunches. My stepmom would buy twice as much broccoli as she needed to feed the whole family for a week, handed half of what she bought to him, and would eat his broccoli for the next couple of hours.

Also, you can make sandwiches AND teething soothers out of frozen waffles. Microwave just long enough to make them soft before doing the sandwich thing, or hand them straight to the child from the freezer for free-form gnawing. My siblings liked mostly peanut butter or honey (sometimes both at once) on their waffles.
posted by SMPA at 6:47 AM on July 13, 2012


Plain pasta tossed with some butter and fresh Parmesan, pick and nice Rottelle or something curly and easy to pick up with fingers. ALso nice if you just toss in fresh garden tomatoes all chopped up with some basil and olive oil, the heat of the pasta part cooks the tomatoes.

Slices of hard boiled egg, scrambled eggs or omelets(with or without filling). My SIL used to give my niece and nephew soft boiled eggs with toast soldiers to dip in but I know Salmonella is worried about more in eggs in the US for some reason.

Bananas were made for this I swear and are great in sandwhiches and not so much sugar as some fruit.

Slices of cold ham,

Crudites with hummus, cream cheese or even PB to dip in.

Mashed Potatoes are surprisingly easy to eat with your fingers.

Savory Pancakes/crepes if he likes pancakes. Put some sort of meat in sauce in them, or just a basic ground meat and veg mix fried up quick in a pan, put inside a pancake and fold it over. If you mix your own pancakes don't use sugar in the batter.
posted by wwax at 6:56 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


to get more nutrition into bread/toast, I made french toast nuggets - cube the bread small or tear it, soak well in egg, give them a quick fry in a little fat - they'll brown nicely. they cool down easily too and are tasty, I always finished what baby didn't.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:29 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ditto to most of the suggestions above. We also did a lot of baby frittatas then. Scramble an egg or two, mix in whatever you might have laying around (little veggies, cheese, etc) and we'd just pop it in the microwave until it was cooked through for a fast meal. Frozen peas are also fun at that age. My kiddo loved kiwi and would eat it by the truckload.
posted by goggie at 7:30 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


chunks of cheese, crackers, peas (keep a bag frozen and microwave a bowl at a time), chunks of ham, pieces of hamburger or meatloaf, fish sticks (requires occasional oven, but has bonus that it can be dipped, another fun sport), mini bagels (with or without cream cheese), steamed green beans...

anything that can be made into bite sizes can be eaten as finger food! :)
posted by acm at 8:00 AM on July 13, 2012


Slices of eggplant drizzled with olive oil, 20 minutes in oven on high-ish heat. Serve with yoghurt dip optionally. Kid will nibble insides off the skin easily.

Shrimp salad.
posted by Omnomnom at 8:04 AM on July 13, 2012


Mine mostly just ate bits of our food, I like to think that helped make him the adventurous eater he still is at 3 years old (he informed me last night his favorite foods are moroccan beef patties with couscous and peas and tomatoes and grilled fish). He loved peas (still does) and indian samosas (which involves cooking/frying, but not oven, so technically fair game). We also have had good luck with risotto because it's like both rice and pasta but easier to eat than both because it sorts of sticks together more than rice and can be spooned up easier than pasta. Frozen fruit was also a biggie because it soothed teething gums and was fruit!
posted by katers890 at 8:34 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Like goggie said, use eggs or egg whites to "solidify" mass-destruction food like rice and beans, which you can then cut into squares for picking up. You can also use mashed potates or cornbread batter for the same purpose, to make new variations on pancakes with stuff.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:39 AM on July 13, 2012


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