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Amy Umble writes about family issues and kid-friendly events.

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Looking for baby finger foods? Try these mini-muffins.

You know what those popular packaged baby finger foods like Baby Mum-Mums and teething biscuits are good for?

Making glue.

Somehow, the combination of their ingredients reacts with baby drool to create a sticky, messy, hard-to-clean-up-substance that coats your baby’s clothes, cheeks, car seat and whatever else gets in its way.

But these foods sure are convenient when you need a quick nibble to occupy your child at a restaurant or store, or if you just need a handy snack.

If you’re not into the gluey residue, or if you’d just like to avoid paying extra for processed foods, then go invest in what has become an important piece of baby equipment in this house–a mini-muffin pan.

Mini-muffins are exactly the right size for baby hands, and they’re easy to pack up to have on-hand on trips out of the house.

These muffins have the added bonus of getting some of that iron-fortified baby cereal into your child, a plus if you have entered the stage where spoon-feeding purees can be a tough sell. (If you’re past the baby-cereal stage, just replace the baby cereal in these recipes with the flour of your choice.)

A few notes on these muffins -

- Make sure that your baby has been introduced to each of the ingredients before feeding these muffins to your baby. Eggs and milk are two that are often singled out for allergy concerns. Talk to your pediatrician about when it’s appropriate to introduce these foods to your child.

- If you aren’t feeding your child eggs yet, you can substitute the one egg in each of these recipes with two tablespoons of cornstarch, or you can make a “flax egg” by mixing 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with three tablespoons warm water.

- These recipes offer options for using both agave nectar and brown sugar. Agave nectar is a plant-based sweetener that is sweeter than sugar, so you use less of it. But the sweetener aisle is an increasingly complex place to navigate these days, and I’ve read as many eyebrow-raising articles about new (and expensive) sugar alternatives like agave as I have about refined sugar. I urge you to do your own research and talk to your pediatrician about what kind of sweeteners you want to feed your family. You might even find that you can do without the sweeteners in these recipes, as applesauce and bananas are naturally sweet.

- Always supervise your baby when feeding finger foods.

- It’s best to keep these in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer if you need to store them for longer than that.

Download printable recipes for Applesauce Baby Muffins and Banana-Yogurt Baby Muffins here.

What are some of your favorite portable baby finger foods?

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