For babies who are already feeding themselves and really enjoying lots of hearty textures, this healthy chicken salad is sure to please. Transitioning from purees to "table foods" can be one of the most difficult things that your baby will have to master. The key to smooth transitions lies in the ability of your baby's fingers to be able to grasp food, hold it and ultimately put the food into the mouth. Let's not even think about using a fork or spoon properly just yet. Once self-feeding is a strong skill, your baby will then be able to learn to master holding the utensil, scooping up the food and moving both the food and the utensil to the mouth. Now that really is a lot of work and a lot of fine motor skill development that must come into play. To help your baby, offer him foods that contain more texture, lumps, bumps and chunks; don't forget about offering foods in shreds too. Give this chicken salad a try, it will serve to use up leftover chicken and help baby's finger master pinching, grasping and moving food. Yes, you do need to let baby just dig in and yes, there will be a mess but try not to stress about it.
This recipe is suitable for babies 8 months and older who are enjoying textures, meats and yogurt.
Baby's Healthy Chicken Salad
- 1 cup of roasted chicken meat
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt (Greek yogurt will work well)
- pepper, to taste
- garlic powder, to taste
- 1 or 2 drips of lemon juice
Step 1: Remove the meat from a previously roasted chicken and shred using a knife and fork or your fingers. (Be sure your hands are freshly washed.)
Step 2: Place meat in a mixing bowl.
Step 3: Add yogurt and mix to combine, use as much yogurt as you like to achieve a texture and creaminess that you find pleasing.
Step 4: Add spices and herbs and mix again to combine.
Step 5: Add a drip or 2 of lemon juice and again, mix to combine.
Step 6: Chill in refrigerator,if desired.
To serve to babies, place a scoop in a bowl or directly onto baby's food tray. Be sure to watch your baby any time you are serving finger foods and letting her feed herself. You may want to give her a spook or baby fork too and let her practice as this salad will cling.
When I make this for my family, I add minced garlic, chopped scallions, some basil and bit of shredded carrots.