Pasta is an enjoyable finger food for babies. Wiggly strands of spaghetti or linguine keep the baby's attention on food for longer periods because she can play with the strands as well as eat them, while larger pasta pieces like rotini or shells give her an unusual texture to savor. To prepare pasta for your baby, you must cook it until it is soft and cut it into small enough pieces for a tiny mouth to handle. For maximum safety, wait until your child is at least 9 months old to ensure he is ready for finger foods.
Bring a small pot of cold water to a boil. Do not add salt to the water even if you typically salt your pasta.
Add no more than 4 ounces of pasta per quart of water to the pot. If you add too much pasta, it will stick together, and you may end up with undercooked sections.
Boil the pasta for the amount of time specified by the package, then remove a piece to test for tenderness. If you can easily mash the pasta to a paste between your tongue and the roof of your mouth, it is tender enough for your baby to gum. If not, continue to boil the remaining pasta, checking for tenderness every few minutes.
Drain the pasta and allow it to cool. Break or cut it into bite-sized pieces with your fingers or a knife before serving it to your baby.
- "The Baby Book: Revised and Updated"; William Sears, M.D., et al.; 2000
- "The Baby & Toddler Cookbook"; Karen Ansel and Charity Ferreira; 2010
- "Vegetarian Times"; More Than Marinara; Nancy Ross Ryan; August 1997