As your baby turns one year old, there are many things that they can already do. They may already be trying to communicate with more words and some may even be taking their first steps. They are also able to eat more types of foods, so it’s time to plan more meals for 1-year-old babies.
The best meals for one-year-olds make use of fresh and organic ingredients. While they may still be drinking their milk, whether it is breastmilk or formula, you also need to make sure that they are getting nutrients from their other foods. At this age, they will need to consume about 1,000 calories a day to ensure optimum growth.
There are times when feeding your baby may feel frustrating. Some one-year-olds suddenly turn picky at this age, refusing certain types of foods. It’s normal to expect this as your child becomes more independent. But it’s also important to help them develop a taste for healthier choices.
Transitioning from being a baby to a toddler, they now need to consume from the basic nutrition groups, the same as you. The key here is to choose the type of foods you want them to consume, and then present it to them. They will make the choice of whether to eat them. Keep offering healthy food choices to them and you will see just what they lean towards more.
When you are giving foods to your child, try to introduce different types at a time. Some mothers do not give mixtures and they also wait a couple of days before introducing a new one. This way they can see if there will be any allergic reactions to the food. Even if your baby does not take to the food right away, it’s okay. Some studies actually show that they actually need to be exposed to food by at least 6 up to 15 times before they can accept it as part of their diet.
If you are wondering about the best foods for a one-year-old, we have compiled a list of what you can give your baby. We have also added more tips at the end of the article on how to best feed your baby at this age.
Best Foods for One Year Olds
- Soft fruits
- Yogurt and Milk
- Whole grain pancakes
- Chicken Bites
- Steamed Vegetables
- Rice porridge
If you have gone the traditional way of weaning your baby, you would have pureed lots of fruits for them to eat. As they grow older, they are now able to pincer grasp foods so you can start introducing solid foods to them. Fruits are great as transition foods because they are packed with nutrients that are beneficial for your baby.
But you cannot just give them any fresh fruit, remember that they still don’t have teeth at this time so you cannot give hard fruits. Softer fruits like bananas. peaches and mangoes are a perfect choice.
You can turn it into a smoothie first if you want, but just cut them up into smaller pieces is already enough. Make sure that you cut them small enough so that they do not pose a choking hazard. Grapes must be cut in half or even quarters.
Oatmeals are for your one-year-old because despite being soft, they also offer a different texture from the usual puree and mash. Not to mention the fact that they are very beneficial for your baby.
It is high in nutrients such as iron and zinc, plus it also contains high amounts of fiber which is perfect for digestion. Most veteran mommies know that when babies start solid foods, they may experience constipation. Oatmeal can help them move their bowel easier.
Once they are used to the taste and texture of oatmeal, you can also add other ingredients for a tastier meal. Fruits like bananas and berries are perfect to combine with them.
Yogurt and Milk
At one, some babies start to wean off breast milk. At this time you can now give your baby cow’s milk. Remember that before one, it is not advisable to give them cow’s milk because they are still not able to digest them properly compared to formula. It can also be dangerous because it has more sodium and potassium than formula milk and this can cause strain on your baby’s liver.
Cow’s milk has a different taste and even feel compared to formula, so your baby may not like it at the beginning. What some mommies do is to combine them first with breast milk or formula, or they use it for cereal or oatmeal.
Yogurt is also good for babies as it contains probiotics. But you need to choose the right yogurt as some variants contain too much sugar and other additives. You can just buy the plain yogurt and then add some fruits and other ingredients for added flavor and texture.
Whole grain pancakes
Pancakes are popular breakfast and snack foods and they can be introduced to babies as young as eight months old. But while it may be convenient to stick to prepackaged pancake mixes, it is also not advisable. Some have too much sugar in them so therefore it is not beneficial for your child.
It’s quite easy to make your own and healthier too because you know the exact ingredients that go into your pancakes. There’s a simple two-ingredient pancake that makes use of bananas and eggs.
For a more nutritious take, make use of whole-grain as this has vitamins and minerals than others. Cut them up into creative pieces using cookie cutters to make it more appetizing for kids.
There was a time when mommies were very skeptical about adding eggs to their baby’s diet. But over the years, research has shown that when babies are given eggs as early as six months show higher levels of nutrients like choline and omega-3 fatty acids like DHA. These two play an important role in a baby’s brain development. Of course, it is one of the best sources of proteins for babies.
Most mommies introduce egg yolks first to babies as the egg whites can cause allergies. While there are many ways to enjoy eggs, for one-year-olds, the choices are a little bit limited.
You can give them mashed and then add some vegetables to it for added nutrients. As they get older, you can start giving them fried eggs. One thing. you need to remember when cooking eggs is that they must be well cooked. You cannot give your baby a half-boiled egg as this may be dangerous for your child.
Tofu cannot be given to babies right away when they start eating solid food, as they might not be able to digest it properly. But by the time they are eight months, and most especially at one year old, you can give them tofu. But be sure that they are not allergic to soy before you add this to their diet.
Remember that there are two different types of tofu, the firm and hard and the soft and silky. Both are okay to serve to babies.
Tofu can be served in a variety of ways. You can just mash them or cut them into cubes. Other mommies opt to put them in milk or porridge and others make tofu nuggets which are great for snacks.
At one year, you can already give your baby meat to add some proteins to their diet. But because pork and beef can be quite tough and hard to chew, it would be better to start off with some chicken and turkey first.
If you are going the traditional way of weaning your child, you may start by pureeing your chicken and turkey first. After boiling or poaching the meat, put it in the food processor and add a bit of liquid to make it more palatable. Instead of water, add broth or even milk so that your one year old would find it tastier. Once they get older, you can add more herbs and spices to the mixture.
Avocados are a great choice for your one-year-old’s transitional food. Their texture is soft enough that they do not need to be cooked before being given to your baby. It also has a creamy texture that is very appetizing and also easy to digest.
Aside from that, avocados are very nutritious. While it is full of fat, it is a healthy fat. Not to mention the other vitamins and minerals it contains.
So what are the benefits of avocados for babies? It can help develop your baby’s brain and also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This helps keep them away from diseases.
Be sure to introduce vegetables early to your baby, so they can learn to appreciate healthy meals. We all know that vegetables contain a lot of nutrients needed for growth. When serving to babies, it’s important to cook them because they will be too tough for your one-year-old if they are served raw.
While you can also boil them, steaming is a more efficient way because most of the nutrients in vegetables are still retained. There are many vegetables that you can serve your child.
Make sure to offer a variety so that they can enjoy the different tastes and textures. Some of the most popular vegetables served to one-year-olds include carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash.
This is another ideal food for a one-year-old child. Unlike foods like eggs or even some certain types of fruits, rice porridge is less likely to result in an allergic reaction. They are also easy to digest and can be consumed even when your child has an upset stomach.
It’s best to serve the porridge within a couple of hours after cooking. If the consistency becomes too thick when it has cooled down, you can easily add some milk to make it softer again.
If you want to add more flavor to the porridge, you can add more ingredients like chicken bites. If you’re looking for something sweeter, add pureed fruits to the recipe instead.
Tips for Feeding One Year Olds
Prepare foods with different types of texture
While purees and mashed foods can taste good, you should not be limited to those choices. At one year old, your child can handle other textures. Give some crunch and chewiness to their meals so that they can enjoy more.
Always be there to supervise when your child is eating
Even if you are doing baby-led weaning or traditional weaning, you need to always be there when your child is eating. You want to make sure that they are eating properly and be on alert if ever they are choking on their food.
Don’t give foods that have too much salt and sugar
In the same way that too much salt and sugar is not good for adults, the same is true for younger kids, maybe even more so. Your one-year-old’s body is not developed enough to handle so much salt, and it may affect their kidneys.
You may reason that you don’t really add much salt when you cook, but so many processed foods have high sodium levels to begin with. Some of the foods to look out for include seasonings, instant noodles, frozen dinners, and canned soup.
As for sugar, not only would excess amounts cause tooth decay, but there is an increased chance of getting diabetes as they grow older.
Avoid foods that can cause the child to choke
Aside from knowing the best foods for a one-year-old, it’s also important to know which ones must be avoided. The one thing you must know is foods that may be choking hazards.
Some of the foods that must be avoided include whole grapes and popcorn. Hotdogs are also not advisable not only because of the choking risk but because they do not offer many nutrients. Don’t give babies raw vegetables and peanut butter too as they will have a hard time eating them.