41 answers

Food Ideas for a 1 Year Old

I have a girl who just turned one and she won't eat baby food anymore. I'm struggling to find foods to give her that are soft enough and will give her the right balance of nutrition she needs. My son was in day care at this age and they fed him, so I can't remember what they did. Does anyone have any ideas for breakfast, lunch or dinner? So far I'm stuck on mac-n-cheese, grilled cheese, bananas, pears and peaches. Thanks for your help! (Oh... she only has 4 teeth).

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Thank you so much to everyone who gave me such wonderful advice on what to feed my one year old. I've started taking many of your suggestions. Since she likes to feed herself, I've been cutting up meat (very small), serving her canned peas & carrots, pancakes w/blueberries. She's doing great and is very happy. I'll keep trying your ideas. Thanks again!!!!

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It looks like you've had a lot of responses- but I'll throw in my 2 cents. Sliced tofu, avocado, wheat tortillas, sweet potato fries (i.e. peeled, baked sweet potatoes cut into fry size), and Earth's best toddler grahams are a few of my son's favorite finger foods. He's quite a messy eater, so if we can minimize the chaos with finger foods, things are a little easier.
Lentils are easy to make in a large batch and freeze. I make enough for several servings over two weeks and mix in some healthy veggies (spinach, tomato, carrot). Lentils have a lot of vitamins, iron, and fiber, making it a perfect food to serve a couple of times a week.
Good fruits to branch out to are kiwi, cantaloupe, pineapple.

Try putting the foods you eat through a blender a little bit. (ie. Spaghetti, beans & cheese w/rice, steamed veggies w/broth and tofu). Fresh applesauce with bananas......google toddler foods and somewhere I saw a link with yummy ideas to try that are healthy.
good luck!

I also have a one year old with only two teeth and she has been off baby mush for about 6 weeks now. I spend a lot of time steaming vegetables, carrot dices, broccoli trees,greens, lots of greens, spinach, kale, swiss chard, chopped up fine. She also loves buckwheat pancakes with blueberries, coin size for a good finger food. Hard boiled eggs are good, any soft fruit. Rice and beans, lentils, oatmeal.. Seaweed...sounds strange, but my girl LOVES it. They sell little finger food packs at healthfood stores or you can just buy nori for sushi making.ANd you can't go wrong with good old cheerios! Hope this helps a little, with practice, she'll be able to chew/ gum just about anything (healthy) Good luck!

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I just posted some of this for another user but I think you can use it too. Don't worry about the teeth. I've heard that babies do the most by gumming their food. Gums can be really strong and we gave our daughter lots of stuff before she had many teeth.

Hmm. My dd is almost 18 months old now so I'm trying to remember. I'm lucky. She loves vegetables. In fact, she will turn away starch for a vegetable.
I tried to feed her as much from our table as possible, like mashed potatoes or veggies etc. She hated canned peas (who doesn't) but she LOVES frozen peas. Even now she will gobble them up. I didn't give my daughter eggs until after a year but once those were introduced it was nice. They are an easy protein for breakfast or lunch. I scramble them and most of the time she likes it. There is always the old standby of applesauce. Make sure to get the non-sweetened kind. Another thing that I made was a beans and rice mixture. You can make the rice first and then stir in a can of beans. Theoretically you are supposed to use the low-sodium beans but I never worried about that.
I just thought of another thing. I've just recently been using it but it sounds like it would work for you. Remember the chicken soup we got as kids when sick? Campbells usually. Well, I make up a can of the soup and then drain off most of the broth and give it to her. She feeds herself with her hands and just LOVES it.

Hope this helps. My daughter didn't start out picky but after turning 1 she's gotten more and more opinionated. The first change was refusing everything with a mashed texture like mashed potatoes or squash. I think she thinks her palate is too sofisticated for that now! I get a little frustrated but keep trying to give her a variety and it seems to work out OK.

1 mom found this helpful

Make stews - rice with cooked veggies and soft beans

my 15 month old has two teeth. she likes to eat toast or toaster waffles with peanut butter or strawberry jam on it; she also likes scrambled eggs, yogurt and mexican rice; i've also given her a slice of whole wheat bread torn up with applesauce and mixed it with a little milk and baby cereal flakes; i hope these ideas help. God Bless.

I also have a one year old with only two teeth and she has been off baby mush for about 6 weeks now. I spend a lot of time steaming vegetables, carrot dices, broccoli trees,greens, lots of greens, spinach, kale, swiss chard, chopped up fine. She also loves buckwheat pancakes with blueberries, coin size for a good finger food. Hard boiled eggs are good, any soft fruit. Rice and beans, lentils, oatmeal.. Seaweed...sounds strange, but my girl LOVES it. They sell little finger food packs at healthfood stores or you can just buy nori for sushi making.ANd you can't go wrong with good old cheerios! Hope this helps a little, with practice, she'll be able to chew/ gum just about anything (healthy) Good luck!

When our daughter was that age I took to grinding her food. There are all sorts of "baby food mills" on the market, for not much money. I don't remember the brand name of the one we used but it was a a hand crank number and super easy to use. I just ran whatever we were having through it (unless it was something really spicy) and then she sat at the table, eating with us. The best thing about this, although I didn't have a control group and can't prove it empiracally, is that she was introduced to lots of flavors and has always been an adventurous (and never a picky - thank God) eater.

french toast, blueberry waffles, purree vegtables in mac and cheese. steamed apples or carrots, sweet potato oven fries, yogurt-frozen into popicles, mandrin oranges, rice, beans, stir-fry, avacodos, frozen peas-cooked this is what my one year old eats, because he will not eat baby food.

This is a great time to start all kinds of things - my kids (now 3 and 18 mos) both wanted what we were eating at that age, and all of a sudden it was more fun to feed them real food! Your daughter can eat a lot of stuff, even with few teeth, those gums are strong my pediatrician reassures me. Just stay away from crunchy crunchy stuff like raw veggies and hard fruit, nuts, etc.

Here are some of my favorites: scrambled eggs with grated cheese, cheese and deli turkey quesadillas on whole wheat tortillas, ww toast with butter in squares, TJs whole grain frozen waffles toasted then spread with butter and maybe a tiny drizzle of syrup, TJs meatballs (they have veg, turkey and beef ones - my kids loooove the italian style) microwave and chop up tossed with spag. sauce, soft cooked pasta, with or without sauce (I make a whole bag of ww pasta, then freeze in a freezer bag and microwave what I need as I need it), chopped up chicken nuggets (again, TJs has some I can feel good about that are not loaded with weird stuff) or fish sticks, very soft steamed or canned veggies like peas, green beans, carrots, broccoli etc., small soft pieces of tofu or salmon. For breakfasts I'll sometimes make a big batch of french toast or whole grain pancakes (love to put bananas or blueberries in the pancakes) once a week, then keep them in the fridge to pull out throughout the week. Hmm, I know there's more, but I also know how easy it is to draw a blank sometimes! My kids also love chili (not too spicy and with plenty of cheese), meatloaf, most soups sans broth, pb&js, made with sesame butter if you're waiting on nuts, oh yeah, canned whole and refried beans are great - spread on a tortilla or just to eat the whole ones with the fingers.

Good luck, it's a fun time of transition into eating real people food. Bye bye gerber jars!

My 9 month old likes tofu, lentils, split peas, beans, garden burgers, toast, steamed veggies, cottage cheese, rice. I hope that helps!

I have an 8 yr old who is just now getting passed the "picky" stage. When he was younger I just chopped up the "yucky" stuff, with my chopper, it was the same stuff we were eating. If you have a good chopper, it should make an almost puree, which would be easy for a 1 yr old to handle. As my son got older, I introduced foods to him and called them "fun" names like Soccer Spaghetti or Blue Power Ranger Burritos. It seemed to help. In the last year, we have been associating foods with how they help your body to grow. It's an idea. Good luck!

my daughter did really well with sliced avocado which is great to add the protein and get a veggie in there. she is 17 months now and still loves it! also peas cooked really well and cut canned green beans were a favorite of my daughter, and still are. she loves anything she can feed herself!

Mashed yams are good. Buy a yam wash it cut it into one inch slices boil till tender with the skin still on. The skin can be easily peeled off later and mash. Get a small food grinder, or you may have something already that will do the job. Chicken can be ground after it is cooked maybe add a little water to it for a palatable consistency. Alot of the simple foods you already serve the family can be ground.

try the gerber graduates. my oldest loved those at that age, they're soft and like toddler sized t.v. dinners. you can find them by the baby foods. also, oalmeal with fruit and/or honey. french toast. pancakes waffles. eggs. sausage. sos. most meats, but because of the few teeth, you can stick them in a food proccesser, or cut them small. and if those won't work, keep doing what she likes, and there's always those pedia-sure drinks that are supposed to balance nutrition. oh! they also have fruit bars and granola bars that are soft for toddlers.
~J.

Have you tried avocados? The fats in this delicious food are really good for baby. I cut mine up and let my daughter eat them in small chunks. She really disliked it mashed, probably because of the texture. Also, plain whole fat organic yogurt is a good source of nutrition—but not every baby likes the tartness.

At this age I would offer them anything except foods they could choke on, such as grapes or hot dogs. But otherwise, let them have at it! Any foods you eat for dinner you can moosh up in a food processor. Try yoghurt, peanut butter, soups, etc.

I also have a one year old, okay he is 15 months, but he has been done with baby food for quite a while now. He LOVES cottage cheese, but I do have to puree it so it isn't quite so lumpy and all variations of yogurt. I can usually get him to eat steamed veggies, but mostly just baby carrots because he can hold them himself. Lightly toasted english muffins with butter, these seemed especially good during hard teething times because he really works it around on his gums. Oatmeal and other hot cereals are usually a hit, but that too varies from day to day and I try to add raisins or dried cranberries for a little variation. I will be anxious to see what others put down because I too feel like we eat the same things over and over and that gets really old! (At least for me!)

Whatever you are eating, as long as it is healthy, not junk food or sugary foods, is what you can feed your one-year-old. Either blend it, get a baby food grinder, or chew it yourself and the feed it to her. It sounds gross, but is highly recomended. There are enzymes in our saliva that help break down the food. Your child will digest it better if it is chewed first, not just blended. If you leave it to your child to chew, it probably will just get swallowed whole at this age.

You might try avacado, steamed apple chunks, cheerios, cut up pasta - like ravioli, and even things like the Toddler Apple Wheels (they can be gummed and pretty much dissolve). If she can eat grilled cheese, I bet if you cut up anything small enough, she'll be able to eat it.

Sweet Potatoes! My daughter will turn 1 in a week and they are by far her favorite. I usually slice them up and bake them in the over until they're soft. You could then cut them up in small pieces but my daughter love getting big pieces and taking bites.
Other foods she loves: scrambled eggs (great way to get the protein)
Another thing we did a lot was "teach" her to take bites. I'd tell her "bite it" and demonstrate myself. Then hold it out to her with only a little bit sticking out so she can only take a bit. Once I knew she could do that, I've given her crackers (saltine and ritz) and canned beans (kidney mostly). Oh and also green beans cooked until they're soft. Avocado is another good one - FULL of good nutrients and fat and very soft.
Good Luck!

It looks like you've had a lot of responses- but I'll throw in my 2 cents. Sliced tofu, avocado, wheat tortillas, sweet potato fries (i.e. peeled, baked sweet potatoes cut into fry size), and Earth's best toddler grahams are a few of my son's favorite finger foods. He's quite a messy eater, so if we can minimize the chaos with finger foods, things are a little easier.
Lentils are easy to make in a large batch and freeze. I make enough for several servings over two weeks and mix in some healthy veggies (spinach, tomato, carrot). Lentils have a lot of vitamins, iron, and fiber, making it a perfect food to serve a couple of times a week.
Good fruits to branch out to are kiwi, cantaloupe, pineapple.

Hello,
My son is 18 months with only four teeth and will not allow me to feed him,nor does he want baby food. So, what I have done was cook everything that I would eat raw. For example: I would cut (dice or slice) and peel an apple and boil it; Similiar to an apple pie. My son would gobble the apple up and feel like a big boy. You can do this with any food such as carrots, zucchini, pears, broccoli, califlower, etc... Boil the food just long enough to soften the food. Make the appropriate judgement on how soft you need it and watch your baby eat! :)

I don't blame your 1-year old. Have you ever tasted baby food? It's awful. I think baby food teaches children to hate their veggies because it tastes so bad. Anyway, my grandmother taught me to cook potatoes and carrots, mash them up with a fork, with a little salt and butter, MY 1-year old LOVED it. He was so scrawny when I went to live with her, and she made this frequently, and looked much less scrawny after a month! You can actually do this with any veggie and potatoe. Also, I used to use my KitchenAid Mixer - it has a food grinder. I used to grind the food with it for my babies (AFTER it was cooked, of course). You can also use a blender to mash stuff. It's a lot of work, but you're right, they can't chew very well yet. I pretty much mashed and ground anything I cooked for us.

At 1, she can pretty much eat what you eat, just small pieces/bites. The teeth don't matter tooooo much because they mash things with their gums. My daughter didn't like baby food either and therefore, didn't like the foodmill food. Finger foods worked best for her. My daughter loves tofu (there are good and bad things written about tofu), tuna sandwiches, meatballs, deli sandwich meat (deli so there are no nitrites), steamed broccoli, noodles with spaghetti sauce, yogurt, breakfast/cereal bars, waffles, pancakes, cottage cheese, chicken nuggets, oatmeal, banana bread, whole wheat toast with cream cheese..... Good luck!

I have a little girl who is just over 10 months and I am getting to that same point with her. One thing I have given her that she loves is almond butter and strawberry jam sandwiches on wheat bread. The strawberry jam I found only has 1/2 the sugar of normal jam made by Smuckers. My doctor said almond butter was ok to try, but still wait on the peanut butter until 2 years old. My daughter is very small for her age weight wise so the almond butter is great. Also try steaming carrots in the steamer bags and cutting them up for her. They are very sweet and good. Green beans are easy for them to eat too; my daughter doesn't like any green veggies so she just spit them out. Oh and baking a sweet potato and adding butter to it she loved!! We also have given her spaghetti. I just took what we were having for dinner and chopped it up pretty small for her. It had lots of veggies in it and she loved it, it is very messy though. I have also given her small bites of turkey and chicken when we have it and she loves that too. I am also looking for more ideas so I will be reading other responses to your question. Hope this helps.

Soft avocado cut in chunks, cottage cheese, shredded cheese, yogurt or smoothies, steamed soft carrot chunks (I cooked batches in a rice cooker) were winners with my kids.

I had some great luck with filled raviolis and tortellini. I have found butternut squash and chicken (so pureed and chopped) that my 2 year old loved. She ate it with her hand all by herself. Check the frozen ones at Market of Choice. Turkey cold cuts were also a hit!

Pancakes w/ blueberries, muffins, chili mac, cornbread, spaghetti, sloppy joes, oatmeal, applesauce, chicken pot pie, tamale pie, frenchtoast the options are endless! She may only have four teeth but she is telling you she is ready for real food. I say feed her whatever your having just make sure it is cut tiny. I have worked in daycare for over 10 years with infants and toddlers. At the daycare where I work we start the babies on foods early per advice from our health nurse and I have never had a baby choke. Good Luck

Purchase a baby food grinder, feed her what you are eating, just grind it up. They are inexpensive and the food is usually better for her than baby food.
R.

here's some ideas that I gave my son at that age, now he's 18months.
cooked carrots and sweet potato
Dr. Praeger's spinach cakes(from Whole Foods)they taste great like a hash brown potato pattie
oatmeal (with raisins)
egg yolk scrambled
yogurt
applesauce
many cereals that dissolve (Cinnabunnies or of course Cheerios)

Hi MJ,
I sympathize with you. :-) I had good luck giving my two kids blueberries (and other berries for that matter), soft beans (like black beans and pinto beans) and even peas. Those bags of mixed frozen vegetables are good because you can just scoop out a handful and simmer them for a minute. The beans are a good protein source. We also did a lot of smoothies with either soy milk or yogurt as a protein source. Both my kids started eating oatmeal with blueberries and cottage cheese for breakfast at age 1, although I used the instant variety until they were a bit older and could chew more. They also loved eating shredded cheese, too. Have you tried pancakes at breakfast?

Good luck! - K.

I think the foods you are giving her are fine. You can also add it things like pasta, mashed potatoes, cooked veggies, chicken strips... Really anything she seems to like and just watch her carefully to make sure she doesn't choke. The more you introduce now, the less picky she will be later.

What you could try is getting a food processor or blender and having her eat what you are eating. You can make food available and soft enough for her to eat. This will also help her get accustomed to what you all are having for dinner. (Eating together at meals.) Also, it's way cheaper than buying baby food. My son stopped eating baby food around a year old and it helped having this food processor. Hope this helps! Good luck. :D ~B.

Whatever you can mush up or puree in a blender (Bullet) she can eat. My friend with 7 children gives her one year old anything. He just gumms it to death. Just don't give hard things that will get stuck in his throat.

My son is 17 months and he loves cherrios, grapes, peas and carrots (cooked until soft), corn, green beans, yogurt, gram crackers, butter busikets, watermellon & apples or apple sauce. If she only has 4 teeth I would worry that she couldn't chew things up enough. They make this mesh bag that you put food in and give it to your baby to chew and suck on and the food goes through the mesh, but won't let big chunkes of food through. It really helps. You can find them at any store where baby stuff are sold: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2404768
Hope this helps.

I bought a baby food grinder. It cost about $10 and I can grind up about anything. If it's too hard for the grinder (it is a hand crank), I use my blender.

scrambled eggs with cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, raisins (if fresh and soft), oatmeal with raisins cooked in it, cream of wheat hot cereal, hard boiled eggs, egg salad (egg with mayo in it), hot dogs cut in tiny pieces, grapes cut in quarters, soft cooked broccoli or cauliflower with cheese or mayo, small pieces of cheese, peas, smoothies with healthy stuff pureed in it, pancakes cut in tiny pieces...hope this helps. J. (36 year old Married for 14 years mom with 7 year old girl, 4 year old boy and 2 year old boy)

Rice works. Cooked grains like barley or bulgar wheat (stick them in the rice cooker with 4 parts water to 1 grain; you can store it in small bags in the freezer. Who wants to be cooking grains for an hour every day!) Mashed potatoes with veg cooking juice. Healthy yogurt (Put your own fruit into plain, don't feed that sugary dessert stuff). Mash or cut small anything you're eating.

She'll pick up healthy or non-healthy habits quickly! It's mom's choice, and dad's support, that promotes a child's good or awful patterns. Have fun! This is a good time of life when the sun rises and sets on you. WOW - enjoy it.

I am a SAHM of 3, ages 5,3,& 19mo. You can get canned/frozen mixed vegetables, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, etc. I just switched to those so they still got the vegetables and cut them or mashed them a little so they were the consistancy my kids needed. You can buy string cheese and pull it apart for her. I make quesadillas for my kids sometimes with just cheddar and sometimes mozerella & cheddar. For my youngest I cut it up into tiny pieces he could pick up to eat and not choke. You could try oatmeal, cut apples and grapes up into pieces, motts healthy harvest applesauce, yogurt, cottage cheese, tear up whole wheat bread and deli meats. You should be able to cut up a lot of the meals you make for the rest of the family and give them to her. My kids all loved things like muffins, coffee/crumb cake, chicken linguine alfredo, garlic bread, spaghetti, chicken and rice dishes, my mom's version a fried rice, spagettio's with meatballs (just cut up the meatballs), etc. I hope this helps. You'll probably have to take it slow to look for allergies still. I know how frustrating figuring out what to feed your kids can be, especially at that age. So good luck!!

I have a 1 year old who has never taken baby food. He absolutely refused it. We feed him everything we eat, just in small bites. He eats hamburgers, hotdogs, even steak in small enough bites. He recently decided he loves oatmeal!!!
He only has 4 teeth too!!! Good luck.

Try rice, avocados, applesauce, yogurt, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes. also good if cooked pretty soft and cut small are broccoli, cauliflower. zuccini. Pureed soups of any kind. Also kids love to pick up canned green peas and canned green beans on their own. Also good is oatmeal, and other cooked cereals. for fruit, melons like honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, plus strawberries, all cut small. Finally, you can get that little mesh feeder they sell at baby stores and put almost anything in it. My kids love to suck on ice and frozen yogurt, but I've heard that people put all kinds of food in it so they don;t hav eto worry about choking.

Try putting the foods you eat through a blender a little bit. (ie. Spaghetti, beans & cheese w/rice, steamed veggies w/broth and tofu). Fresh applesauce with bananas......google toddler foods and somewhere I saw a link with yummy ideas to try that are healthy.
good luck!

Eggs are great protein and lots of good vitamins, oatmeal and of course cheerios are fun. Mine loved a scrambled egg in the morning. They can use their fingers and its soft. Other ideas for that age: Canned green beans, apricots, beets, frozen pees and carrots, steamed zucchini or squash in small cubes and broccoli. Most veggies you can get really soft and keep a bit of a shape so she can pick them up. And some canned foods gave me more options. Boiled chicken lightly seasoned can be cut really small and yo baby yogurts are made with whole milk which also and helps with adding protein. Hope this helps.

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