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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So What Happened?™

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!!!!

Featured Answers

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!

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