28 answers

Meals for 1 Year Old

Does anyone have any quick and healthy dinner recipes or ideas for a picky 1 year old? I feel like I keep cycling through the same old thing....grilled cheese, mash potatoes and gravy with meat (his favorite), pasta/mac and cheese (which he doesn't really care for so I don't fix this very often), rice with veggies and turkey or chicken. I want to give him other options instead of the same old thing but I am really at a loss for ideas. Please help!

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Featured Answers

Trader Joes sells a whole wheat cous cous that is fast, easy to make, and tasted great- I mix it with a little melted cheese and my 1 year old loves it- I also make it with red sauce, or add it to tomatoe soup or chicken noodle soup. The great thing about it is it is whole grain, has 5 or 6 grams of protein, and good fiber. It is really healthy.

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My girls love Walnut Acres organic Baked Beans. So easy.
That with some string cheese and they're happy. You could even cut up some cooked carrots or any other veggie and mix them in.

Hi K.,

I have an 11 month old and two older children. My quick response is....anything that you are eating! My 11 month old eats off of my plate. Granted she does have all 8 front teeth and has just started working on her molars but she has been eating off of my plate for 2 months or so. She will even eat my raw veggies if they are shredded. Just from looking at what you said you are feeding him, I would up, up, up his veggie/fruit intake. It is so easy, if you start them at this age, for them to have a life long habit of eating lots of fresh veggies and fruits. To this day that is still the first thing my oldest daughter eats off of her plate and I think it has SO much to do with how I fed her as an infant.

Good luck!

More Answers

Having baby eat with the family is a great idea, but it's not practical for us because our 14mo is ready for bed by 6-6:30 p.m., which is earlier than my husband gets home from work. So our little guy always eats dinner separate from us.

Wholesomebabyfood dot com is a great resource for age-appropriate recipes (check their fingerfoods section), as are the books "The Petite Appetite" and "First Meals."

I devote a couple hours once or twice a month to making several recipes and freezing them so that all I have to do is essentially reheat at mealtime and supplement with cooked frozen veggies (as nutritious as fresh), sweet potatoes or winter squash (which I precook and freeze, too). Sometimes, if we have leftovers from our own meals I'll rewarm them for him the next day. Our Seal-a-Meal was a great investment in this process.

My little guy would rather have finger foods than be spoon fed, so I make salmon patties, whole wheat vegetable pancakes, little meat/vegetable loafs (chicken or beef, in mini muffin tins), tilapia (Buy frozen. Thaws and cooks quickly) and no-salt-added, canned vegetable and minestrone soups (Heat, then drain the broth off. Might want to cut kidney beans in half so they're not a choking hazard.). I also make him little vegetable omelettes, with or without cheese, because they cook quickly and he loves them.

We don't have any food intolerances to deal with, so I'm able to feed him a pretty varied menu and I think he's a really good eater because of it. And because I cook ahead and freeze, I'm able to get his dinner ready in 10 minutes, tops.

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Hi,
I just tried this and my 18 month old loves it and can (mostly) feed it to himself because it is so sticky. I cook up some rice (about 2-3 cups), sautee a little onion (1/3 small) and dice up 3 banana size zucchinis and sautee it with the onion once the onion is mostly cooked. Cook until mushy then put in the food processor if you want and mix it with the rice and a big handful of cheese. You can adjust the amounts of each to your liking and it would probably be good with other veggies too. Another good idea ... get a block of firm tofu, wrap in paper towel to get out extra water, cut into good little bite size pieces, sprinkle a generous amount of soy sauce and nutritional yeast on it and let sit (5 min - all day) then sautee up in a little butter until outside edges get cooked look. This is good heated up the next day for snacks too. Kids get so picky around this age it is hard, some days I feel like he eats more crackers than anything else, but I try!

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That sounds tricky. I have a child with sensory issues so he likes things one week but not the next so I sympathize. I got the most interesting response from my doctor. She said babies will eat when they are hungry so make whatever you want, and if they don't eat don't encourage them to be picky by making something else instead. If they eat what you eat the house will be much calmer.
For food ideas I've started grabbing everything in my cupboards and hitting websites. Campbells has some very winning recipes that my kids have LOVED. Thinks like pork in cream of mushroom and rice, or hamburger pie. Progresso has some amazing ideas, and both have recipe forums to ask what is the best choices. Bisquik has great ideas too. Another one is lipton - the onion soup mix makes the BEST pot roast in the world! My kiddos also love the potatoes made with onion soup.
I like the pretending to eat their stuff. Also I demonstrate new foods for them and say very clearly what it is. For the longest time our middle son would not touch meat. The other day I made roast and cut off a bit of it. With him watching I stuck it in my mouth right after I said "meat! roast! yum!" Then I loudly said yum, yum, while I chewed. He had two plates full!!! AND ate the veggies on top of it!
I hope you find some good solutions. Best of luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Trader Joes sells a whole wheat cous cous that is fast, easy to make, and tasted great- I mix it with a little melted cheese and my 1 year old loves it- I also make it with red sauce, or add it to tomatoe soup or chicken noodle soup. The great thing about it is it is whole grain, has 5 or 6 grams of protein, and good fiber. It is really healthy.

2 moms found this helpful

I usually cook just one meal and modify it a bit for my daughter. Last night we had fajitas. I gave my daughter some of the chicken, black beans, grated cheese and cubed up red peppers. I hate to cook two different things, but don't mind modifying.
My daughter has also be very picky, so I completely sympathize with you. My daughter does not like pasta or rice much. But I always put stuff on her plate to try, whether she likes it or not because eventually they will try it. She would never touch broccoli and now I can't give her enough. I also gave her lots of fresh vegies shredded up(cucumbers, carrots, peppers, zuchinni, cabbage, whole baby frozen peas and corn). She loved the texture of the fresh vegies. I call it baby salad.
Try doing mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes mixed. It is so yummy. Or sweet potatoe oven baked fries.
A big hit in our house is a super mild chili with lots of different beans. I usually use ground turkey,onions, diced carrots, black, grabanzo and kidney beans, diced tomatoes and a super mild chili mix. You can spice it up for you later. It is super healthy and full of good protein.
I forgot one thing....try this website. www.allrecipes.com You can sign up to get a daily recipe and I have gotten great things off that website, stuff my daughter just loves.

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Baked potatoes with toppings: cheese/sour cream, saute broccoli and mushrooms or taco toppings.
Quesadillas: Cheese/ck, beans/sour cream. Or Burritos w/ diced tomatoes /lettuce/cheese. Nachos(?)
Pita pockets: cream cheese/turkey/grated carrots/lettuce.
Top ramen w/ frozen peas cooked in it. (lunch)
bagels w/ flavored cream cheese (strawberry, etc)
Bananas, apple slices, orange slices.
Cut potatoes and sweet potatoes in squares and fry in a pan.
If I'm in a hurry: Buy cooked rotisserie chicken and add can corn/ baked beans. Hawaiian rolls/salad. (w/ leftover ck you can make ck soup or ck fettuccine.
Homemade mini cheeseburger w/ pickles and french fries. Have fun. I usually give him what we eat and add one extra for him if I think he really won't eat it. (bread/brummel)If he doesn't eat I say things like take a bite and you can get down. Then I provide a healthy snack later (yogurt/fruit/pretzel sticks, etc)My sons allergic to eggs/nuts so we're a bit limited. Good luck and best wishes.

2 moms found this helpful

We usually fed everyone the same dinner that we had.It's good to get your child used to eating what you have or shorty down the line you will be a short order cook, cooking two separate meals each night. My sister ended up doing that with her boys. It's more expensive and lots more work for you.
Some dinner suggestions for you both are having tacos (already rolled up and cut in bite size and sneak a vegie or two in with the meat),have an omelet with cheese and meat, having a breakfast for dinner night every so often, make a stew or soups now that the weather is getting colder with biscuits, casseroles are easy and you can throw lots of different things in and make different types, etc...

1 mom found this helpful

K.

I've used recipes from both Deceptively Delicious and the Sneaky Chef to make healthful meals that have lots of vitamins and taste good too. Some of our other favorites:

- turkey burgers with spinach and blue cheese (cut up really small)
- lentil soup
- quesadillas with cheese and avocado
- meatballs with homemade sauce
- scrambled eggs (with veggies or without)

just wait - if you keep introducing new foods, even if he doesn't eat them now, he'll eat more variety as he gets older.

K.

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