What diet should I be feeding my one year old?

Updated on June 17, 2008
K.B. asks from Leominster, MA
11 answers

Hi, my son is just turning one this month and in between 3rd foods and table food. I am looking for suggestions for more table food to give him. He's not a picky eater, he likes anything and everything, but I worry that switching him will cut down on the fruits and veggies he needs and that are so easy to get in baby food. I also work full time and opposite schedule with my husband, so I don't have lots of time to prepare foods, I need easy options that are still good for him. Any ideas for meals?

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Some parents suggest finger food. Finger foods are anything small enough so the child won't choke. Chopped up strawberries, blueberries, melon, oranges, grated apples or pears. Cooked veggies are great- just cut them up into small pieces. Just cut up whatever the rest of the family is eating. The safest way is to consult your child's pediatrician first, to make sure he doesn't have any food allergy, and they can give you tips on feeding.

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answers from Boston on

See my response to Ann L re less-dairy diet - you can add fruit to the pancakes I mentioned - I make up a whole batch and just freeze them with wax paper in between the layers, then pop out what we need and put them in the toaster oven.

Add bananas and blueberries and other fruits to the pancakes.

I also grind up leftover vegies (like broccoli stems or other leftovers) and store them in small plastic containers in the freezer, along with the water I drain off my steamed vegetables. Then I pop those out when needed, microwave quickly, and use the water to make rice and couscous - it's a good way to get veggies and it doesn't take any time.

Canned pears are really great for kids - they are soft and already peeled. I get the ones in pear juice, not the ones in heavy sugar syrup.

Will he eat yogurt with fruit in it? You can also make popsicles with fruit & fruit juice.

I made zucchini bread for my son too - he thought it was cake! Bake it, slice it, and freeze the slices in between wax paper - then use it over time.

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answers from Boston on

i am in the same place with my twins and I work full time too so I agree it needs to be easy! One of the things they love is lavash bread, or a whole wheat tortilla, with some cream cheese. Sometimes I add mashed avocado or a thin piece of turkey and roll it up. I cut the roll into small pieces that they can grab and they love it. (They have quite a few teeth which helps.) They also love cubes of roasted sweet potatoes, steamed carrots, steamed broccoli cut into very small florets and string cheese pulled into small hunks. I have also made a red lentil and potato mash which they like. I just boiled both (separately) and mashed them together; if you cut the potatoes small before boiling it only takes a couple of minutes to cook. For fathers day I made my husband's favorite mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and they surprised me by grabbing some off the plate at the end of dinner. Despite the fact that they had already eaten and had their yoghurt dessert, they loved it! So, now I am experimenting with some slightly less bland foods. Good luck! I will be reading the other responses too for new ideas.

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answers from Boston on

You can still sneak lots of great fruits in vegtables in regular table food. Mixed veggies in pasta, lasagne, I buy whole wheat crust so my husband who is home in the evening and does dinner with our 22 month old can make pizza with her and she helps him put the toppings on (veggie meat and cheese) when your baby is a little older. Even if he makes mac and cheese etc I always have him sneak some peas or something in with it. Get creative and have fun. You can always sneak a little baby food in with regular food to ease the transition.

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answers from Barnstable on

My daughter is 17 mos. I never made a specific diet for her because I always felt I ate healthy and therefore - she would as well.

Breakfast: Cheerios w/ milk, juice or water
Snack: Crackers w/ water
Lunch: Ham or Turkey with Cheese or soup w/ milk
Snack: Pretzel or whatever she picks out of the cabinet, water
Dinner: Whatever I cook (Meat, Veggie, & Starch) w/ milk

I used a grinder at first when I transitioned her from 2nd foods to regular foods.
Then I diced them really small so she could pick it up with her fingers.
And now she uses a fork & spoon.
I also make a lot of casseroles (easy to freeze) and stir fry's (healthy though... mmmm). You can use asparagus, peppers, onions, green beans, pasta, and chicken with tomato sauces, etc.... possibilities are endless.

Here are some ideas to get you started maybe:


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answers from Boston on

I just answered another question like yours, and am curious to see other answers because I have the same problem now too...but here's what I do:

My daughter (just turned 1 last week) has refused baby food for about a month now so I was forced to find foods to please her. For breakfasts, I buy cans of fruit cocktail packed in pear juice (make sure the can says no added sugar) and mix that in with her morning oatmeal, some apple sauce or yogurt, and she loves that. I'll also give her an occasional banana. I tried scrambling some eggs for her but she'll have nothing to do with eggs. But I'll give her some toast for breakfast too, putting on a tad of butter or a little bit of jelly. On weekends I'll make pancakes or french toast for my 9 year old son and I'll give her those dry - I'll use blueberries in the pancakes too so she'll have another fruit.

For lunches, aside from grilled cheese, she loves jelly sandwiches (I use sugar free), cheese sandwiches (dry), and pasta salad. I will buy spiral pasta, and cook it and mix in some Italian dressing and cucumbers (she only has four teeth, but the cukes soften up pretty easily). To throw in a few more veggies, you can buy vegetable pastas (like tomato or spinach).

For dinners I usually just give her what I've made for the family, but cut it up smaller for her. She'll eat ground beef and pork roast. I'll even give her green bean casserole! She also just took to corn on the cob! I cook up a few cobs and then break them in half and store them in the fridge and she will gnaw on them for a good 10-15 minutes and the corn is small enough that if she swallows it whole it won't choke her. Those are good too for dinner, keeps her busy while we eat as a family!

I am looking for new ideas because I hate giving her the same foods all the time, but as long as she's eating something the doctor says she'll be fine!

Good luck!

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answers from Boston on

Hi there. Does he have teeth, enought to chew small pieces, or gum them? I just always made my kids what we were having for dinner that night, just in a smaller or food processed sizes. Before they were 1, I used to make my own baby food, and I will for my 5 month old daughter too. Grinding it in the food processor is great. You can make whatever you find in jarred food. Apples and chicken, pears and turkey, all the veggies, and fruit too. It is very easy. At the time that I made it for my 2 boys I was working full time and I just did it at night and then froze them in ice cube trays. Then a pasta dish that I used to make was Chili Mac (Ditalini) or Orzo, or Pastena pastas with broccoli, zuccini, summer squash, carrots, all steamed and then chopped small then froze in the ice cube trays with the pasta mixed in. When I defrosted them to use the pasta, I used to stir some mozzarella, or some kind of cheese in it. So it was like a pasta primavera with melted cheese. The kids loved it.
Good luck, let me know if you have any questions.

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answers from Boston on

HI K.!

Try real versions of the jar foods he likes. Frozen mixed veggies are great. You can cook them quickly in the microwave and then let them cool or keep them in the fridge. They are easy to pack in lunch box, too. The different colors and shapes are fun to pick up and feed himself. Green beans are fun to self feed also. Cook them so they are soft but still can be picked up with little fingers. Broccoli florets adn baby carrots the same. Cook them so they are soft enought to eat without alot of teeth, but still can be picke dup. (of course soemone is always there when the baby is eating).

My son's child care teachers gave me a great idea-cream cheese on whole wheat. I would cut off the crusts and then cut the samdwich into bite sized squares.

Blueberries are easy-just wash well and go. They are also good frozen. To save time, I used to prepare "fruit cups" to go twice a week. I bought a stack of little containers (first years, I think) and then did an assembly line with a melon, kiwis and grapes (each seperate until he was about two and liked the idea of fruit salad). CHerry or grape tomatoes, quartered were a hit. Cutting grapes takes a little time, but overall I think it would take 15 minutes. Unsweetened applesauce is an easy one too. The big jar is a lot cheaper than the little snack pack and takes about 30 seconds to portion out. I know there are lots of convience packages out there, but I liked not giving my son all the corn syrup and sweetners. Anyway, I would prep and then have a stack of fruits and veg ready to pack or pull out for meals.

In a pinch, unsweetened pears or peaches, cut up are the same as the jarred "dices" but much less expensive.
My son is four now, and he still likes almost everything and will try anything. I applaud you for thinking about healthy fruits adn veg.
good luck!




answers from Boston on

Feed him the fruits & veggies you eat! Just make sure veggies are cooked and cut small. I give my son the frozen veggies and microwave them. My son is like yours eats anything. So give him HEALTHY food lots of veggies and fruit healthy breads (whole wheat, Oat, Rye, ect) I also gave my son whole wheat bread with a thin layer of peanut butter he loves it.
My son also LOVES the Gardenburgers in the green pack they are healthy, high fiber and protein. Quick and easy!



answers from New London on

Finger foods are anything small enough so that he won't choke. Any and all foods can be finger foods. Chopped up strawberries, blueberries, melon, oranges, grated apples or pears. Cooked veggies are great- just cut them up into small pieces. You should not be feeding your son special foods. Just cut up whatever the rest of the family is eating!
As soon as my girls could eat with their fingers- I completely stopped the baby food. Who has time to sit there and spoon feed an antsy baby???
It kept them busy and got them used to eating all the same foods that they would be expected to eat when older. How can we expect them to develop normal tastes for food when we feed them special foods right from the start? My girls are 3 and 5 now and they eat all kinds of foods. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, peas, carrots, mushrooms- you name it and they eat it!
Good luck!



answers from New London on

Hi - how about veggie hot dogs...they are meatless, packed with veggies and protein. Also no nitrates and very soft, good finger food.



answers from Boston on

As long as he has some teeth why not feed him what you eat. Even if he only has a few teeth there are things that you can make pretty soft, like cooked carrots, potatoes, lentils...Take care!

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