Your one-year-old is growing fast and their nutritional needs are changing. They’re now able to eat a variety of foods and need more calories than they did as a newborn.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, at this age, your child can start eating some table foods but will still need baby food that is either smooth or mashed. They may also be ready to start using a spoon and drinking from a cup.
Here are some meals for a one-year-old and ideas for new foods that even a picky eater should enjoy:
Yogurt and Dry Cereal or Berries
One year olds can have about two to four ounces of yogurt a day. You can offer them dry cereal or berries to eat with their plain yogurt for texture and added nutrients. These can be mixed together or offered separately depending on your child’s food preferences and abilities.
French toast is another toddler meal idea for your tot and for the whole family. You can either make it sweet with syrup or fruit, or savory with eggs and cheese. Just be sure to cut it into small pieces so your little one can easily eat it. French toast is a good idea since it’s easy to whip up with ingredients that you can usually find in your kitchen.
Oatmeal With Mashed Bananas and Chia Seeds
Oatmeal is packed with fiber and nutrients to help your little one start their day off right. Oatmeal is a great breakfast choice for young toddlers since it’s easy to chew and digest. Adding mashed bananas, cow’s milk, and chia seeds helps to boost the nutrient content and make it even more filling. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top for added flavor.
Scrambled Eggs With Toast
You can never go wrong with eggs. For breakfast, you can scramble some eggs and serve them with toast. You can also add in some diced ham or cottage cheese to make it more filling. If your young children are still getting the hang of using a fork, you can cut the eggs into small portions for them to pick up with their hands and strengthen their pincer grasp.
Whole Wheat Pancakes
To prepare whole wheat pancakes, you will need whole grain flour, one egg, whole milk, butter, baking powder, and salt. Just mix all the ingredients together and cook on a griddle or frying pan. These pancakes are one of the best first foods for one-year-olds because they are packed with nutrients and are easy to eat.
Chicken and Sweet Potato Bowl
A chicken and sweet potato bowl is one of the top healthy foods for a one-year-old. It is packed with protein and nutrients, and the sweet potato provides complex carbohydrates for sustained energy levels.
To make this dish, start by cooking diced chicken in a pan. Then, add cubed sweet potatoes and sauté until they are soft. Finally, mix in some green beans and serve everything in a bowl. You can top it off with a little bit of shredded cheese or some chopped nuts if you like.
For a more nutritious lunch, try making a broccoli pasta dish. Cook shells or ziti pasta according to package instructions. In the last few minutes of cooking, add in a handful of chopped broccoli florets. Drain and then mix the pasta with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. You could also add in some shredded chicken or other proteins, like hard-boiled eggs.
If you want something that you can make ahead for your meal plans, chicken meatballs are perfect for a one-year-old’s lunch. You can make your own with ground chicken, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, and garlic powder. You also have the choice to bake or fry them. Once they’re cooked, add them to some pasta with a small amount of tomato sauce or serve with whole grains like brown rice.
Cheese quesadillas are an easy go-to toddler lunch idea since it incorporates proteins and carbs into one meal, making for a balanced diet that combines all food groups. Simply take a whole wheat tortilla, add some shredded cheese and diced tomatoes, and then bake in the oven until the cheese is melted. You can also add in some cooked ground beef or turkey for extra protein.
Zucchini fritters should be a staple in your weekly menu since they’re a great way to incorporate more veggies into your one-year-old’s diet. They’re a quick meal to make and can be served in bite-sized pieces with a variety of dipping sauces or as a side dish.
Just take a piece of zucchini, grate it using a cheese grater, and mix it with an egg. Add some flour to bind everything together, and then fry the fritters in a pan until they’re golden brown on both sides.
Cheese sandwiches are a great snack for a one-year-old to enjoy in their high chair. They are easy to make and can be tailored to your child’s liking. Simply take some cheese slices and put them between two pieces of bread.
Peanut Butter and Bananas
If you’re looking for healthy snacks, try this delicious combo! The sweetness of the bananas pairs perfectly with the rich flavor of the peanut butter or other nut butters, making it a perfect lunchtime meal for a one-year-old. Plus, it’s easy to make and can be easily transported in a lunch box if you’re on the go.
Whole Grain Crackers
Spread some peanut butter or cream cheese on whole-grain crackers for a tasty and nutritious snack. Add a sliced banana or some diced apples for even more flavor and nutrients. This is great if you’re in a bind and need quick toddler meals.
Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are a classic snack that can be enjoyed by your toddler and the rest of the family. They are especially popular with children, and many one-year-olds will love dipping them in ketchup or mashed avocado; some even enjoy dipping them in yogurt.
Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients like fiber and vitamins A and C. Plus, they have a natural sweetness that kids often find irresistible.
Ham and Cheese Snack Plate
A ham and cheese snack plate is versatile, easy to make, and perfect for a one-year-old. All you need is some sliced ham, cheese, crackers, and fruit. Arrange the food on a plate and let your little one dig in while having a good time watching their favorite show or playing with their toys. Pair it with some fruit juice and you’re good to go.
Of course, soft fruits should be a staple for any one-year-old’s diet. They are easy to eat and packed with nutrients that are essential for a growing child. Try giving your child smaller pieces of fresh fruit, like banana, kiwi, mandarin oranges, apple slices, or other fresh fruit you find in the grocery store, for a dose of vitamin C and vitamin D.
As they get a little older, you can also offer them halved grapes, strawberries, and mango slices. Avocados are also a great source of healthy fats, so let your child try some.
Mac and Cheese
Make a healthy version of the classic dish by using whole wheat pasta and low-fat cheese. Add some steamed broccoli or peas for extra nutrition.
If you’re after great dinner ideas for a one-year-old, this one is popular because it’s easy to eat and has a lot of different textures. The pasta is soft, the cheese is gooey, and the broccoli or peas add a crunch.
Grate some cauliflower and mix it with an egg, some shredded cheese, and some chopped green onions. Form into small tots and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. It’s one of the most popular nutritious meals that even your one-year-old will love!
For those hectic weeknights, you can whip up some quick tuna salad for your one-year-old. All you need is a can of tuna, some diced celery, onion, and mayonnaise. Mix everything together and serve on some crackers or bread.
Shepherd’s pie is a traditional English dish made with ground lamb or mutton, vegetables, and a mashed potato crust. It’s the perfect comfort food for a cold winter evening with your young one.
Chicken strips are a great dinner option for a one-year-old. They are easy to chew and full of protein. You can serve them with a dipping sauce or vegetables on the side and whole fruits as dessert.