By the first birthday, many children have already started eating solid foods. However, after the first birthday solid foods play a more important role in the child’s diet. One year olds require healthy foods to learn and play.
One year old children are at an age where the majority of their nutrition comes from solid foods instead of from formula or breast milk. By choosing healthy foods for one year olds, parents assist their child’s growth and development just by providing the child’s body with essential energy.
One year olds can eat a large variety of healthy foods. Fruits and vegetables acceptable for one year olds are soft and easy to chew. Some examples include bananas, oranges, peeled apricots, peeled peaches, peeled pears, applesauce, cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew or strawberries. Vegetables for one year olds include baked potato wedges, mashed potatoes and cooked carrot sticks. Since meats are tough to chew, one year olds can only have processed or ground meats. Dairy foods one year olds can eat include yogurts, puddings, cottage cheese and even cheese cubes. Cereals, strips of bread and crackers are good options from the bread category.
Keep in mind the individual child when deciding what foods to try. If the child doesn’t tolerate softer foods, wait a while to move on to foods that require more chewing. Some one year olds don’t have teeth, so any foods that require teeth to chew without choking hazards are not safe.
Dietary allergies do not always present as severe reactions. Every time a parent introduces a new food to a one year old, it is necessary to make sure a reaction doesn’t occur. Sometimes the signs are very subtle, such as a skin rash or upset tummy. Also, if food allergies run in the family, it’s best to put off introducing that food until well after the first birthday.
Getting a one year old to eat a variety of foods prepares them for better eating habits as they age. By expanding the number of foods a one year old eats, they are more likely to eat healthier, balanced diets.
Never leave a one year old child unattended while eating. Choking is a major hazard for children this age, even with foods previously eaten with no issues. Certain foods are still off-limits for one year olds due to health issues. These foods include soft cheeses or any other non-pasteurized dairy products, seafood such as shrimp and any uncooked or undercooked meats. Other foods are major choking hazards, such as popcorn, uncut hot dogs, nuts, hard candy, whole grapes, hard fruits or vegetables or thick-spread peanut butter.