Dietitian's Food Series: What Should My One-Year-Old Be Eating?
Of all the ages, feeding 12-month-old toddlers is fun. The chances are that they have not yet reached the fussy stage and they are still keen to try any type of food that crosses their path. Compared to the rapid growth of the first 12 months, their energy demands are reduced. However, their increased movement means they will still need to refuel regularly and it will seem that your young one needs to eat all the time. Below is my food series on what a one-year-old should be eating. Keep an eye out for my future posts as I’ll be discussing what two, three and four-year-olds should be eating as well over the coming weeks.
You may start the day with milk or a toddler milk. However, remember to be aware of the amount of milk your toddler is consuming. More than 500ml in total each day is too much. So, I recommend one serve of 100-150ml of milk at breakfast to ensure that they are not drinking too much milk and will still be hungry enough to eat breakfast. For breakfast, a small serve of whole grain cereal, such as Bellamy’s Organic Baby Porridge, along with some fresh fruit, is a good start to the day. A half or full piece of wholemeal toast, nut spread or avocado, will also keep your little one full for a couple of hours. Some of my favourite breakfast recipe options for one-year-olds include:
The key with snacks and young children is to ensure they are not eating too much at snack times, so it does not negatively impact their appetite for meals. For this reason, I recommend light nutrient rich snacks. For instance, a plain cracker, breadstick, piece of fresh fruit or Bellamy’s Organic Apple Snacks, piece of cheese or Bellamy’s Organic Pear & Apple Snacks.
If your little one is at daycare, they are most likely getting a hot meal for lunch. This will tick a number of nutritional boxes and may also explain why they are not that hungry at dinner time. On the other hand, if you are at home, a plain sandwich with cheese, avocado, tuna or chicken are all good lunch choices. When you are out of the house, taking with you cut up sandwiches is a healthier idea than bringing processed snacks, such as biscuits. If your toddler naps in the afternoon, this may also be a good time to offer another 100-150ml of milk or toddler milk. Some of my favourite lunch recipe options for one-year-olds include:
To avoid it impacting their appetite for dinner, try to offer your toddler an afternoon snack by 3:00 pm. Good options at this time of day include corn cakes with spread, fruit, a cheese stick, or a small homemade muffin (see my Porridge Fingers recipe here) or piece of banana bread (see my Banana Bread recipe here). I often give my twins banana bites as an afternoon snack.
For dinner, the key nutrients busy toddlers need include Omega 3 fats, iron and fibre from vegetables. For this reason, small serves of lean red meat or fish, along with two or three vegetables makes the perfect toddler meal. The key with toddlers is to keep the food simple and to feed them early before they get tired. Also, keep in mind that water should be offered at all meals. Some of my favourite dinner recipe options for one-year-olds include:
- Healthy Fish and Chips
Before BedAt the age of 12 months, most toddlers will still be having milk before bed. I find between 150-200mls is a reasonable amount at this time to complete their days eating.