Finger Food Ideas to Feed a 1 Year Old

By R.J. Bowman
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A 1-year-old child is ready for more table food and less pureed baby food. Choosing healthy foods that are easy for a baby to pick up and chew can be challenging. Encourage your baby to like many different foods by constantly offering her new foods. Only offer your child three or four bites of food on her plate at a time and never leave her unattended during meals.

Breakfast for 1 Year Olds

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Fruit makes a great breakfast. Offer bananas sliced lengthwise, which are easy for small fingers to pick up. Peaches and orange slices also make great breakfast foods that the baby can feed himself easily. Fresh fruits offer more nutrients, but canned fruit is great for busy mornings. Dry cereal is often a baby's first finger foods, and a food that the baby should continue to eat well after the first birthday. Many cereals offer a serving of whole grain and self-feeding offers excellent practice for the child's fine motor skills.

Lunch for 1 Year Olds

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Serve rolled jelly sandwiches for a delicious lunch for a 1 year old. Spread a thin layer of low-sugar jelly on a piece of whole grain bread. Roll the bread into a long tube and then slice it into small circles. Try different jellies, jams, and fruit preserves to keep the baby interested. Some pediatricians do not recommend peanut butter before 2 years old, so wait for your doctor's OK before adding peanut butter to the sandwiches. Always use whole grain bread, because white bread can become pasty and cause the baby to choke. Veggies make a great lunch for a 1 year old as well. Some raw vegetables can be difficult for a baby to chew without molars, so look for canned varieties that are softer from soaking in water. Carrots and peas are especially good for little fingers.

Dinner for 1 Year Olds

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A 1 year old can eat some softer meats, like chicken. You can purchase chicken nuggets or make your own by cutting chicken breast into nugget sized pieces and coating with breadcrumbs. Cut cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces that your child can easily eat and that will not become a choking hazard. Pasta such as elbows or bow ties are easy for a 1 year old to pick up. Cover in a tiny bit of sauce, such as cheese sauce or tomato. Do not put too much sauce on the pasta as it will be very messy and the child will have a difficult time picking up the pieces. To add some protein to the meal, mix some browned hamburger into the sauce.