When your child turns 1 year old you will be transitioning him from a diet mainly consisting of formula or breast milk, to a diet of regular table food. Without a balanced diet your child may suffer developmentally, and certain foods may pose a choking hazard. This is why knowing what foods to give your 1 year old is so important to his health and safety. Introducing your child to a variety of foods can help ensure a balanced diet and avoid pickiness later in life.
Fruits and Vegetables
Chances are good that you have already begun introducing fruit to your 1 year old in puree form. Now that your child has some teeth you can give her bite-sized pieces of fruit and vegetable to pick up and eat. Toddlers should have 1 cup of fruit and 1 cup of vegetables daily. Banana is ideal for toddlers because it is already soft. Cantaloupe and watermelon along with other soft melons without the rind are naturally soft as well. Small cooked vegetables like peas, lima beans and corn are good starters. Cooked vegetables like carrots, squash and green beans diced into bite-sized pieces can also work.
Toddlers need about 3 oz of grains daily with about half coming from whole grains. A slice of bread, 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal, 1/2 cup hot cereal and 1/2 cup rice or pasta all equal 1 ounce. Ideas for feeding servings of grain may include a slice of toast, bagel or English muffin cut in bite sized pieces, 1/2 cup of shaped pasta or brown rice cooked, oatmeal, a cup of toasted oat cereal for snack or whole-grain pancakes cut into bite-sized pieces for a meal. Pasta can be served with or without a sauce, or in a soup. Likewise, breads can be served as a sandwich cut in pieces.
Meat and Protein
It is important for your child to get an adequate amount of protein in her diet. Your child should get 2 oz of meat, beans or another source of protein daily. A 1 year old can eat meat, poultry and fish cooked and diced into bite-sized pieces. Eggs are also a good source of protein and 1 egg equals an 1 oz. Dry beans cooked until they are soft also act as a good source of protein, 1/4 cup of dry cooked beans equals 1 oz. Consider adding beans to a soup or feeding your child baked beans as a side dish.
Milk and Dairy
A 1 year old needs 2 cups of milk/dairy daily. Toddlers need 500 milligrams of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D in order to build strong bones. This can come in the form of whole-milk, soy milk or calcium fortified products like orange juice or cereal. Cheese and yogurt are also good sources of calcium, but they do not provide as much vitamin D. According to Kidshealth.org, whole-milk is best for children under the age of 2 unless otherwise specified by your pediatrician.