Most 1-year-olds have mastered the art of picking up food with their fingers, transferring it to their mouths and moving their jaws in a chewing motion. Babies in this age group should be working on swallowing more easily and using a spoon. More teeth also make it possible for more food to be crammed a 1-year-old's mouth at once. One-year-olds should be eating three small meals and two small snacks each day.
Cow's milk can be introduced at age 1. Introduce cow's milk by mixing it with breast milk or formula until the child adjusts to the taste. Children under 2 should have whole milk to get the fat and vitamins necessary for growth. Other dairy options for a 1-year-old include thinly cut or grated cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese and scrambled eggs.
One-year-olds should eat 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup of protein-rich foods each day. Good meat choices for a 1-year-old include finely ground meats and poultry, and boneless fish. Good sources of protein can be obtained from several meat alternatives such as tofu, cooked and mashed beans, and scrambled eggs. A casserole prepared with protein is another good option. Food should be soft enough for the child to chew and swallow easily.
Fruits and Vegetables
Give a 1-year-old 1/4 to 1/2 cup of fruits and vegetables each day. Fruit such as pears, strawberries and bananas can be given to a child after either being cut into small pieces or mashed. Most vegetables should be cooked until soft and cut into bite-sized pieces; soft vegetables, such as avocado, may be able to be given as a finger food. One-year-olds can also have 3 to 4 ounces of 100 percent fruit juice per day; citrus juices should be avoided as there is still a chance the baby could suffer an allergic reaction.
Iron-fortified cereals and low-sugar breakfast cereals make a good meal or snack for 1-year-olds. Pieces of lightly-cooked toast or bagels are also a big hit. Other good grain choices for a 1-year-old include small, well-cooked pasta, teething crackers, whole-grain crackers or bread, and broken up muffins.