According to British Columbia Health Link, when feeding a 1-year old child, parents should decide which foods to serve at a meal but allow the child to decide for herself how much she wants to eat. When planning meals and snacks for young children, incorporate healthy foods from the seven food groups.
Many consider breakfast the most important meal of the day, so you don’t want your 1 year old to skip this meal. Cold breakfast ideas include 1/2 cup of whole grain cereal with some whole milk or orange juice to drink, or a small muffin with orange wedges. If you want to start your little one’s day with a warm breakfast, fix 1/2 cup of oatmeal or Cream of Wheat, pancakes or waffles served with applesauce instead of syrup, a mini omelet, or scrambled eggs with toast. Zest up your child’s eggs with steamed spinach or broccoli florets.
For lunch give your 1 year old a half sandwich filled with egg, tuna, chicken salad, or sliced or lean lunch meat. Accompany the sandwich with shredded vegetables such as carrots, cucumber, zucchini or mushrooms tossed in low-fat ranch dressing. As an alternative to sandwiches, fill a soft tortilla with beans or ground meat. Serve soup such as vegetable, split pea or bean soup along with crackers or fish chowder with bread sticks. Fall back on classic lunch meals such as macaroni and cheese or sliced up hot dog. To drink, give your kid water, juice or milk.
When it’s time for dinner, serve bite-size whole wheat pasta in a sauce such as tomato, meat or pesto. Top rice with meat or vegetables. Make beef, turkey or vegetarian chili. Prepare chicken, beef or fish as the main dish. As a side dish, serve roasted chickpeas, lentils, beans or vegetable fries such as turnips, zucchini, butternut squash or sweet potatoes tossed in olive oil and baked. You can also give your kid a helping of soft cooked vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, beans or asparagus. Include a whole wheat bun or slice of bread and milk with all meals.
Along with three meals a day, your 1 year old requires one to three snacks a day to keep her energy levels up through the day. Snack ideas include yogurt and fruits, rice and raisin pudding, whole wheat crackers and cheese, or whole wheat pita bread with hummus. Spread a little cream cheese on a slice of banana bread, some peanut butter on a slice of whole grain bread or baked beans on toast. Put an antipasto platter out at snack time. Include salami, ham, turkey, small cubes of cheese, olives, pickled vegetables and crackers. Since some of these food contain high levels of sodium, only serve as a rare, special treat rather than an everyday snack.
References and ResourcesBritish Columbia Health Link: Meal and Snack Ideas for Your One to Three-Year-Old Toddler
Keep Kids Healthy: Feeding your Toddler
My Optum Health: Tempting Toddler Meal Ideas