Baby Food Menu Ideas for Your 12-Month-Old

Your 12-month old baby is ready to start eating more solid foods and relying less on breast milk or formula for nutrition, according to Kids Health from Nemours. Choose healthy foods full of beneficial vitamins and nutrients when feeding your 1-year-old to make sure she is getting the most nutrition out of every bite. Give your baby access to plenty of different foods at mealtimes, and let her use her fingers to pick and choose what she would like to eat and how much.

A mother is feeding her young son. (Image: MIXA next/MIXA/Getty Images)

Breakfast

For breakfast, WholesomeBabyFood.com recommends offering your 1-year-old a small variety of foods from which to choose. Offer a small portion of cereal, such as rice cereal specially formulated for infants. Baby cereals are fortified with extra iron to help your baby develop properly, according to BabyCenter. Alongside, give your 12-month-old two small servings of fruit or vegetables, such as applesauce or soft-cooked carrots. If your child's pediatrician says that you can start offering your 1-year-old dairy, you can provide a small amount of yogurt or full-fat milk in a sippy cup along with breakfast.

Lunch

At lunch time, offer your 1-year-old a well-cooked grain such as soft rice or pasta. Provide some high-protein options for your child to keep her energy levels up. Choose from soft tofu, pureed or ground meats, scrambled eggs or mashed beans. Offer some soft cooked vegetables or soft fruit, such as bananas, and dairy such as soft cheese or more milk. You can mix the grains with the vegetables to provide new and interesting combinations, such as peas with rice or pasta with steamed green beans. Your baby can start to chew on more solid foods at this point, such as lightly toasted bread cut into strips.

Snacks

Your 1-year-old needs two or three small snacks per day, according to Kids Health. Offer finger foods such as o-shaped cereals or teething biscuits designed for babies. Dairy foods, such as cottage cheese or yogurt, make good high-calcium snacks as well.

Dinner

Continue to provide a variety of proteins, grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy items to your 1-year-old at dinner. Kids Health states that it is normal for small children to occasionally skip meals. Offer your child three meals a day plus snacks, but don't be worried if he often skips a meal or two. To try something different at dinner, AskDrSears.com suggests giving your 12-month-old a cooked chicken bone to chew on. Make sure all the small bone slivers and hard pieces have been removed and leave just a small amount of cooked meat attached to the bone. Babies over 9-months-old may enjoy the sensation and new experience of chewing food right off the bone.

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