Life is busy for your 1-year-old. Her building stamina means that she has energy to jump on her pudgy legs and sweep things off tabletops. Frequent snacks keep that energy consistent. A 1-year-old needs about 1,000 daily calories served as three meals and two snacks per day, says HealthyChildren. A wide range of foods from all food groups will keep her healthy and happily mischievous, while attention to how they are served will keep her safe.
1. Fresh Fruits and Veggies
Your baby can eat most of the fruits that you do, as long as they are cleaned, pitted and diced into pea-size pieces to prevent choking. Opt for soft fruits such as peaches, berries, plums, bananas and oranges, and peel grapes before dicing and serving them. Hold off on harder fruits, such as apples, and dried fruits for now, advises KidsHealth. She can start enjoying these treats once she's further into the toddler phase and has more teeth to grind food. Veggies that are cooked to the point of mushiness can be part of her snack routine, too. Introduced cooked and diced carrots and sweet potatoes. Kale chips crumble in the mouth, making them ideal for a little one who hasn't mastered chewing, but break them into small pieces first.
2. Cheese, Eggs and Dairy
Serve dairy snacks to boost your baby's calcium intake, which is vital for bone and teeth growth. Dairy options are also filling, perfect for a last snack before bed. Dice and serve soft cheeses, such as mozzarella, or give her shreds of cheddar or Swiss cheese. Small curd cottage cheese is an ideal food for a 1-year-old who is practicing feeding herself with a spoon, while a finely chopped hard boiled egg is a manageable finger food. Smooth yogurt may also appeal to her; serve it in a reusable baby-food pouch for a snack she can eat while you're on the go.
3. Meat and Beans
Use last night's leftovers as today's snack. Serve your 1-year-old shreds or small cubes of cooked chicken or turkey that she can pick up on her own, or puree a scoop of chili or stew to eliminate big chunks of meat and veggies. Be careful when serving her hot dogs, warns HealthyChildren. Quarter them lengthwise, then cut them into small pieces. While you might enjoy hummus with a side of pita chips, your baby might happily snack on the hummus alone. Cooked, mashed pinto or black beans are another filling snack option. Flavor them with a bit of cumin or lime juice to introduce new flavors to your baby.
A few handfuls of dry cereal that she can feed herself should be enough to satisfy a 1-year-old between meals. Pick types that are fortified with iron; KidsHealth says a young child needs this extra boost of iron until she's 18 to 24 months old. Your baby may also like flavored rice cakes or toast spread with a thin layer of peanut butter or jelly -- cut into pea-sized pieces, of course. Dust a bowlful of small, cooked pasta with Parmesan cheese, or add applesauce or vegetable puree to a small bowl of oatmeal.
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