Food Ideas for a 1 Year Old

My 14 month old, Lucas, loving his food!
 
My one year old is finally getting some teeth, which means he can enjoy some of the many foods that we eat! Also, he’s very recently started to hate spoon feeding and is enjoying his independence. In finding healthy finger foods for him, I really struggled after a few weeks to give him variety. I’m blessed with a child that eats (nearly) everything I put in front of him; and I owe it to him to give him nutritious options instead of filling his little system with junk.

*Babies and toddlers should ALWAYS be seated and supervised when eating.*

Here is my ever-expanding list of good first foods, all of which are broken up in to dime-sized pieces or smaller. Feel free to add your suggestions in to the comments!

Whole grain breads, oatmeal English muffins (toasted or not)

Pastas (preferably wheat or whole grains)– We prefer spiral since they are easy to break up and provide plenty of area for breathing if it gets stuck in their throat.

Crackers (wheat, grains)— we avoid crackers with seeds since he doesn’t digest them well yet.

Cheerios (all flavors)

Graham crackers

Bananas

Avocados

Sweet potatoes

Peas

Steamed carrots

Squash/zucchini steamed, skinned

Sweet potatoes

Pears

Peaches

Strawberries

Blueberries

Raspberries

Kiwi (I remove the center and most seeds)

Cooked, shredded chicken and pork

Soft cheeses, cut into tiny cubes (I buy block Colby or string cheese)

Healthy meat cuts/slices broken up

Eggs (egg whites until 1)

Pancakes or pancakes with fruit mixed in.

French Toast

Beans and lentils (cut anything round in half)

Small pieces of broccoli, cauliflower, sweet peppers

Pasta salad mix

Mac N’ Cheese

Morningstar Meat Crumbles (soy often is not good for babies. Keep it to one small portion if you’re going to add soy in to their diet. I am a vegetarian, so I’ve tried to add a few vegetarian options in to my son’s meals. Quorn is a good soy-free option.)

Super small bits of apple (or, large chunks that they can chew on)

Pieces of green bean

 

It’s particularly important to find fiber rich foods for their systems, because up to this point their diets have been mostly liquid and puréed.

Also, my son seems to pick out the brightly-colored foods first, which is great because these are usually nutrient-rich! Raspberries, carrots, and blueberries are his favorite.

 

-Katie
 

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Don’t Bullshit a Bullshitter.

Jane-in-Role-Models-jane-lynch-11352323-853-480One of my favorite movies of all time is Role Models. Which, I know, makes me quite the embodiment of what a good parent should be (sarcasm.) If you’ve ever seen this movie, you know it’s full of all kinds of nonsense. One of my favorite scenes is when Jane Lynch is telling the two main characters that they aren’t going to get away with anything, and not to try to “bullshit a bullshitter.” It’s hysterical, and Jane Lynch is amazing.

I had an experience recently with a customer service rep at Gerber that made me think of this phrase over and over. I try SO hard to feed my baby organic foods, and up to this point I’ve been pretty successful. More expensive? You bet. But if getting him the best food means I have to get one less Chipotle bowl a month, I’ll make it happen. My frustration comes from food labeling, and the ambiguity in all of the wording. Anything labeled “organic” is certified organic. BUT, you will come across food labeled “all natural”. HUH?! Honestly, I didn’t think there could be much of a difference. Wrong. So wrong. I contacted Gerber to ask what the difference was. The rep beat around the bush and gave me the most vague answer; that essentially their “all natural” products met strict standards. Well great, but why wouldn’t all of your food just meet the absolute best standards? These are babies we’re talking about here.

After quite a bit of research, it’s evident that “all natural” doesn’t mean what it says at all. All natural means GMOs, unconventional farming methods, and the difficult part of this is that the “all natural” products aren’t regulated as well as the organic ones are. Organic products must meet strict criteria, whereas adding the word “natural” onto a product just means minimal processing and additives, to an unknown degree.363f8569da3f967b514bdb9f1d987339

It’s frustrating. Frustrating that there is an option at all for us not to feed our kids the best, and that baby food labels are misleading. In my perfect utopia I’d just like to see 100% organic baby food on the shelves, with a larger demand so that it’s more affordable for everyone.

So to the companies intentionally misleading customers, shame on you for not just laying it out. Don’t give me the run-around and try to convince me that your products are much the same. And to the companies that only offer organic solutions? Bravo. I’m only buying your products, and thank you for being concerned about the well-being of these babies.

So, parents, here’s a breakdown:

organic

Some brands that I love:

  1. Plum Organics
  2. Earth’s Best
  3. Ella’s Kitchen

All of these can be somewhat difficult to find, depending on what you have close by as far as shopping goes. I have the most luck at Babies R Us and Target. Most big chain grocery stores have a pretty poor selection of organic baby food.

Good luck, parents!

-Katie