Master List of ALL the Food Ideas for 1 Year Old Babies

Feeding your one year old toddler is one of those parenting milestones that can leave us puzzled and confused. From the quantity, when to feed, what to cook or how to cut the food- it’s a big change for us- and them of course : ). If you ask 100 parents, half will call their 1 year old a baby and the other half toddler.  That perfectly exemplifies this year- a year of transitioning from being a baby to a full fledged toddler.  So what meals do you give a child that is both- a baby/toddler combo?? Let’s talk about all the important notes and gather a master list of food ideas for 1 year old toddlers. (Printable menu can be downloaded at the end of the post!)


Every parent’s transition to table foods looks a little differently. Some go directly to baby led weaning where your baby eats table food from the beginning, starting with smaller soft foods and transitioning more and more.  Others start with traditional pureed baby food at 4-6 months and then integrate finger foods around 10-12 months. I’ve practiced the latter- cooking my own baby food and introducing finger foods after. I am considering BLW for my third baby who is now 5 months.  I’ll update you on that one later!

Something that can be pretty standard is that most babies and toddlers start eating table food with their fingers, as they have not developed the ability to feed themselves with a spoon or fork. I started finger foods at 10 months- here are some ideas for recipes & meal prep you can do and simple finger foods that mostly don’t have to be cooked.

Related Posts: Healthy Baby Finger Food Recipes-Meal Prep and 10 Simple Finger Foods for a One Year Old

At the same time, you can start to preload a spoon so they start to practice lifting it to their mouth. Gradually, between 14-18 months they will get better.  But it’s a skill they will continually work on through their 2nd year. 

Yogurt is one of my favorite one year old foods as it’s nutritious and you can mix in different fruits to change the flavor. Pre loading the spoon or even just having them play with it starts the important journey of using utensils. It’s not a clean journey by any means- feeding kids in general isn’t.  Hope I didn’t ruin your day with that! My 4 and 1/2 year old is pretty clean now, lol, it takes time.  


Up until their first birthday, solids and table food have been supplements to breast milk or formula- where they were getting the majority of their nutrients.  Now they start to transition to cow’s milk- or many moms continue nursing, but they start to get more of their nutrients from table food. It becomes more important to give them a variety of food groups and nutrients. 

Their schedule will generally consist of 3 meals and 2 snacks.  I usually offer 1/2-1 milk per meal and water for snacks. If you have a milk lover that is not showing much interest for food, consider adding the milk after they have eaten some of their food.  That helped tremendously with my first son Miles. 

Serving sizes: One year olds don’t eat a whole lot.  This will differ from baby to baby, but a general guideline is to keep servings at about 1/2 cup or even 1/4 cup for sides.  For example, a 1/2 cup of oatmeal with half that amount of strawberries on the side. 


Access Your Free Printable of Meal Ideas for 1 Year Olds!

Use this list as a reference so you never run out of ideas!

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Related Post: Quick & Nutritious Breakfast Ideas for a One Year Old

I don’t know about you, but in the hustle and bustle of everyday, I can forget the simplest things.  Which is why I like referencing a list of meal ideas for 1 year old toddlers. It encourages me to maintain variety in their meals and see which foods I have in each category.

This is a great year to introduce anything, from different flavors to textures. They are developing their palates and haven’t established a specific taste for anything yet.  My mom asked me once- your kids will have sandwiches on whole wheat bread? Not white? And I responded, well they only have wheat bread at home so it’s what they are used to.  Now do we go to Jimmy Johns and split one of their delicious sandwiches with white bread- Yes.  Not striving for perfection, just helping them establish a taste for whole grains so they continue to like it in the future. 

Meals should strive to have a balance of foods from these categories- at least 3 per meal. Dinner is where I get the most adventurous and offer what the rest of the family is having. Breakfast and lunch- I put together especially for the kids. Check out these toddler lunches for school or daycare for lots of lunches that include foods from each food group.

    • Fruit- bananas, strawberries, blueberries, “cuties” (clementines), peaches, etc.
    • Veggies- avocado, green beans, carrots, peas, sweet potato, squash (easy to cook or low sodium/no sugar added cans)
    • Dairy- cheese, plain whole milk or greek yogurt, milk
    • Protein- eggs, turkey slices, chicken breast, ground beef, beans (with rice), fish
    • Carbs- whole wheat toast (or whatever bread you buy), oatmeal, potatoes, rice, pasta, corn tortillas, whole wheat pancakes, graham crackers, whole grain goldfish


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  • Monitor your baby as they eat. Gagging a little is natural, but you want to ensure that food is cut in small pieces and cooked to a softer texture. 
  • Fun divider plates or placemat plates.  
  • Reusable placemats for restaurant dining or disposable placemats are both fantastic.
  • Starter spoon to practicing pincer grip and holding silverware.
  • This grape cutter is amazing- my 3 year old loves to use it himself.  Also an apple cutter comes in handy. 
  • Bentgo lunchbox for travel or daycare. 
  • There will be phases of pickiness- don’t give up on specific foods.  But also don’t get discouraged and try to make them eat it.  It will get frustrating at times to make something they don’t eat, but it’s all part of growing up and seeing what they like and don’t like.  My oldest didn’t eat meat for at least 6 months- I kept trying and one day he ate it again.  To substitute for protein we did a lot of eggs, beans and greek yogurt. Read more tips for picky eating phases here!
  • If you use canned or prepackaged fruits and vegetables- buy ones without added sugar or salt. Setting up their palate to not prefer extra sweet or salty things!
  • Incorporate whole grains when you can- brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pancakes.


These are some toddler dinner ideas. Pretty much what I make for my entire family, with what I would plate for my one year old. A little note- I have a heavy hand sometimes because I have an older son as well to serve.  Not eating everything is common at this stage, so you could start out with smaller portions. 

deconstructed taco one year old meal

Deconstructed tacos- ground beef, cheese, lettuce and tomato. Skip the shells for young one year olds. You can also substitute meat for turkey. Side of corn and avocado. 

pasta shells grapes food ideas for 1 year old

Pasta shells in red sauce topped with some parmesan cheese, cut green grapes with a side of yogurt and honey. 

menu for 1 year old chicken rice quinoa

Grilled chicken with broccoli and rice quinoa mix. 

asian chicken and noodles toddler dinner

Asian chicken and noodles with a side of cooked green beans. 

italian beef toddler lunch idea

Italian beef cooked in crockpot, french bread, and a cucumber-tomato salad. 

spanish rice and chicken toddler meal idea

Spanish rice with baked chicken and avocado.

salmon food for 1 year old

Salmon, pan sautéed noodles, and green beans. 

shrimp gnocchi mango meal for toddlers

Shrimp, cauliflower gnocchi with broccoli and mango bites. (Ok- I really wanted to try this Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi that everyone raves about. I liked it, but my family did not. 🙁 ) Will try again one day- maybe season differently. 


Use this sample menu as a reference for feeding your little one. Includes all the meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don’t include snacks, because I would generally offer the leftovers from the meals for snack.  Or a small portion of the things you are already feeding them. 

meal ideas for 1 year old menu


If you are still looking for more ideas, find all of the posts related to feeding babies and toddlers here: Baby and Toddler Food Ideas

Access Your Free Printable of Meal Ideas for 1 Year Olds!

Use this list as a reference so you never run out of ideas!

Subscribe (free!) to my newsletter with 23K+ moms and get tips for mom life, projects, and meal preps PLUS get instant access to my resource library with ALL of my other free files and printables (including this list)! Once subscribed, I will send you a newsletter with all the details.

Powered by ConvertKit

5 thoughts on “Master List of ALL the Food Ideas for 1 Year Old Babies

  1. Hi, so glad that i found this list of food ideas. Simple and nice.
    Do you have the recipies for all the noodles, rice, meat and salad?

  2. Hii my daughter is 1 year old And I’m starting to teach her to eat alone is these meals good idea to start with?

  3. Jessica Tanksley says:

    I’m a new mom of a 14 month old and I was searching for this kind of information everywhere on the internet and I stumbled across your blog from Pinterest!! This is exactly what I need!! My son doesn’t have any teeth yet so we both were getting tired of the same old foods.

    1. Shantall Bond says:

      I’m so glad you found the blog! Hope you guys have tried lots of great new foods.

  4. Informative ideas. I’ve feed boiled potato for my child upto 3 years.

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