my baby turned one year old a couple of weeks ago and became a baby no more. part of the shock of it all is that suddenly at 1 they are supposed to no longer be breast or bottle centric beings and (despite having almost no teeth) should transform into regular food eating people like the rest of us. it’s a little overwhelming to think about as the mama of a 9, 10 or 11 month old. but i will admit, my son became more and more interested in real food as the weeks passed.
i am of course really concerned with feeding him a balance of nutritious foods, without getting into overly processed or sugary items. there are big challenges with feeding a one year old. giving my son dairy was something that i was cautious about because he had colic and reflux and i wanted to make sure that he could handle it. gluten was another question because both my husband and i are allergic. i started small with both things, and luckily he’s not reacted negatively. the biggest challenge is of course that my son only has a few teeth in the front of his mouth, and yet he prefers finger foods. it’s been difficult to find foods that were the right combination of soft and crunchy and that dissolved or went down easily with only gums to chew with. i thought i’d pass on what works for us.
- breakfast: generally my son eats gluten free because we do, but i do give him wheat from time to time. his favorite breakfast is toast, and he loves udi’s. usually he’ll have toast with a banana, and after 1 year i started giving him a little peanut butter as well. trader joe’s organic pb is good because there’s no sugar in it. on the weekends sometimes i will make him pancakes, which he loves.
- lunch: when i was still pregnant my wonderful neighbors gave us their unused baby brezza, and it’s a pretty great machine. it steams and purees fruits and veggies all in one machine, and it’s not overly loud or large. it was a lifesaver when my son was going through a fussy phase where the only thing that he would eat was pureed sweet potatoes. i still give him purees, once a day. when i don’t make my own purees, i really love all of the happy baby products. they are organic and are made without sugar and usually without gluten and have very little in them besides fruits and veggies. my son likes the mama grain and brown rice pudding the best. i give him the kale, spinach and apple with greek yogurt a few days a week so that he gets some greens. we usually finish off the puree with some lunch meat. this has been great for him because he can pick it up with his fingers, chew it a little, but it’s soft & goes down easy. i give him organic roast turkey or chicken breast and he loves it.
- snacks: my son loves happy baby’s puffs (what baby doesn’t like cheerios?), and i give him the variety with greens as well. they are dusted with kale and spinach powder, which i think helped him get used to that taste. most days a snack includes organic cheese. i like these little shapes from horizon because they’re easy to break up into bite size pieces and there’s no plastic wrapper to navigate like with string cheese. another snack that he loves are annie’s cheddar bunnies. they are small enough that he can break them up in his mouth, and they don’t have all of the weird preservatives that goldfish crackers do.
- at dinner time we try to give my son a little of what we are eating. he loves steamed broccoli, because it’s soft but not soggy and easy to chew with just his gums. he also loves roasted sweet potato, which i cut up into small chunks so that he can hold and feed himself. his real favorites are refried beans and guacamole. i make sure to give him organic beans without too much in them, and i like wholly guacamole because it’s mostly just mashed avocado. they also make little single servings which are great for him. he also likes gluten free mac & cheese.
- as far as drinks go, i’ve made sure not to give my son any juice. i picked up one of these cups from ikea, and he drinks water from it. i think that he likes that it is different from his bottle, and he is really getting the hang of how quickly the water comes out.