Nutrition for One-Year Olds

Feeding Young ChildrenYou'll find that your baby's taste buds develop over the first year. Even if she appears to dislike certain foods, she will probably develop a taste for them, so keep trying to feed them to her. One of the big changes (be sure to consult your pediatrician) is switching your child from breast milk or formula to cow's milk. Babies usually cannot digest cow's milk during the first year, so consult with your doctor before you start your baby on a diet that includes cow's milk. Use whole milk, not skim or low fat---babies need the fat calories to grow; they may start drinking less fatty milk around their second birthday.


Young children can be fussy at mealtimes. Don't argue or bargain with your child over food. If your toddler refuses to eat, do not take it personally. It is a rejection of food, not you! Don't worry if you see a drop in your child's appetite around his first birthday. Your child's growth rate is slowing down a bit, so he or she doesn't need to eat as much. Let your child's appetite be your guide. He'll eat as much as he needs. Kids who are allowed to decide how much or how little they eat actually eat more than children who are pressured. It is important to remember that what your child eats is much more important than how much of it he or she eats. If your child starts playing with the food, it probably means that he or she has grown tired of eating and wants to move on to something else.


Many parents think it is helpful to give their child vitamin supplements, but a healthy child who eats a well-balanced diet does not need them. An ideal daily menu for a 12 to 18 month-old child might include:


  • 3 glasses of whole milk
  • 1/2 to 1 cup each of fruits, vegetables, and juices
  • 4 to 6 servings of bread and cereal (one serving equals 1/4 slice of bread or 1/4 cup of cereal)
  • 2 servings of meat, chicken, fish, or eggs (one serving equals about a Tablespoon)


From Your Healthy Baby by I am Your Child.

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