Picky eater problems? Check out these delicious and easy food ideas for 1-year-old toddlers!
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Now that your baby has graduated from pureed fruits and vegetables, it’s time to have some fun in the kitchen! One-year-olds can eat just about everything you do, so include your little one at mealtimes with the family. These tasty food ideas for toddlers will keep everyone happy.
The only drawback? This is a common age for picky eating to start. The best approach is to keep offering healthy options at every meal and never give up.
Your new toddler can eat most foods that you do. Remember that they need plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, as well as healthy sources of protein and fiber. And now that your little one has had their first birthday, they can start drinking whole milk.
What do you feed a picky 1-year-old?
Feeding a picky eater can be an exhausting task, but an important one. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most parents worry when their child refuses a new food, but it takes several tries before the average 1-year-old is ready to try something new. Try pairing new foods with your toddler’s favorite meals and snacks to make the process more fun for both of you.
When your child is ready to eat, try offering healthy meals like…
With a toddler in the house, I look for foods that are a snap to make. Loaded with beef, cheese and a flavorful rice mix, these enchiladas come together without a fuss. But they’re so good that guests think I spent hours in the kitchen. —Jennifer Smith, Colona, Illinois
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I love sneaking extra veggies into my kids’ dinners, especially with this skillet spinach pie recipe. Because of this pie's flaky crust and extra cheese, the kids never know they’re eating a vitamin-rich dish. Plus, I’m not hovering over an oven for hours. Put the spinach and phyllo sheets in the refrigerator the night before or early in the morning for thawing. —Kristyne McDougle, Lorain, Ohio
These gooey grilled cheese sandwiches taste great for lunch with sliced apples. And they're really fast to whip up, too. Here's how to make grilled cheese the right way. —Kathy Norris, Streator, Illinois
My kids and I love mac and cheese. We always get it in the bread bowls when we're at a restaurant, but with three cheeses, these white cheddar shells are filling on their own. —Steven Schend, Grand Rapids, Michigan
This scalloped potatoes and ham dish is a crowd-pleaser with its creamy sauce, chunks of ham and potato slices. I always enjoyed it when Mother made it. I added the parsley and the thyme, and now my husband and five children request it. —Wendy Rhoades, Yacolt, Washington
Garlic powder gives these speedy mini pizzas extra pizzazz. Not only are they a snap to put together, but best of all, the ingredient list is easy on your pocketbook. My husband loves them. And my toddler will soon enjoy them as an after-school treat. -Stephanie Klos-Kohr, Moline, Illinois
Mom fixed this Swedish meatball recipe for all sorts of family dinners, potluck suppers and PTA meetings. The scent of browning meat is intoxicating. Add to that the sweet smell of onions caramelizing, and everyone’s mouth starts watering. —Marybeth Mank, Mesquite, Texas
Cauliflower gratin is a lower-carb side dish that pairs well with pork, ham or beef. It's so creamy and delicious that even the kids will ask for seconds! If you like a little crunch, sprinkle buttered bread crumbs over the top for the last five minutes in the oven. — Mary Zinchiak, Boardman, Ohio
Since I found this quick-to-fix recipe a few years ago, it's become a regular part of my menu plans. Everyone loves the combination of sloppy joe ingredients, shell pasta and cheddar cheese. —Lynne Leih, Idyllwild, California
I love pumpkin and my kids love pasta, so this pumpkin Alfredo recipe is a match made in heaven for us. Plus, it's an extra way to get some veggies into their diet. Use dairy-free or gluten-free ingredients if needed. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
My husband loves my mini meat loaves, but this family-favorite recipe wasn’t very healthy when I first received it. The Taste of Home Test Kitchen experts slashed the calories and fat while keeping the original’s tender and delicious qualities. —Jodie Mitchell, Denver, Pennsylvania
My muffins are a frequent request from everyone in the family. I usually make them on Sunday nights, so when we're running late on weekday mornings, the kids can grab these to eat on the bus. —Irene Wayman, Grantsville, Utah
On busy days, it's a comfort to know that my family can sit down to dinner minutes after we walk in the door. Double it to wow at a potluck. This recipe works in a slow cooker, too. —Virginia Krites, Cridersville, Ohio
I adapted a ziti recipe to remove ingredients my kids did not like, such as ground beef, garlic and onions. The revised recipe was a success not only with my family but at potlucks too. It's so versatile: You can use jarred sauce, double or triple the recipe, and even freeze it. —Kimberley Pitman, Smyrna, Delaware
I'm one of 13 children, so making a recipe that everyone likes can be a challenge. This chocolate peanut butter pancakes recipe was a Saturday-morning special that we all loved. —Keenan McDermott, Springfield, Missouri
This is a fabulous slow-cooker ranch chicken recipe that we have passed around to all our friends, especially those who have young children. It's wonderful for a cold winter night or a hot summer day when you don't want to turn on the oven. Serve it as a weeknight family dinner or for a large group. —Sonya Stark, West Jordan, Utah
Young relatives were coming for a Christmas party, so I wanted something fun for them to eat. To my surprise, it was the adults who devoured these mini mac and cheese bites. —Kate Mainiero, Elizaville, New York
Not only do my grandchildren love these cheese-filled hot dogs, they enjoy helping put the meal together, too. It's the perfect solution when you need a last-minute lunch. —Lyletta Searle, Morgan, Utah
Sunday breakfasts have always been special in our house. It's fun to get in the kitchen and cook with the kids. No matter how many new recipes we try, they always rate this corned beef hash recipe No. 1! —Rick Skildum, Maple Grove, Minnesota
When you have these fun-to-make mini pizzas, it's no challenge finding lunch fare that the kids enjoy. Plus they pack nicely in sandwich bags and travel well, so there's no mess. —Rhonda Cliett, Belton, Texas
This chicken bacon ranch casserole is a dinner that both of my wonderful (but picky!) children will eat. I can easily make it ahead and then bake it right before serving. Sometimes I add 2 cups of cooked veggies, like peas or chopped broccoli, for a complete meal. —Rebekah Schultz, Mantua, New Jersey
I made up this cowboy stew in the early 1970s when I was down to very little food in the house. Because it's a combination of barbecue sauce, hamburger, hot dogs and beans, this one-skillet meal makes both children and adults happy. —Val Rananawski, Millville, New Jersey
The whole family will love the fun, cheesy flavor of this ravioli casserole. It's like lasagna—without all the fuss! Timesaving ingredients such as prepared spaghetti sauce and frozen ravioli make it a cinch to fix. Children can help you assemble this one. —Mary Ann Rothert, Austin, Texas
I came across this easy and tasty snack while searching online for healthy munchies for kids. Great for after school, it's really quick to make and filling enough to hold the kids until dinner. To satisfy heftier appetites or to serve as a power lunch, cut each tortilla into fewer pieces or provide one per child. The recipe is easy to increase as needed. —Mary Haluch, Ludlow, Massachusetts
Unless you plan to make two, don't count on leftovers. As an appetizer or side, this cheesy flatbread will be devoured in less time than it takes to bake. And that's not long! —Suzanne Zick, Maiden, North Carolina
The best way to get kids interested in cooking and eating right is to let them help. These apple and peanut butter "sandwiches" are one fun way to pique their interest and kitchen creativity. —Shirley Warren, Thiensville, Wisconsin
My kids love sausages and pancakes but making them during the week was out of the question. I bought the frozen variety on a stick but wasn't keen on the calories, additives or price. This version of pigs-in-a-blanket is a tasty, thrifty alternative. —Lisa Dodd, Greenville, South Carolina
This zesty chicken taco soup is loaded with corn and black beans in a mildly spicy red broth. As a busy mom of three young children, I'm always looking for dinner recipes that can be prepared in the morning. The kids love the taste of this easy soup. —Marlene Kane, Lainesburg, Michigan
When our children were small and I was busy trying to get done all those extra things that are part of a mom's normal schedule, I would make this quick hot dog casserole. Kids love it! —JoAnn Gunio, Franklin, North Carolina
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.