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Baby Snacks For 1-Year-Olds

January 13, 2022 3 min read

The snacks we turn to and introduce to our children when they are little will set the stage for their future tastes and healthy eating patterns. No pressure right?!

While sugary sweets and candies are fun to explore and taste, the best snacks are nutrient-dense to help optimize their growth, achieve healthy body weight, and give wholesome energy for them to explore.

USDA Guideline Recommendations for 12 months and Older

At one year old, your child will start to require foods from the same basic food groups that you do. When you are adding nutrient-dense snacks into your little one’s routines, the USDA recommends meeting these food group needs:

  • Vegetables of all types, including sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, peas, lentils, and avocados, are often rich in potassium, vitamins, protein and dietary fiber
  • Fruits, including apples, pears, bananas, berries, and peaches, are also rich in potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C
  • Whole and refined grains, including rice, oats, wheat, pasta, cereals and crackers provide a source of potassium, iron and dietary fibers
  • Dairy, including yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, and soy-based alternatives provide a good source of calcium and vitamin D. Once your child reaches 1, they may also start drinking fat-free or low-fat cow’s milk as a beverage
  • Protein foods, including meats, poultry, and eggs, seafood, nuts, seeds, and soy products, provide sources of iron, zinc, protein, choline, and fatty acids

Further Reading: Best Baby Snacks For 6-Month-Olds

Help Train Tummy Immunity With Food Allergens 

While food allergies are nothing new, their prevalence over the last 15 years has increased significantly. New research and USDA guidelines have found that introducing a diverse mix of common food allergens, like eggs, milk, and peanuts, helped increase the protective antibodies in children, fighting these rising allergy rates.

While the AAP and USDA recommend introducing common food allergens around 6 months of age, you shouldn’t stop there. Maintaining a routine of allergen feeding for one year and beyond will help guide your little one’s immune system by training it to recognize potentially allergenic foods as safe, giving their tummy the best start.

Early and regular exposure to allergens has become more important than ever. And that’s why successful training of your baby’s tummy takes consistent feeding from infancy through early childhood.

Meeting Dietary Guidelines With Nutrient-Dense Foods

Nutrient-dense foods and snacks are also essential in helping your child meet their caloric needs every day. 

Calorie needs depend on age, height, weight, and activity of each individual child, however, with most babies eating an average of around 3 snacks a day, up to 27% of their daily calories will come from snacks. 

Ensuring they receive the right amount of calories will help them grow and develop at a healthy pace, and that means that the snacks you feed your little one should play a meaningful role.

The Bottom Line:

  • Consume a diverse variety of foods from all food groups
  • Continue maintenance of allergen feeding
  • Avoid foods and beverages with added sugars
  • Limit foods and beverages higher in sodium

Best Baby Snacks For 1-Year-Olds

Baby snacks are a great way to compliment mealtime and pacify hungry babies, but make sure you are not sacrificing nutrition when it comes to snacking. Some of our favorite healthy baby snacks include:

  • Whole-grain cereal or oatmeal with milk
  • Cooked or pureed veggies, like sweet potato, carrot, broccoli, or butternut squash
  • Scrambled or soft boiled eggs
  • Nut or seed butter on crackers
  • Mashed avocado on whole-grain toast
  • Plain yogurt with pieces of soft fresh fruit, like bananas, peaches, and apples
  • Small cubes of cheese with whole-grain crackers
  • Cooked beef, chicken, or tofu