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Ideas for self-feeding one year old foods. A list of 12+ toddler meal ideas based on what my 12 month old is eating this month.


Getting your baby to eat solid foods can sometimes seem like a daunting task. Finding self-feeding foods for one year olds that are healthy, yet safe for babies to eat can sometimes be tricky.

For the most part, our one year old eats what we eat. We have definitely found that trying to feed our one year old well-balanced meals has made us eat healthier ourselves!

If you are just staring with solid foods, I recommend starting with my posts for baby’s first solid foods and self-feeding ideas for 8-12 month olds. If your baby is well-established on solid foods or you want to prepare for the future, keep on reading!

You might also like these related posts:

Weaning Approach

If you are just starting out with weaning, I recommend doing an internet search or reading books on traditional weaning, baby-led weaning and other methods.

Then making the decision that is right for you and your family. Also, this is something you can and should consult with your pediatrician about.

I like to say that we did a modified baby-led weaning approach to starting solid foods. We started with purees right at 4 months with the blessing from our doctor.

Then, starting around 6 months we began to offer him soft solid foods to practice self-feeding, grasping and chewing. He admittedly did not start to eat a substantial amount of solids until about 9 months old. To get ideas for solid foods for beginners, check out my post: Self-Feeding ideas for 8-12 Month Olds

At one year old, Corbin is no longer taking bottles or formula, so his main source of nutrition is solid foods.

He also very rarely eats “baby food” purees (aka pouches) because he really does prefer solids and self-feeding at this point. Pouches are very convenient and we do still offer them when we are busy on weekends or traveling! Everything in moderation!

These Weighted Straw Cups are our favorite cups for transitioning off the bottle! The are leak-proof and baby can tip almost any angle and the weighted straw lets them keep drinking.

Self-Feeding Tools

Babywear Fork and Spoon: these are our favorite for beginner eaters! The handle is round and very easy for little hands to grasp and hold. It also has a guard so that your baby can’t stick it far back in their mouth. A great first silverware set!

Munchkin Fork and Spoon: this is our go-to silverware set for young toddlers. Once your baby has mastered the Babyware silverware set, we recommend moving on to the munchkin set. We have used these for more than a year for my two-year-old and they have held up great.

Silicone Placemats: A must-have! This plate sticks to the high chair or table so your baby can’t dump it on the floor. Add this plate to your baby registry or ask for it as a birthday gift!

Self-Feeding One Year Old Breakfast Ideas

Our one year old’s breakfast normally contains a whole grain and a fruit. He goes to daycare in the morning before I head to work so his breakfast needs to be pretty quick and efficient!

  • Whole grain waffles or pancakes w/ grass fed butter (I buy frozen waffles or you can make your own)
  • Whole grain french toast cut into strips
  • Avocado toast strips
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Fruit
    • Grapes (quartered at this age)
    • Bananas
    • Strawberries
    • Peaches
    • Blueberries
Self-Feeding Food: French toast, scrambled eggs, waffle, avocado toast
  1. French Toast: dip a slice of bread into a whisked egg and then fry on a greased pan. Cut into strips or bites for young toddlers. You might also like my Banana French Toast recipe! Side of blueberries
  1. Scrambled Eggs: eggs scrambled with spinach and cheese. Side of sliced bananas.
  1. Frozen Waffle: whole grain waffle topped with cream cheese. Side of grapes and butternut squash. Peanut butter, almond butter, smushed fruit, or grass-fed butter are also good options for toppings.
  1. Avocado Toast: avocado on lightly-toasted bread cut into squares. Side of peaches.

Self-Feeding One Year OldLunch Ideas

For lunch, my son goes to daycare 5 days a week. We normally pack a deconstructed sandwich or sometimes leftover pasta from dinner, cheese, and a fruit and/or veggie.

At home on the weekends he loves to have mac ‘n cheese or a snack plate.

  • Deconstructed sandwich
    • Whole wheat bread and smooshed avocado, cut into pieces
    • Lunch meat
  • Dairy
    • Whole milk string cheese
    • Shredded cheese
    • Whole milk yogurt
  • Veggies
    • Butternut squash
    • Peas
    • Cooked carrots
  • Fruit
    • Grapes quartered
    • Bananas
    • Watermelon
    • Kiwi
    • Mandarin oranges
  • Beans: black beans, pinto beans, white beans
  • Pasta: mac n’ cheese, veggie pasta with butter
  • Frozen:
    • KidFresh Chicken meatballs
    • Dr. Praeger’s Spinach Littles
Self-Feeding food: avocado sandwich and turkey,  mac 'n cheese, chicken meatball, pb&j lunchbox
  1. Avocado Sandwich: a sandwich made with smushed avocado cut into bite-sized pieces, turkey roll ups, string cheese, mandarin oranges, and grapes.
  1. Mac n’ Cheese: a toddler favorite! I always serve with veggies to make it a little more well-rounded meal. Sometimes they are on the side and sometimes mixed in. Side of peas and kiwi.
  1. Chicken Meatball: we love the chicken meatballs from KidFresh brand in the freezer section. Side of strawberries and banana.
  1. PB&J: pb&j cut into bite sized pieces with sides of pea crisps, string cheese, and fruit.

Self-Feeding One Year Old Dinner Ideas

For dinner, our son normally eats what we eat! If the meal is spicy or something too hard for him to eat (like salad or steak) we do have a few go-to dinner ideas for him and try to keep it veggie-focused.

  • Protein (shredded chicken, shredded beef, chicken sausage, all beef hot dogs, turkey meatballs, black beans, pinto beans, white beans, chili beans)
  • Deconstructed Tacos
  • Quesadilla
  • Spaghetti Squash
    • red sauce or white sauce
  • Pasta (cut into bite size if too big)
  • Veggies/Fruit
    • Green beans
    • Squash (zucchini, butternut squash)
    • Peas
    • Cooked Carrots
    • Broccoli
    • Tomato
    • Avocado
  • Shredded cheese
Self-Feeding foods: deconstructed taco plate, ravioli, chicken parmesan, pulled chicken.
  1. Deconstructed taco plate: carne asada, shredded cheese, avocado and corn salad, and squash.
  1. Ravioli: cheese ravioli cooked with spinach. Side of strawberries and squash.
  1. Chicken Parmesan: breaded and baked chicken, pasta with tomatoes.
  1. Pulled Chicken: pulled chicken made in the instant pot with cream cheese. Side of avocado and black beans.

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Self-Feeding Food Ideas for One Year Olds