The Best Foods for Babies 10 to 12 Months
The 10- to 12-month age range is a time of incredible growth for babies. You'll look down one day, and suddenly your sweet baby might begin to look more like a toddler. And with all the changes happening from trying to walk and talk to showing a natural, vibrant curiosity for the world around them, you'll also notice that their food preferences will mature a bit too.
The beauty of finger foods for babies between 10 and 12 months is that not only will your baby enjoy nutritious foods, but they will also be getting a dexterity workout too. Using their fingers and hands to pick up and feed themselves is an excellent way to practice hand-to-eye coordination and work on that vital pincher and grasping reflex.
If you're interested in moving away from purees and venturing into finger foods, then check out this list of snacks and meals that are perfect for your budding toddler. The best part? Most of these can be made ahead to cut down on time in the kitchen.
Breakfast Foods for Babies
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it's also a pretty big contender for the most fun. Here are five great, nutrient-packed, finger-friendly breakfasts that your little one will love.
Fill a small jar with one part dry oats, one part breastmilk or formula, and sprinkle in some cut-up fruit, like blueberries or raspberries and a touch of pure maple syrup. Mix it up and leave it in the fridge overnight. This one is great for your baby to practice scooping with their fingers, although it is messy.
Whole Wheat Waffles
You can buy frozen waffles or make your own and freeze them ahead of time. Make sure to look for whole wheat, and pair your waffles with fresh fruit instead of sugary syrups. Try a dollop of whipped cream (or even better: yogurt) for some added fun, and always make sure to cut up fruit to manageable sizes.
Hard-Boiled Eggs and Toast Soldiers
Toast soldiers are a fun way to let your baby play with food. Simply toast a piece of bread and cut it into strips for dipping into the egg. Toast soldiers are great for gripping and self-feeding, especially for teething babies. Make sure that your child can handle eating toast before trying this one out.
Cheese and Veggie Frittata
Frittatas are a lovely way to combine eggs and vegetables for your little one. Not only are they super healthy and delicious, but they’re also easy to pick up and eat. Experiment with fillings such as kale, spinach, pasteurized feta or Swiss, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and chives. Always be sure to chop vegetables up into manageable sizes for your baby.
Smoothies are a fun way to get in vitamins and protein, and there are endless ways to make them. Here are a few popular combinations that your baby might like:
Banana, peanut butter, and breastmilk or formula
Strawberries, banana, mango, full-fat yogurt, and breastmilk or formula
Avocado, spinach, banana, and full-fat yogurt
Blueberry, banana, full-fat yogurt, and breastmilk or formula
Lunch Foods for Babies
If your baby is bored with bland, mashed foods for lunch, then try a few of these fun, well-balanced lunch ideas that you can easily make ahead.
Broccoli and Cauliflower Coins
Steam and mash broccoli and cauliflower, add an egg, some almond flour, and shredded cheddar cheese. Mix ingredients together and use a one-inch melon-baller to drop balls onto a cookie sheet, flatten with a wet fork, and bake at 350 until golden brown. These veggie coins are soft, full of nutrients, and fun to dip into ketchup or applesauce.
Beef and Barley
Make a batch of beef and barley stew and toss in peas, carrots, and other veggies. Try chopping the finished stew into a chunkier version of puree before serving with toast soldiers. Your baby can scoop with their fingers or practice using a spoon.
Baby Charcuterie Plate
Using your baby's favorite plate (or a muffin tin!), place bite-sized cubed cheese, crackers, cut-up fruit and veggies, and pieces of cereal for a fun way to eat a balanced meal.
Macaroni and Cheese
Upgrade the old kid food stand-by with chopped veggies like peas, carrots, sweet potato, and corn kernels.
Cottage Cheese and Dippers
Serve cottage cheese in a bowl with a small plate of dippers like toast soldiers, crackers, cut-up pieces of fruit, and soft vegetables like baked sweet potato sticks.
Dinner Foods for Babies
By 10 to 12 months, you might already be serving your baby the same food that your family eats, albeit chopped, mashed, or cut up. Serving your baby the same foods you eat is ideal because it helps your baby develop a taste for healthy foods. If you're looking for dinner ideas that your baby might love, check out these five options.
Pasta bowls are perfect because you can add almost anything to your pasta and call it a meal. Look for small pasta shapes like alphabet letters or elbows that your baby can pick up. Here are a few additions to try:
Chopped, steamed spinach and ricotta
Red sauce with chopped spinach
Cooked carrots, peas, and corn kernels garnish with Parmesan cheese
Chopped chicken, veggies, and shredded cheese
Like pasta bowls, rice bowls are also a great way to add various healthy tidbits for your baby. Simply choose a protein, a vegetable, or two, and offer some flavor options like low-sodium soy sauce or even unsweetened apple sauce.
Beef and Lentil Stew
Good old-fashioned beef and lentil soup with lots of vegetables is a perfectly balanced meal that you can make ahead and freeze in small amounts. Your baby can use their fingers to pick up pieces of food or practice using a spoon.
Mash some sweet potato or potato and mix in some small pieces of cooked veggies for a fun, healthy dinner. Try adding carrots, peas, spinach, kale, corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, beets, and more.
Fish and Chips
Fish is a wonderfully healthy option for your baby, and it is so easy to eat with those sweet little fingers. Try roasting white fish with a splash of lemon and steamed veggies like asparagus or broccoli. Remember, small and soft, bite-sized pieces are your baby's friend.
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.