Meal ideas for your 12-month-old baby, and mealtime tips for mummy and daddy.
By Health Promotion Board in collaboration with A/Prof Mary Daniel Lourdes, Head & Senior Consultant, Clinical Services, Department of Child Development, KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
Congratulations! It’s been a tiring but rewarding 12 months feeding, playing with, and taking care of your little one.
Your baby has more teeth now and is able to swallow the food you prepare easily. He might also be using a spoon, although he hasn’t quite mastered the art of it just yet. Continue to prepare his meals mashed, chopped or cut into small pieces.
And remember: he still needs his milk feeds, although it’s now a good time to use sippy cups most of the time and set the bottle aside.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
These numbers are only a recommendation. Let your baby decide how much he wants to eat and don’t force him to finish everything!
Mummy and daddy are now solid food pros, and the little one’s taking to solid food well. Over the past few months, you’ve tried out plenty of ideas and recipes, but you might still need a refresher every now and then to keep those food ideas fresh in your head.
We’re here to give you a hand: here are some new meal and dish ideas, and a bumper list of the different foods you can feed your 1-year-old bundle of joy.
Nutrition for Your Toddler
You have a good idea about the kinds of food your baby likes and dislikes right now, and you’re regularly introducing him to new food, flavours, and textures.
But somedays you’re bored and have no idea what to prepare for your little one, and he doesn’t seem interested in the same old meals either. We know how that feels, so here are some ways to get inspired again!
Superheroes of a Healthy Diet
Make food prep a game: Choose three colours and see if you can prepare foods that match the colour palette. For example, yellow, red, and purple can come in the form of millet (yellow) with chopped beef (red) and mushed brinjal (purple). In any case, it also helps narrow down the food you can prepare, which might help if you’re overwhelmed with too many options.
Eat Your Veggies
Level up from basic shapes: A popular trend among young parents is to make bento based on cute cartoon characters, for example, shaping rice into cute pokemon and adding detailed like eyes using sesame seeds or cut nori seaweed.
While your little one might not appreciate the adorable characters right now, trying your hand at this activity could make meal prep a more fun activity for you.
For inspiration, there are plenty of blogs and websites dedicated to these bento (called kyaraben or chara-ben). You can even join classes to learn basic techniques! But if you’re trying it at home, all you really need is a good pair of food scissors and some creativity. (Don’t worry if your first tries don’t turn out well—your little one can’t tell yet).
Cute Bentos for Kids
Talk to your friends: Out of ideas? Why not exchange recipes with your fellow mums and dads? They might have hidden gems or cooking tips and tricks you haven’t heard of.
Easy Egg Cups
Whenever you feel uninspired, just take a look at this (not exhaustive) bumper list of food items, mix and match different food groups, try out different herbs and spice combinations, and attempt different cooking methods and food textures.
For example, try mixing mashed banana with some wholegrain flour for a modified pancake batter and cook up some yummy banana pancakes.
Or try some pureed broccoli soup topped with shredded cheddar cheese and served with a side of steamed chickpeas—a yummy option if your little one is going through a phase where he is fussy about his veggies.
Warm Tofu Salad
Wholegrains and staples
Meat and others
As usual, introduce new food 3 or 4 days apart, and look out for signs of allergy, e.g. rashes, facial swelling, wheezing, diarrhoea.
When Allergies Occur
Canola Oil, Olive Oil, Soybean Oil, Is There a Difference?
At this stage, the food you feed the little one needs to only be mashed, chopped or cut into small pieces.
If you’re making your own baby food, make sure to prepare it without oil. Some great cooking methods are steaming, boiling, baking, or microwaving. Your baby can now eat chunky soups and stews too. No stir-frying or grilling yet for the little one! Remember to skip the sugar, salt and any other seasonings (e.g. soy sauce) when preparing the meals.
Minestrone Pasta Soup
If your baby isn’t interested in a certain food, do not force it. There’s also no need to force your child to finish everything on his plate! Stop feeding him if he rejects the food, and try again during the next meal. Right now, your baby knows best about how much he wants to eat.
Your Baby Needs Soft Skills Too
Brown rice and wholemeal bread
½ bowl of brown rice/rice (100g)½ bowl of noodles, spaghetti or beehoon (100g)1 large potato (180g)2 slices of wholegrain bread (60g)4 plain wholemeal biscuits
1 small apple, orange, pear or mango (130g)1 wedge pineapple, papaya or watermelon (130g)1 medium banana10 grapes or longan (50g)
¾ mug or 1 small bowl of cooked vegetables (100g)¼ plate of vegetables
Meat and others
1 palm-sized piece of fish, lean meat or skinless poultry (90g)2 small blocks of soft beancurd (170g)¾ cup or 1 small bowl of cooked pulses (e.g. lentils) (120g)3 eggs (150g)5 medium prawns
For more information on early nutrition and weaning recipes for your little one, visit
Early Childhood Nutrition.
Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides to give your baby a healthy start.
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This article was last reviewed on
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
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