When your child is about one year old, they can eat some foods, but not all foods. They may or may not have teeth and finding something healthy to pack for preschool/daycare can be daunting.
As a previous preschool teacher, and teacher of one year olds, I have some Do’s and Don’ts for you.
- · Weiner dogs, no matter the size
- · Whole grapes
- · Fresh fruit – make sure it is cut into small pieces that will not get stuck in your baby’s throat. Children love strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and citrus.
- · Squeeze packs – there are many packs available now that are organic, preservative free, and very healthy for your baby. I always tell parents to load up on these when they are on sale because they can get pricey if you buy them regularly.
- · Chicken and Turkey – shred the meat. If you cook the meat slowly, preferably in a steamer or crockpot, the meat will get cooked thoroughly and will fall apart easily. This is a good way to get some protein in your baby’s diet. Think about shredded meat for BBQ sandwiches, and make the meat even smaller. Your child will love it! Just don’t send BBQ sauce with it as that will be a big mess for the teacher to clean up!
- · Crackers and Pretzels
- · Nuts – make sure you child has enough teeth and the capability of chewing before you send nuts.
- · Sandwiches – cut into small pieces for your child
- · Ham – shredded. Go to the deli at your grocery store and find a ham with no preservatives or hormones. Then have them shred the meat as small as they can. This will be great for your little one to eat.
- · Cereal/Trail Mixes
- · Granola bars
- · Cheese – shredded or cut into very small pieces. You can also buy stick and string cheeses but they will be pricier. If you can, find cheese that is all natural. I like to use Sargento.
Make sure and tell the teacher if you are introducing new foods. This will let the teacher know to help the child understand the new food. It will also alert them to watch for allergic reactions. Also, don’t give your child all new food all at once. Introduce new foods in the midst of foods you know they already like. This will ensure that your child will have some food to eat even if he/she doesn’t like the new food.
Babies are very finicky. So if your baby doesn’t like something today, reintroduce it in a few weeks. They will likely take to it then. Their taste is developing which causes their likes and dislikes to change frequently. This may cause them to quit liking something that they used to love. It’s ok. They will likely return to it later.
Be patient with your child and continue to introduce them to new and old foods. Variety in the early years will help your child to develop a diverse palette.