1 year old meal plan
Creating a 1 year old meal plan allows you to pay attention to your baby’s diet. A child’s diet can affect their growth and development, so you should draft a meal plan that will ensure that your baby is getting the all the right nutrients.
This is not to say that your baby will eagerly chump down on everything you put in their mouth. You have to persevere and keep going when your baby spits out the food you had prepared with so much love. Don’t let the frustration get to you! Eventually, your baby will come around.
Introducing Solids- 1 year old meal plan
When to introduce solids to babies
In Nigeria, mothers are advised to breastfeed their babies exclusively for six months. You can introduce solids into your baby’s diet after the six-month mark. It is perfectly okay to give baby formula to your babies if for any reason you are unable to breastfeed. Solid food, ordinarily, should be accompanied with breastmilk and formula for children younger than 1 year and older than 6 months.
How to introduce solids to babies
When introducing solid food to babies—this is any food that is not formula or breast milk—you should start with very soft food. You can mash any food that isn’t soft enough before feeding it to your baby. If you don't want to mash, cook the food until the texture is very soft. You need to do this because your 1 year old meal plan will feature lots of solids!
When you are ready to introduce solid foods to your baby, you should start with foods that the child can swallow without chewing. Babies from 6 – 12 months don’t have very strong teeth, and that’s why you either give food they can swallow without chewing or you mash the food before feeding them. Thankfully, you can mash rice, beans, potatoes, etc.
The best next alternative to breastmilk and formula after 6 months is pap. Custard is also good for babies when it comes to easing your baby into solids. When introducing pap to your baby, make sure it is a bit runny and not too thick. It should be watery enough for the baby to suck it through a water bottle. You can make the pap thick enough to feed the baby with a spoon once the child has effectively mastered eating solid food.
The most popular solid foods for babies in Nigeria
You can’t create a 1-year-old meal plan without knowing the solid food options for your baby in Nigeria. Because Nigeria is multicultural, there are lots of solid foods your babies can eat! All you have to do is learn how other cultures prepare their baby food.
The most popular solid foods for babies in Nigeria are:
Potatoes (both sweet and Irish)
Beans (especially porridge beans)
Soft swallow (preferably eba, semolina or fufu)
Soups (especially egusi, vegetable soup, okra and ogbono)
Ripe plantain (porridge, fried, boiled)
Unripe plantain porridge
Eggs, fried egg or boiled
Unripe banana porridge
A 1-year-old meal plan can include all of the following but a baby that is less than 12 months shouldn’t eat everything on this list, especially foods that are harder to chew like swallows (eba, semo, etc.).
Do your best to limit processed foods for your baby. You can teach your baby to love fresh, organic foods. Introduce baby-friendly fruits into their diet. Feed your 1-year-old natural, homemade juices and introduce their taste buds to healthy food.
1-year-old meal plan:
How to create a 1-year-old meal plan for your baby
A typical one-year-old meal plan should be balanced and filled with a variety of delicious foods because you don’t want to bore your baby. Be creative with your selection! Ensure that your meal plan contains a balanced diet and should have six classes of nutrients—proteins, carbohydrate, fats and oils, minerals, vitamins, and water.
Breakfast for a one-year-old
For breakfast, any of the following will do: chocolate tea with bread, pap, cereals, oatmeal, stew with bread, fried eggs, okpa, or noodles. You can mash the yolk of your boiled eggs and mix in his already made pap, then add milk and feed it to the baby.
Also, you can grind soya beans, fried groundnut, and crayfish together. Keep this mixture in a container and add a spoon of it to his pap alongside milk.
Also for breakfast, you can boil rice and/or beans until very soft, add your ingredients as if you are cooking Jollof, and then cook the rice until it is soft enough for your baby to chew effortlessly. Let it cool before you pour the food into a blender and blend. Don’t add water; the little water in the food is enough. You can feed that to the baby. Keep the leftovers in the freezer to warm and serve another day. You can also boil and blend potatoes for your baby. Cook the potatoes until very soft, then add fish (either fresh or smoked), a pinch of salt and seasoning. Allow it to cool, then blend and feed your baby.
Lunch for one-year-old babies
A 1 year old meal plan for lunch will include mostly solid food. You can feed the baby anything you are having for lunch provided it is not too peppery or too tough. You can also give the child a piece of yam, garden eggs, carrots, oranges, apples or any fruit to snack on in between meals.
Dinner for one-year-old babies
Dinner shouldn’t be too heavy in a one-year-old meal plan. If the food is too heavy, the child could feel restless and may have problems falling asleep. But if the food is too light, the baby could get hungry and have to wake up at night and cry for food.
The breakfast options in this 1 year old meal plan are suitable for dinner. You could even combine both lunch and dinner options for your baby!
Resource: British Nutrition Foundation