Healthy lunch ideas for 1-year-olds

Toddler | Recipes |

Once you hit that big 12-month mark, your little one may already be standing, walking with hands held or beginning to take a few steps alone. They have probably explored lots of different objects, babbled a few words and experienced the dreaded aches and pains of their first few teeth.

When it comes to food, one year old babies tend to enjoy a wide range of ingredients and have good manual dexterity – long gone are those first messy first attempts with finger foods. It can be easy to fall into a routine – once you’ve discovered a meal your child will actually eat and enjoy, it’s tempting to serve it over and over again. But introducing them to new flavours and textures is a crucial part of their development and can curb picky eating, so we’ve made a list of some of our favourite healthy lunch ideas to help switch up the daily menu for your 1-year-old.

Avocado toast with fruit

Avocado is a good source of healthy fat for babies and the soft texture makes it super easy to eat. Paired with some lightly toasted bread and a side of kiwi slices, smashed avocado makes for a quick and easy lunch that will give your little one a wide variety of tastes and textures to explore.

Veggie muffins

Packed full of carrot, courgette and peas, these savoury muffins are a great way to sneak in some vegetables and lend themselves perfectly to meal-prep. Once baked, these muffins can be frozen and whipped out whenever your little one needs a healthy meal to accompany a bowl of soup or a side of fruit.

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and grease 6 holes of a standard muffin tin.
  2. Cut 1 small carrot and ½ small courgette (about 190g combined) into small dice and combine them in a microwaveable dish with 25g of peas and 2 tbsp of water. Cover with cling film and microwave for 2 mins or until tender.
  3. Beat 6 eggs and stir in the cooked vegetables and 25g of feta cheese. Pour your mixture into your muffin tin and bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the eggs are set. Leave to cool, then use a knife to remove the muffins.

Animal pasta bolognese

If your 1-year-old is a fussy eater, sometimes distraction techniques can work a charm. HiPP Organic’s Pasta Farm was specially developed for toddlers and contains 8 different animal shapes that can make mealtimes lots of fun. Paired with some frozen veggies and HiPP’s Beef Bolognese stir-in sauce, you can serve up your baby’s meal in minutes and spend the extra time exploring the horses, chickens, rabbits and other farm pets that can be found in your little one’s bowl. For more advice on how to overcome fussy eaters, visit our real-life parent stories on the blog.

Coconut rice with black beans and mango

Another lunch idea for your 1-year-old is this recipe that’s a fantastic way of introducing your baby to some exciting new flavours – fresh ginger, tangy mango and sweet rice. The sticky consistency of the coconut rice also makes it easier to eat – plus it’s much less likely to end up all over the floor.

  1. Rinse 2 cups of jasmine rice until water runs clear.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of coconut oil to a medium pot and cook 1 inch of fresh shredded ginger for a minute. Stir in the rice to coat.
  3. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes until the water is almost absorbed, stirring a few times.
  4. Stir in 1 can of light coconut milk and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 5 more minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft.
  5. Remove from heat and cover. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, then stir in optional ingredients such as shredded coconut, cinnamon or turmeric.
  6. Service with cooked black beans and slices of ripe mango.

Creamy potato and salmon pie

HiPP Organic’s Tray meals are great baby food for 1-year-olds when you’re on the go. The creamy potato and salmon pie Tray meal contains a mix of vegetables like peas and celeriac combined with salmon and can be enjoyed both hot and cold. Other tasty flavours include paella with veggies and chicken, lasagne and vegetable risotto. HiPP Tray meals are full of high-quality organic ingredients without artificial additives or preservatives and make for easy feeding direct from the tray.

Whatever you choose to give your little one for lunch, it helps to keep an open mind to new ideas. Your baby’s preferences will continue to change over time so remember to continue introducing them to new flavours and textures to ensure their taste develops properly. For more recipe ideas, visit the HiPP Recipe Pages.