Happy birthday! Your little one is now 1-year-old and when they begin to walk – usually around this time – they’ve officially become a toddler! Weaning hasn’t quite finished yet, however, as you move into this further stage of your little one’s life.
It’s around now that you might want to introduce a more structured routine to your toddler's day, with snacks offered – alongside milk – mid-morning and mid-afternoon
The eating pattern for a typical toddler’s day often looks much like this:
● Breakfast – 2 courses
● Mid-morning snack, plus a small drink of milk
● Lunch and a healthy pudding
● Mid-afternoon snack, plus a small drink of milk
● Dinner and a healthy pudding
● Bedtime milk
Snacks should be thought of as mini-meals. A single piece of fruit or a couple of rice cakes won't give little ones enough nutrition, so try and combine 3 or 4 tiny portions of different foods so that each snack provides a wide range of nutrients.
At this stage toddlers need only around 350-400ml of milk per day and you can switch them on to whole cow’s milk, or continue breastfeeding. This volume of milk includes what they might have in their cereal and other foods too.
At 1 year of age your toddler will probably be practising how to use cutlery. They may well be able to scoop food with a spoon and stab it with a fork, and bring food up to their mouth to eat it (hopefully without spilling too much). If you’re still spoon-feeding them now, try handing over the responsibility to them. Toddlers usually can’t use a knife for cutting or spreading yet, however, so for now don’t worry too much about introducing one.
If your little one is still using a bottle around this time, now is the stage when you should try to start getting them used to a cup instead.
Finally, it’s also a great time to encourage the social aspects of eating by sharing meals together – serving ‘family style’ – and encouraging some simple, polite table manners.