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What to feed your baby
Now your toddler is 12 months old, they should be having 3 meals a day. They may also need 2 healthy weaning snacks in between (for example fruit, vegetable sticks, toast, bread or plain yoghurt).
Remember, they don't need salt or sugar added to their food or cooking water. Children shouldn't eat salty foods as it isn't good for their kidneys and sugar can cause tooth decay.
Make sure you include a wide variety of the following food groups in your child’s meals. Have a look at our baby weaning recipes and YouTube channel for inspiration!
Your child should now be able to manage mashed, lumpy, chopped and finger foods. Cook veggies to soften them, where necessary, and offer them as chopped or finger foods. Offer a variety of vegetables, including ones with bitter flavours. Veggies include:
- green beans
- butternut squash
Your child should now be able to manage mashed, lumpy, chopped and finger foods. Wash fruit and remove any pips, stones or hard skin – chop the fruit up or offer as a finger food. Fruit includes:
These can be cooked, where necessary, and offered as mashed, chopped or finger foods. Cereals can be mixed with breast milk or with pasteurised whole (full-fat) cows’ milk (or goats’ or sheep’s milk) if your child is over 12 months old. Starchy foods include:
- sweet potato
- baby rice
- pitta bread
This food group includes meat, fish, eggs, beans and pulses and is suitable from around six months.
As well as giving your baby protein, these foods contain other useful nutrients, such as iron and zinc, which are important for babies.
Eggs: Make sure you buy eggs stamped with the British Lion stamp mark. There have been improved food safety controls in recent years. So infants, children and pregnant women can now safely eat raw or lightly cooked hen eggs (as long as they have the British Lion stamp), or foods containing them.
If you have a severely weakened immune system or are on a medically supervised diet prescribed by health professionals, you should cook all eggs thoroughly. Read about the healthy way to eat eggs.
Protein foods include:
- fish (no bones)
- pulses, such as chickpeas
Pasteurised dairy foods such as pasteurised full-fat yoghurt and cheese are suitable foods for your baby from around six months.
Full-fat, unsweetened or plain yoghurts are a good choice because they don't contain added sugars. Whole pasteurised (full-fat) cows' milk, or goats' or sheep's milk, can be used in cooking or mixed with food from around six months old, but not as a drink until your baby is 12 months.
Chunky, lumpy and tasty
Your child is now ready to eat healthier meals with the rest of the family — just in smaller portions and cut up into smaller pieces.
Should I still give my baby breast milk or first infant formula?
You can continue breastfeeding for as long as you both want. As your child eats more solid foods, the amount of milk they want will decrease. Once they're 12 months old, first infant formula is not needed – toddler milk, growing up or goodnight milks are also unnecessary.
Our breastfeeding section has advice on going back to work.
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Your child will be using their cup with confidence, helping themselves to sips of water as and when they need it. If you're breastfeeding, they can carry on having breast milk for as long as you like.
Your toddler can also now drink whole cows' milk and have full-fat dairy products. Choose full fat for children under 2, as they need the extra energy. From 2 years onwards, they can have semi-skimmed milk as long as they're eating and growing well. From 5 years, 1% or skimmed milk is fine.
Sweet drinks like squash, fizzy drinks, milkshakes and fruit juice can have lots of sugar so avoid these to help prevent tooth decay – even baby and toddler drinks can be sugary.
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