1 Year Old Feeding Schedule

Published by Mama Knows Nutrition on

1 Year Old Feeding Schedule

Transitioning away from bottles and boobs can be such a confusing time. How do you get rid of the bottle? When do you get rid of the bottle? Do they need to eat more when you cut down on nursing or bottles? What should their daily schedule look like?! It brings up so many questions! Since most of my clients are parents of kids in the toddler age range, I’ve helped tons of families establish a new 1 year old feeding schedule. 

This post has all the information I’d share with my clients, including sample feeding schedules and toddler-friendly meal ideas. I hope it helps you navigate this change with way more confidence (and way less doubt)!

Nervous? You’re not alone.

This feeding transition can be really nerve wracking for parents, and it’s because we go from being able to clearly quantify our baby’s food intake (how many ounces, how many nursing sessions, and how long sessions last), to having them eat mostly meals, which is so different. It makes a lot of parents worry about whether or not their little ones are getting enough to eat, and this makes sense. How can you know if they’ve eaten enough when what feels like half of their food ends up on the floor! And, if they refuse a meal, are they just not hungry or do they not like it? Should you give them something else?

It’s as big of a change for you as it is for them, and it can feel overwhelming. But know that you’re not alone in feeling this way, and that it’s not an insurmountable thing. My hope is that this post gives you the background knowledge you need to trust the process a little more– because everything will turn out okay (scout’s honor!).

Confused? I can help.

As a dietitian, I have a deep understanding of toddlers’ nutritional needs. In fact, my knowledge, training, and experience with feeding goes far beyond even what most pediatricians know. Very few pediatricians have up to date, robust nutrition knowledge.

As a result, lots of parents have come to me so confused by what their pediatrician recommended regarding nutrition for their one year old. Some doctors encourage measuring out toddler portion sizes, counting calories, cutting down on carbs, going low fat, or relying on protein shakes or supplements for them, which is just not ideal.

Of course, this doesn’t make them bad doctors by any means– they just have a million other medical things they need to know, so nutrition isn’t given priority in their education. And, some pediatricians really prioritize nutrition and know a lot. But ultimately, if in doubt, it’s best to get a second opinion from a dietitian (even on nutrition recommendations that come from your child’s pediatrician). 

Milk For 1 Year Olds

Once your child turns 1, if they’re drinking cow’s milk, make sure to keep it to 16-20 oz per day. Any more than that can prevent them from getting a good variety of nutrition (because it fills them up), and can increase chances that you’ll see picky eating behaviors. It can even lead to iron deficiency.

I recommend dropping bottles completely between 12 and 15 months. Instead, have them drink milk in a cup with meals. This way, we’re placing the emphasis on table foods, which is developmentally appropriate once they turn one (as long as they don’t have any significant developmental or feeding delays).

More reasons to wean your child from bottles are to prevent:

  • Tooth decay
  • Possible speech and oral motor development problems
  • Drinking more milk than they need (they drink much faster from a bottle than from a cup!)

The Best Cups for One Year Olds

When you’re ready to switch your one year old from a bottle to a cup, it’s ideal to practice with a water cup at meals, right from the time they start solids. Now, if you haven’t done that yet, don’t worry! It’s never too late to start.

1 Year Old Feeding Schedule

Use an open cup, a 360 cup, or a straw cup at meals. These types of cups are preferred by dentists, pediatricians, OTs, and SLPs. and me! My favorite cups are available in my Amazon shop. You can use them for water or milk.

If you’d like a little how-to tutorial on teaching your babe to drink from a straw, just press play on the video below.

How To Feed a One Year Old

Your 12-month-old should be feeding themselves vs. you feeding them. And, they can be eating most of the same foods that you’re eating. Just make sure they’re practicing with utensils! I really like Grabease Utensils and Bumkins Silicone Chewtensils for a one year old.

1 Year Old Feeding Schedule

Utensil Tip: If your child has a hard time using them, guide them with hand-over-hand. Put their hand around the utensil first, then put your hand on top of theirs. Move their hand to pick up the food with the utensil and guide it to their mouth. It’s great to get in the habit of practicing a little at each meal, and it’s totally okay if they get tired or frustrated with the utensil and switch to using their hands.

Once they’ve mastered the hand-over-hand style, you can step it up by preloading their utensil for them, and letting them guide it to their mouth without your help.

1 Year Old Feeding Schedule

How Much Food To Give a 1 Year Old

The best way to approach “how much” is to use starter portions. This post on starter portions explains exactly how much to offer them, how to know when they need more, and how to know when they are done. This video on portion sizes for our 1 year olds should help, too.

Sample 1 Year Old Feeding Schedules

Now that we’re on the same page with weaning bottles, working towards self-feeding, and sorting out portions, let’s get into the feeding schedules! These are a few examples to help you wrap your head around what a day in the life looks like on a one year old feeding schedule.

For all: Remember to limit cow’s milk (or non-dairy milk alternatives) to 16-20 oz. If you’re breastfeeding, you do not need to limit your nursing (unless you and/or baby are ready to drop sessions).

1 Year Old Feeding Schedule: 2 Naps, Nursing

6:30/7a Wake upNurse
7:30a BREAKFASTCup with water
9:30a SNACK
10a – 11a Nap
12p LUNCH
2:30p SNACKCan replace snack with pre-nap nursing
3p – 4p Nap
5:30p DINNER
7/7:30p BedtimeNurse

1 Year Old Feeding Schedule: 2 Naps, No Nursing

6:30/7a Wake up
7a BREAKFASTMilk or water in cup with meal
9:30a SNACK
10a – 11a Nap
12p LUNCHMilk or water in cup with meal
2:30p SNACK
3p – 4p Nap
5:30p DINNERMilk or water in cup with meal
7/7:30p Bedtime

1 Year Old Feeding Schedule: 1 Nap, Nursing

6:30/7a Wake upOptional nursing
7:15a BREAKFASTMilk or water in cup with meal
9:30a SNACK
11:30a LUNCHMilk or water in cup with meal
12p-2p NapOptional pre-nap nursing
2:30p SNACK
5:30p DINNERMilk or water in cup with meal
6:30/7p BedtimeOptional nursing

1 Year Old Feeding Schedule: 1 Nap, No Nursing

6:30/7a Wake up
7a BREAKFASTMilk or water in cup with meal
9:30a SNACK
11:30a LUNCHMilk or water in cup with meal
12p-2p Nap
2:30p SNACK
5:30p DINNERMilk or water in cup with meal
6:30/7p Bedtime

What To Feed A 1 Year Old

A one year old, you really want to let go of any baby food in your child’s diet, replacing it with family food. As long as you’re vigilant about preventing choking with appropriate textures (nothing too hard, crunchy, or chewy), your little one can start to eat a lot of the same foods you do! 

My post on food groups for toddlers goes into detail on what to make sure you are feeding your toddler.

Toddler Meal Ideas

Here are some ideas from my Instagram feed:

Note that the times listed on these images vary slightly from the suggestions I gave above, and that’s okay. It’s going to look a little different for each family, depending on waking and bedtimes.

1 Year Old Feeding Schedule

Breakfast: A slice of French toast using Dave’s Killer Bread White Bread Done Right (dipped in batter of egg, whole milk, and cinnamon) cooked in butter, and apple sliced thin (the pieces look kind of big here, but I just didn’t separate them all for the photo).

Morning Snack: Raisins and Hippeas. Small raisins are ok for toddlers (read: not a choking hazard).

Lunch: Canned salmon mixed with Sir Kensington’s mayo, 1 tbsp of Greek yogurt, and 1 tsp dijon mustard, with Triscuits. Triscuit Thin Crisps (not pictured) are easiest for a 1 year old to manage.

Afternoon Snack: Thinly-sliced carrots with ranch dressing (I like to mix Ranch with Greek yogurt for my kids, for a little added nutrition).

Dinner: Crockpot pot roast, mashed potatoes (made with milk and butter), whole grain bread, and some plain spinach from my salad.

1 Year Old Feeding Schedule

Breakfast: A random, leftover piece of Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars I made, a Kidfresh waffle, and a blueberry banana smoothie.

Morning Snack: Orange (peeled and sliced).

Lunch at Daycare: Half of a mild cheddar cheese sandwich, raspberries, and broccoli (you can steam or roast broccoli if they can’t chew it raw yet).

Afternoon Snack: Raisins and crackers (these are Simple Mills). You can dip crackers in milk if they are too crunchy for your 1 year old)

Dinner: Homemade pizza and peas.

Need more healthy meal and snack ideas for babies?

My “No Sugar, Still Sweet” Ebook is packed full of recipes that have zero-added sugar. They’re sweetened with fruit alone, and they’re fully approved by toddlers (and me!). Your family will love them!

No Sugar Added Recipes for Toddlers
Categories: Baby

13 Comments

Catherine · July 1, 2020 at 1:28 pm

How can I slice carrots for my one year old? He doesn’t seem to like them much, same with most raw veggies. I imagine they are hard to chew since he only has his front four teeth. We’ve always done blw but raw veggies have always been spit out.

    Kacie Barnes · July 1, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Hey, have you tried grating them? That’s a good place to start!

Nikki · July 2, 2020 at 10:56 pm

Thank you for this info! Can I give my one year old a sandwich with bread that isn’t toasted or cut up into smaller pieces? She has two top teeth and two bottom…we did blw and she is a great chewer.. just not sure if we still need to lightly toast the bread for her? Also do you give the triscuit crackers whole? Thanks again!

    Mama Knows Nutrition · July 3, 2020 at 9:13 am

    Hey, you don’t have to toast the bread for her 🙂 and she can take bites, it’s good for them to learn how to take bites frmo a larger piece of something. The triscuit thin crisps are much easier to chew, or if you do the regular ones you can break them in half if you want, or can dip them in milk (think like cookies in milk) to soften a little.

Courtney · July 3, 2020 at 8:37 am

I’m still a little confused about milk if you’re nursing. In the first example with 2 naps it says water with meals and nursing (so no milk in this example). In the example with 1 nap it says water or milk plus nursing. So if you’re nursing, should they still get cows milk with meals or only water?

    Mama Knows Nutrition · July 3, 2020 at 9:12 am

    Hey, if they are nursing 3-4x a day or more, then no cows milk (or milk alternative) is necessary. If they are only nursing 1 or 2 times, then they can have milk with meals.

      Courtney · July 4, 2020 at 11:25 am

      Thanks!!

Karol Copeland · July 5, 2020 at 11:34 am

I need help getting rid of a bottle for 2 year old. She drinks from a cup but will refuse milk from a cup

Sarah · July 14, 2020 at 10:08 pm

We’re in the (slow) process of transitioning from formula to milk (slowly increasing ratio of milk to formula across all bottles), then we’ll get rid of bottles altogether. We offer a 360 miracle cup of milk with each meal, but my son doesn’t drink a lot from it. Any advice/tips?

Sarah · July 15, 2020 at 8:20 pm

*I should say, I’m worried about getting rid of the bottles if he doesn’t drink enough milk during meals

Mama Knows Nutrition · July 16, 2020 at 9:59 am

Hey, sorry I thought I responded to this but I guess it didn’t post! That is totally okay and very common for toddlers to not drink much from a cup when they still have a bottle in the routine, and even for a few weeks after bottles are gone. Serve other calcium rich foods like yogurt or cheese if he likes those, and keep offering milk in a cup. Usually they come around to it within a few weeks 🙂 and he will be okay in the meantime!

Sarah · July 16, 2020 at 10:49 am

Thanks, Kacie! Good (and relieving) to know. I will say, he caught onto drinking from a cup VERY quickly–I followed your cup-drinking video–Thanks for posting gems like that, super helpful!

Slight follow up: When we get rid of the bedtime bottle (I plan to slowly decrease the amount he gets across several days), how do we do so with minimal disruption to his sleep—it’s a big transition, so I anticipate some hiccups, but I want to try to prevent him waking earlier in the morning because he’s hungry. He’s generally a good eater throughout the day. Dinner can be hit or miss in terms of the amount he consumes. Thanks so much for your help!

Mama Knows Nutrition · July 16, 2020 at 3:55 pm

It depends how much time is in between dinner and bed. If it’s less than 2 hours (like dinner is at 5/5:30 and bed is at 7) then a bedtime snack is typically not needed. And I would tell him at dinnertime that this is the last time to eat or drink today (besides water) so to make sure his belly is full and happy. He should do totally fine overnight. If he wakes up earlier than usual in the morning, I’d try to keep him in the crib until the time you normally get him up, and avoid giving him milk right when he gets up (that can perpetuate early morning wakings).

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