7 Healthy Foods to Introduce at 12 Months

This post is a continuation of the Solids Feeding Schedules I wrote up until my daughter, Bella, was a year old. Now she is a budding 13 month old and is moving up in the world of food. That doesn’t mean, though, that I give her only table food and let her figure out food on her own. I continue to introduce new foods to her on a regular basis. I also am reintroducing foods to her that she hasn’t tasted in a few months.

Pssst! You can see all my homemade baby food posts right here.

One of the greatest ways to school your child in food is to rotate foods or offer a variety. If your child tried something in the past and didn’t care for it, offer it again a few days or weeks later. It will take your child a good 8-10 tastes before he really knows if he likes it.

Once your baby turns 1 year old, he can eat almost any food you can think of. Here are 7 foods I introduced to my 12 month old and 6 foods that I reintroduced. It's so important to give little ones a variety!© mninni / Dollar Photo Club

SAMPLE FOOD INTRODUCTION SCHEDULE FOR A 12 MONTH OLD

Here is what my baby’s month looked like with new and reintroduced foods. Of course she ate a lot of other foods as well, but the reintroduced foods are ones that she hasn’t eaten in a couple weeks or months.

Day 1 No New Food
Days 2-4 Leeks
Days 5-7 Mozzarella cheese
Day 6 Zucchini (reintroduce)
Days 8-9 No New Food
Days 10-12 Pasta
Days 13-15 Peanut butter
Day 16 Blueberries (reintroduce)
Day 17 No New Food
Days 18-20 Corn
Day 19 Beef (reintroduce)
Day 21 Cranberries (Reintroduce)
Days 22-24 Honey
Day 25 Cabbage (reintroduce)
Day 26 No New Food
Day 27 Cauliflower (reintroduce)
Day 28 No New Food
Days 29-31 Strawberries

I am keeping the momentum going by scheduling out the foods that I want to introduce and reintroduce to my daughter. Without this schedule, I would be lost and end up offering her the same foods over and over again. My toddler has benefited from this introduction schedule as well so she can taste food again that she tried months ago or even more than a year ago.

INDIVIDUAL FOODS

It’s easy to write down what foods you will introduce and when. The hard part is coming up with how you will prepare them. I like to offer the new food by itself for the first day or two, but this doesn’t always happen. It’s discouraging to offer broccoli or peas, for example, only for your child to throw the food over the side of her highchair tray and onto the floor. It is much better to make a meal out of the specific food you want to introduce and make it taste good so that she will eat it. I really don’t have a problem with this since I wouldn’t eat those foods on their own either. I’m not going to nibble on lettuce or chomp down on an onion unless both have been properly cooked, seasoned, or dressed up.

Now I will go over each food that I had on our feeding plan this month. For each food, I will outline the following: 1) The recipe or how I prepared it, 2) Other ideas for making this food for your child or using up the ingredient for the family, and 3) Any other pertinent information about the ingredient, such as when it is in season (in the US) or what other foods it pairs well with. I will also tell you the earliest age you should introduce it to your baby since many of these foods should only be introduced near the one year mark or later.

LEEKS

Once your baby turns 1 year old, he can eat almost any food you can think of. Here are 7 foods I introduced to my 12 month old and 6 foods that I reintroduced. It's so important to give little ones a variety!Recipe/Preparation: I made a soup for Bella out of leeks that was inspired by this Potato Leek Soup  from Once Upon a Chef. I left out the butter, bay leaves, heavy cream, and chives.
Other ideas: This Chicken, Leek, Potato Puree sounds like a great one to follow for baby.
Other information: The French feed their babies leeks as a first food (very interesting read if you have some time). Leeks are in season from October to May, but you can normally buy them any time of the year. If you want to be a little creative with your leeks, try them with foods that they pair well with, including: thyme, sage, carrots, and bacon.

MOZZARELLA CHEESE

Once your baby turns 1 year old, he can eat almost any food you can think of. Here are 7 foods I introduced to my 12 month old and 6 foods that I reintroduced. It's so important to give little ones a variety!Recipe/Preparation: Spinach and Zucchini Quiche from Weelicious
Other ideas: Dice into small pieces as a finger food. Use whatever is left to make homemade pizza, lasagna, or quesadillas.
Other information: The timeline for when you should introduce cheese to your baby varies around the world. The recommended age here in the US is about 8 months. In the UK, on the other hand, cheese is introduced as early as 6 months. I waited until 12 months for no real reason. The cheese that you should be really careful with are “soft” cheeses, but even in France (and probably other parts of the world) children are safely introduced to soft cheese before a year old. Mozzarella pairs well with tomatoes and sweet peppers.

PASTA

Once your baby turns 1 year old, he can eat almost any food you can think of. Here are 7 foods I introduced to my 12 month old and 6 foods that I reintroduced. It's so important to give little ones a variety!Recipe/Preparation: I made Orzo pasta to introduce to Bella. I feel like this pasta variety is small enough that it can be easily ingested. However, since my baby has few teeth, I doubt that she chewed it, which didn’t help with her digestion much.
Other ideas: Top pasta with sauce or mix into soup to thicken. You could even add it to a pureed vegetable or fruit. Add some well-diced meat if desired.
Other information: A safe age to introduce pasta is 8 months old.

PEANUT BUTTER

Once your baby turns 1 year old, he can eat almost any food you can think of. Here are 7 foods I introduced to my 12 month old and 6 foods that I reintroduced. It's so important to give little ones a variety!Recipe/Preparation: I just put some peanut butter on crackers and made sure the crackers were in small enough pieces for her to enjoy without choking.
Other ideas: PB & J Sammies, Banana with some PB, PB & J Yogurt Swirl from Weelicious
Other information: The recommended age to introduce PB is after a year since it’s a high allergen food.

CORN

Once your baby turns 1 year old, he can eat almost any food you can think of. Here are 7 foods I introduced to my 12 month old and 6 foods that I reintroduced. It's so important to give little ones a variety!Recipe/Preparation: I mixed some corn with yams, potatoes, lentils, beef, and garbanzo beans. It was a real hit!
Other ideas: Corn chowder
Other information: Corn is in season during the summer. You can pair corn with chicken, apples, rice, and summer squash. Corn is another food that you should wait to introduce until after the year mark.

HONEY

Once your baby turns 1 year old, he can eat almost any food you can think of. Here are 7 foods I introduced to my 12 month old and 6 foods that I reintroduced. It's so important to give little ones a variety!Recipe/Preparation: PB & Honey on crackers
Other ideas: Drizzle a small amount of honey on oatmeal or bread
Other information: Honey is not safe to introduce before 12 months.

STRAWBERRIES

Once your baby turns 1 year old, he can eat almost any food you can think of. Here are 7 foods I introduced to my 12 month old and 6 foods that I reintroduced. It's so important to give little ones a variety!Recipe/Preparation: Since strawberries aren’t in season, I got out some frozen ones and cooked them down until I could cut them into small pieces. I prepared a fruit salad with bananas, oranges, peaches, apples, and blueberries.
Other ideas: Serve strawberries in a smoothie, mixed with other fruit in oatmeal, or stirred into some yogurt.
Other information: Strawberries are best from the end of April until August. The rest of the year, you can use frozen strawberries for baby. The recommended age to introduce strawberries is after the baby turns one.

Reintroduced Foods

ZUCCHINI

Once your baby turns 1 year old, he can eat almost any food you can think of. Here are 7 foods I introduced to my 12 month old and 6 foods that I reintroduced. It's so important to give little ones a variety!Recipe/Preparation: Spinach and Zucchini Quiche from Weelicious
Other ideas: Add to pasta with a small amount of cheese
Other information: Introduce zucchini around 8 months old. Peas, beef, and carrots go well with zucchini.

BLUEBERRIES

Once your baby turns 1 year old, he can eat almost any food you can think of. Here are 7 foods I introduced to my 12 month old and 6 foods that I reintroduced. It's so important to give little ones a variety!Recipe/Preparation: I put some frozen blueberries in a saucepan with a small amount of water. I cooked them down a bit, and then I mashed them with some applesauce and yogurt. She was delighted!
Other ideas: Make a fruit salad with blueberries, apples, oranges, bananas, and peaches. Cut them in half and let baby eat them by hand. Make a smoothie with some blueberries in it. Add to oatmeal. I have a ton more ideas for blueberries in THIS post.
Other information: Blueberries are best fresh from May until October, and the rest of the year you can use frozen blueberries. They can be introduced as early as 8 months old. If you give blueberries to your baby any earlier, they should be cooked and pureed. Blueberries pair well with pears and yogurt.

BEEF

Once your baby turns 1 year old, he can eat almost any food you can think of. Here are 7 foods I introduced to my 12 month old and 6 foods that I reintroduced. It's so important to give little ones a variety!Recipe/Preparation: I cut some beef into thin strips and sautéed them. Then right before giving them to Bella, I cut the beef into even smaller pieces.
Other ideas: Meatballs
Other information: Beef is normally introduced around 8 months of age, but in some countries it is one of the first foods. Serve beef with broccoli, sweet potato, or barley.

CRANBERRIES

Once your baby turns 1 year old, he can eat almost any food you can think of. Here are 7 foods I introduced to my 12 month old and 6 foods that I reintroduced. It's so important to give little ones a variety!Recipe/Preparation: I had some cubes of cranberries left in the freezer from Thanksgiving time, so I didn’t prepare it any different from the first time.
Other ideas: Mix cooked cranberries with oatmeal, applesauce, or yogurt.
Other information: You can buy cranberries in the Fall.  Introduce cranberries to your little one as early as 8 months.  Don’t serve cranberries raw. They should be cooked before offering them to your baby. Cranberries pair well with mangoes, pork, and melon.

CABBAGE

Once your baby turns 1 year old, he can eat almost any food you can think of. Here are 7 foods I introduced to my 12 month old and 6 foods that I reintroduced. It's so important to give little ones a variety!Recipe/Preparation: I boiled the cabbage and gave it to Bella in small pieces. It can be a choking hazard, so be sure to watch your baby as he eats.
Other ideas: Mix cooked cabbage with carrots or apples.
Other information: The best time to eat cabbage is around November until April. You can introduce it as early as 6 or 7 months, but do know that it can make your baby gassy. Cabbage is great with apples and meat.

CAULIFLOWER

Once your baby turns 1 year old, he can eat almost any food you can think of. Here are 7 foods I introduced to my 12 month old and 6 foods that I reintroduced. It's so important to give little ones a variety!Recipe/Preparation: I steamed some cauliflower and cut it into small pieces as a finger food for Bella. I put a little butter and a pinch of salt on it, and she loved it.
Other ideas: We also tried some cauliflower in place of the pasta in homemade Mac and Cheese. Cauliflower soup is another yummy meal. This Chicken, Corn, and Cauliflower puree from Weelicious looks good for baby.
Other information: You can buy cauliflower any time of the year, but it will be the best during Fall when it’s in season.  Introduce cauliflower between 8-10 months. Cauliflower goes well with peas, lentils, and chicken.

Whew! That was a lot of information, but I really hope it’s helpful.

The 13 Month Old Feeding Plan

The new foods I plan to introduce to Bella this month are:

  • Mushrooms
  • Papaya
  • Eggplant
  • Asparagus
  • Turnips

These are the foods I plan to reintroduce to her:

  • Peas
  • Parsnips
  • Plums or prunes
  • Barley
  • Rutabaga
  • Green beans

I’m starting to run out of ideas for foods I should introduce! Surely there are a lot more, so I’ll just have to keep searching for ideas.

I am not a dietitian or a doctor. This is how I feed my babies, and I am providing this information for those interested in doing something similar. Make sure you talk to your pediatrician before you start feeding your baby solid foods.

Charlee

I'm a mom of 3 on a journey to feed my family healthy-er food. Personally, I believe that you can feed your family healthy, delicious meals without spending a fortune or slaving away in the kitchen.

Comments

  1. Mama instincts says:

    Oh wow! This is great. I just randomly gave my daughter foods and never followed a schedule. Haha! But we’ve never had allergies in our families.
    It’s so interesting about the french giving leaks as a first food. I love them in soups and with fish.

    • I was pretty much the same way with my first! We don’t really have allergies either, but I just wanted to play it safe and also make sure I am always giving her a variety of foods. I’ve only ever tried leeks in soup, but now I want to try them with fish. Sounds good!

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