What to feed your weaning one year old

My daughter will be turning one year old in three weeks. I plan to wean her from formula to whole cow's milk at that point. How much milk should she be getting each day? I would like to wean her from the bottle soon, but she will be hit with major life events in the next few months (moving to another country and then moving back home three months later). What should she be eating each day? At this point, she is really only eating baby fruits, cheese, breads, cereals, and some table meats. (She only has two teeth, so table foods are difficult.) Do I increase her meals as I introduce milk/decrease formula?

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Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

At the age of one, your daughter should be getting two to three cups of milk a day, but no more than three as it will fill her up and spoil her appetite for other, just as important foods.

I think that before these events hit will be your last best opportunity to try and make the transition to milk in a cup, at least at meal time. Most likely you will need to offer her milk several times a day to be sure she gets all 16 to 24 ounces. Therefore, yes, now is the time to offer milk in a cup with meals and snacks. However, I see no reason to take away her early morning or bedtime bottles. These bottles may provide not only nutrition, but a source of comfort and security for a long time to come. I would not wait until this age to offer milk in a cup at meals. By then, the process may be much more difficult as she may be more set in her ways.

If you start to notice her eating disproportionately from one group over another, e.g. cereal and bread to the exclusion of fruits and veggies, then you will want to make some adjustments in the foods that you offer her. Expect variations from day to day in the amount of food, and the variety of foods she eats. Try hard to look at her intake over the course of a few days or a week to best determine if she is eating a balanced diet with a good variety of foods from all the food groups.

At the age of one, most baby's appetites begin to decrease as their growth rate decreases. You will want to increase food intake to compensate for less milk, but you may not notice a huge increase. All the more reason to restrict milk to no more than 2.5 to 3 cups per day. It looks as though your daughter is at least eating foods from all the food groups in the food pyramid. Doing so helps to insure that she is getting a good variety of nutrients. The base amount of food she should be getting is:

  • 2 to 3 cups of whole milk
  • 4 to 8 tablespoons of fruits and vegetables, to include one rich in vitamin C and one good source of vitamin A
  • 4 servings from the bread and cereal group, each about 1/4 to 1/3 the size of an adult serving.
  • 2 servings from the meat, poultry, egg, legume group of about 1/2 ounce each.
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