One Year Old Food Schedules

April 3, 2020


Making the transition from baby to toddler at around 12 months can be full of all sorts of questions and concerns. One of the biggest ones I hear from parents is around what a one year old food schedule should look like. How do you start incorporating snacks, switching milks, getting rid of the bottle and so much more? Here’s a sample schedule for a 1 year old that will hopefully help remove some of the uncertainty!

A one year old food schedule will look different for every family

I usually don’t like to give sample schedules because what works for one family isn’t going to work for another. But I know that the transitional time going from baby to a toddler can be really tough to figure out. 

Focus on the time in between meals

When it comes down to it, the time of the day really doesn’t matter. The biggest thing that will help you to set a schedule that works for both you and your child is to think about it in terms of generally wanting to offer food every 2-3 hours.

This is obviously not set in stone and isn’t something that has to happen for all kids. But it’s a good ballpark goal to aim for. Our children’s stomachs aren’t very big, and expecting them to be able to go between mealtimes without any sort of food can be really hard for them. I’ve got an entire article on the importance of setting schedules for toddlers so be sure to take a look there if you’re looking for some more details. 

How sleep affects hunger and mealtimes

During the transitional period going from baby to toddler, kids will generally start to go from two naps to one. Sometimes this happens earlier, but the average is usually between 15-18 months for most kids. It can be hard to transition to two snacks a day if your child is still taking 2 naps, and can leave many parents feeling frustrated.

If your baby is tired, they are not as likely to have as good of an eating experience as if they are well rested. After a few times experimenting with timing, many parents discover that a nap is usually much more important than fitting in another snack. Think of that 12-18 month period as really a time of transition. You have a goal in mind to get to more snacks and eventually one nap. But every child will get there in their own time. Do your best to listen to your baby’s cues, and not feel anxious that you absolutely have to fit in a certain number of eating opportunities every day. 

A sample 12 month old feeding schedule

Again, these are just an idea for times. Think of them in terms of spacing between them more than any specific time of day. Move them up or down based on what works for your family!

One Year Old Food Schedule:

 Still Nursing & Napping Two Times a Day

7:00: Wake and nurse

8:00: Breakfast

10:00: Morning snack

10:30: Morning nap

12:30: Lunch

2:30: Afternoon snack

3:00: Nurse

3:30: Nap

5:30: Dinner

7:00: Nurse and bedtime

One Year Old Food Schedule:

 Weaned to Milk & Napping Two Times a Day

7:00: Wake up

7:30: Breakfast and milk 

10:00: Morning snack

10:30: Morning nap

12:30: Lunch and milk

2:30: Afternoon snack

3:00: Nap

5:30: Dinner and milk

7:00: Bedtime

One Year Old Food Schedule:

 Still Nursing & Taking One Nap a Day

7:00: Wake up and nurse

7:30: Breakfast

10:00: Morning snack

12:30: Lunch

1:00: Nurse

1:30: Nap

3:30: Afternoon snack

5:30: Dinner

7:00: Nurse and bedtime

One Year Old Food Schedule:

 Weaned to Milk & Napping Once a Day

7:00: Wake up

7:30: Breakfast and milk

10:00: Morning snack

12:30: Lunch and milk

1:30: Nap

3:30: Snack

5:30: Dinner and milk

7:00: Bed

The Bottom Line 

Sample feeding schedules can help give some clarity to what might work for your family. But I cannot stress enough the importance of following your baby’s cues and taking things gradually to figure out what works for them. Many babies are not interest in snacks right at 12 months. Or it takes them longer to transition away from a bottle. Whatever your specific case my be, take these are general goals and don’t stress too much if this is not exactly what your day looks like!

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One-Year-Old Food Schedule || New Ways Nutrition

About the Author

Mom. Dietitian. Food Lover. I find joy in helping others relieve the stress of meal times and feeding their children, from the first bite on!

Renae D'Andrea

  • Thanks for this. We are in the second schedule (18.5 months old—I know he would do fine with one nap, but he is still taking two and it’s working fine). For a long time, it has been very common for my son to only eat three meals and one snack, or sometimes just three meals. He doesn’t seem hungry for that extra snack, and often when I offer it, he is not interested. He is a happy, thriving, super energetic little boy, so I try not to worry about it. But no schedule I’ve seen accounts for only three meals, or just three meals and one snack. What are your thoughts?

  • Hi my baby (toddler 13 months) is a late sleeper! Hi goes to bed at 9pm and wakes up at 9. Has breakfast around 10 and sleeps two hours from 12 to 2pm. He then has lunch and a bottle at 4:30. Has dinner at 7pm. Where do I give him snacks?? Thanks for everything! I love your blog and Ig posts! You have fans from Uruguay south America!

  • Thank you so much for writing this article. It was very helpful. If 1 year old is still nursing every 3-4 hours, how do you suggest incorporating snacks? (Baby is napping twice a day) Do you suggest some Nursing sessions to be weaned. Thank you- 1st time mom

  • Thanks for some guidance Renae! I haven’t taken much notice of these types of schedules before and really try to follow my sons lead… but I’ve hit a bit of a snag and not sure what to do. He is 2y 3m and has been consistently eating a morning snack for a while (Mostly due to playgroup fruit time), but whenever he has an afternoon snack after his nap, dinner is a nightmare and he barely eats a bite. So I have not been offering an afternoon snack… in the last couple of weeks he’s saying he’s hungry of an afternoon but we still have the same problem at dinner time if he eats then. I feel awful telling him to wait for dinner if it’s still 1.5-2 hours away, so not quite sure what to do! Any advice?

  • Thank you! Perhaps you have done this elsewhere but I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old and it would be great to figure out a schedule of feeding that works for both. Both nap at same time, so that helps! Thanks

  • Great post! Although I know these aren’t set in stone, it’s nice to see a sample schedule with only 1 nap. Of course, our schedule is shifted and he sleeps later, since that’s the only way I can get work done while working from home with him not in daycare due to COVID-19.

    My son just turned 1, and his doctor said to take him off of bottles and only give milk at meal times. Being that he was getting bottles around his naptime and only drank a little bit of water at meals, he’s not wanting to drink milk (pumped breast milk) at mealtimes, and I don’t think there’s any way he can get in 16 ounces. Any tips for this transition?

  • Hi Kim! They should be alright on the same food schedule if they nap at the same time as well.

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