when merrick was a yr old i fed him mac and cheese casserole with different cut up veggies and a little meat (when he would want to eat meat) in it, spicy ramen noodles with different veggies, crackers, chips, pretzels, if i left the fridge door open then he would get a apple and eat the whole thing. ;D lol, the gerber graduates corn in the pouch is actually good to much on urself, dunno about the other stuff they have like that.
When my son was 1 (he's 2.5 now) he was still breastfeeding so food was really still being introduced at that point, it was more about him learning how to feed himself, since he had another source of nutrition. I never fed him baby food.
He ate grapes (always cut them in half!) whole grain cereals, frozen peas (which he still loves!) bread....some whole grain crackers... yep... that's pretty much it!
Toddlers will eat what they need to eat and their nutrition should be measured weekly, not daily. For example if they eat fruit all day Monday that's fine, as long as they eat other things during the rest of the week. And they will. As long as you don't feed them refined foods (IE sugar!) they will not get the refined foods addiction that causes them to shun other nutritious foods.
Also don't forget, peas for breakfast is OK! great even! and pancakes for dinner, that's okay too!
OH and never give kids juice!!! If you do be sure it 100% juice and water it down by at least half! Don't worry, They don't know what the full strength stuff tastes like! with the lack of fiber in processed juices you're pretty much just giving them sugar water.
Later, my son fell in love with morning star chicken nuggets, which
A) I was not happy about since it was a packaged food and
B) I don't know how this escaped me for so many months but they have egg whites in it!!!!!! GRR... (he's allergic too!!!)
anyway I just adapted Jennifer Mccann's (vegan lunchbox) recipe for baked tofu fish sticks into a "chicken nugget" he loved them from day one! I don't think he even knew the difference from the MS product. I'll post my recipe on vegweb.
and when he turned 2 (until now) he had this apple habit where he'd want from 1-4 apples a day!!! 4 was rare... but on average 2...
They weren't giving him any kind of tummyache so I just let him have them! He still ate other foods as well and there are worse things than apples and fiber. :) that lasted a few months and he's over it now. weird huh??
hope that helps...
Oh and sorry I have to mention this, but FYI Ramen Noodles have 1500 (PLUS)mg of sodium
Sodium RDA (for the whole day) for a 14 month old is 325-1000mg per day .... eeek... be careful.
when he got ramen it was when i was eating it. that was also when we were with zack and it was the only thing there. now we hardly eat it b/c i honestly dont like it that much. zack could live off it everyday.
I only used baby food for about the first month, then moved on to little pieces of things that can be easily 'gummed'. Avocado is a good one, banana, steamed pear and carrot. blueberries are great too. Now that she's skilled with those types of things I give her alot of the same food as us, without the nuts or spices. She has whole grain pasta and homemade bread. I also give her seed butters like pumpkin seed and tahini, which she would eat by the spoonful! I won't give her nuts for a long while yet. I also agree with alot of what Jennifer said. I have recently started giving her rice milk (unsweetened). She occasionally has very watered down, not from concentrate, organic apple juice. I am also still breastfeeding her. Of course, water is also an important liquid for her now.
Vive Le Vegan by Dreena Burton has a really useful food introduction chart in the back. It is also full of delicious, simple recipes.