Play Foods for a 1-Year-Old Toddler

by Elizabeth Arnold

For once, encourage your toddler to play with his food. Playing with food will help your 1-year-old develop his motor skills and senses. Introduce your child to new tastes and textures by placing food items in front of him and allowing him to use his imagination while playing. Make sure he isn't allergic to any of the foods, and choose items that are safe for toddlers to eat. Avoid giving him foods, such as grapes and raisins, that can become choking hazards.

Cookie Dough

Make your favorite sugar cookie dough or buy it premade for convenience. Roll the dough out on a floured surface.

Allow the toddler to press cookie cutters into the dough to create whimsical shapes, such as hearts, stars, cats, or holiday-inspired designs, such as reindeer and Christmas trees.

Encourage your toddler to decorate the cookies. Sprinkle decorators' sugar over the cookies to add color and create shine. Create animal faces by pressing candies into the dough.

Bake the cookies according to recipe directions and allow the toddler to eat his creation.

Pudding Paint

Make chocolate or vanilla pudding or buy a premade version.

Add food coloring to vanilla pudding until you reach the desired hue, such as bold red or light blue.

Place a piece of white construction paper in front of the toddler. Help him to use his fingers to make designs on the paper with the pudding.

Food Faces

Help toddlers spread peanut butter or cream cheese onto a piece of bread or a pita.

Cut toddler-friendly food items, such as bananas, soft cheese and tomatoes into bite-size pieces.

Encourage your child to create a face on the front of the bread using the cut food items; for example, use cheese as a nose and eyes, and tomatoes as a mouth.

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Items you will need

  • Cookie dough
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutters
  • Cookie decorations
  • Pudding
  • Food coloring
  • White construction paper
  • Sliced bread or pita bread
  • Peanut butter or cream cheese
  • Toddler-friendly foods, such as bananas and soft cheese

About the Author

Elizabeth Arnold has written for a wide variety of publications and websites. Her experience includes writing travel features for "Recommend" magazine and packaging marketing copy for both Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros. consumer products. Recently, Arnold was a staff writer for "Special Events" magazine. Arnold studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images