Stage 4 Baby Food Recipes (12-15 months after birth)

By now, the child should say goodbye to breast milk or formula milk as the stage 4 of baby food. The child's three meals can be eaten together with its family. If baby food during mealtimes isn't enough, supplement with snacks. The child will be able to distinguish its preferences and will develop the habit of picking on its food. So you must take note. Dining etiquette should be taught during this final stage.

When should the Final Stage of Baby Food Start? How should Food be given?

Start 12-15 months after birth

You may let your child drink fresh milk after it turns one year old. Its three meals daily should be able to provide energy for the day's activities and nutrients for body development. That's because, besides its three meals daily, the child doesn't have other sources of nutrition it can depend on. Its three meals daily should be eaten regularly like the adults. So you should increase the quantity a little to provide adequate nutrition for the child.

By this time, we're entering the stage 4 of baby food. It's normal for the child to have its rice and dishes and be eating at the dining table together with its parents. After this, it should eat kid’s meals which are almost similar to what the adults are eating.

1/3 bowl of rice, 1-2 big spoonfuls of vegetable and 1-2 small spoonfuls of meat
stage 4

Kids older than one year old should eat three baby food meals and two snacks daily. From the daily three meals and two snacks, the child can obtain 1000 calories it needs for the day. If that is converted into food, it needs 1/3 of rice measured by an adult's bowl, ½ big spoonfuls of vegetables and two square pieces of 2.5cm meat every meal. Increase these quantities slowly. By the age of four, the child may eat four pieces of meat. A square piece of meat measuring 2.5cm is equivalent to one big spoonful of meat or half an egg.

Snack once or twice daily

If the child only eats three baby food meals daily, it'll feel hungry. Let it snack twice a day – once between breakfast and lunch and once between lunch and dinner. It's better to choose snacks which are complementary with fresh milk such as bread, potatoes, sweet potatoes and fruits. Avoid food that's too oily or high in calories. Snack quantities should also be kept small and shouldn't be too filling for the child. Otherwise, its appetite for the main meals will be affected.

What should the Child Eat?

Eat whatever the adults eat

When the child is already a 12 months old baby, it can eat the same food the adults are eating. However, condiments such as soya sauce and salt should be kept to a minimum. It's better not to add sugar. The child may be given strawberries, tomatoes, deep-sea fish and egg yolks. However, refrain from eating too much of those at one sitting and don't eat those consecutively for two meals.

The five nutrient groups should be balanced

The child's main sources of energy for its various metabolism and activities come from the carbohydrate group such as bread, rice, noodles, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Its good fats come from oily food such as fresh milk, fermented milk and cheese. In the oily food group, there are many which are rich in protein such as eggs, fresh milk and cheese.

Quality protein food group such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs and vitamins and minerals-rich food group such as vegetables and seaweed should be eaten in balanced portions as these nutrients are essential to the child's growth and development.

Vitamins help in the absorption and digestion of protein, fats and sugars as well as absorption of iron. Among minerals, there are also some which are important for the absorption of iron and calcium. Iron and calcium are mostly absorbed from meat while some vegetables are rich in iron as well. The iron in meat is easier to absorb and be made into blood.

Drink 1-2 glasses of milk daily

For a child above the age of one, you may give it 500-700c.c. of pasteurized fresh milk daily. More than 960c.c. of milk will become bad for the child. Drinking too much milk is also an expression of picking on its food. As long as it eats three square meals daily and drink 500-700c.c. of fresh milk, protein, calcium and vitamin D will be sufficient for its growing needs. Some mothers may use soy milk instead of fresh milk. If there's no special reason, replacing fresh milk with soy milk is not encouraged.

How should the Child be Fed?

Eat the rice which adults eat

By this time, the child can eat the same rice as the adults. It's enough to cook vegetables to the same softness as rice. For tougher food such as well-done beef, it's best to cut into smaller pieces and further cook them until they're soft. If it's beef chunks, shred it before giving them to the child. Even if it's been cooked till very soft, the child shouldn't be eating the whole big piece. That's because there's the danger of the big piece of beef blocking its windpipe.

For fruits which are soft and slippery such as grapes, pomelos, tangerines, strawberries and oranges, cut them into 1-1.5cm cubes before giving them to the child. As much as possible, remove the tougher pith in oranges or tangerines and just give the child the soft, sweet flesh. For fruits which are hard and crispy such as apples and pears, instead of cutting them into cubes, it's better to cut them into small sticks of about 1cm long and let the child hold them in their hands to savor slowly.

Dine with the family

By this time, the child is also eating three meals a day. So its mealtimes can be coordinated with the times which adults have theirs. However, it isn't easy to be eating with the child, so it may start eating first. After finishing its food, don't let it leave the table and play immediately. Let it remain at the table to familiarize itself with the dining atmosphere. You may cut sugar canes, potatoes, meat or fried eggs into small cubes for the child. Try to make the dining experience delightful for the child as much as possible.

Teach dining etiquette

The child should be taught dining etiquette from now on. It could still be making a mess of its food or splatter all over when it's crying and unhappy. Take the opportunity to teach the child. When it displays such unruly behavior, the mother should show a firm and prohibitive attitude to let the child know clearly that it shouldn't be behaving like this in the future. However, should the mother be verbally saying "no" but is still smiling, making it seem as if the episode is amusing rather than frustrating, the child will misunderstand that its bad behavior is good and will continue behaving as such in the future. Even if the child didn't splatter its food or make a mess, as long as it plays with its food, you should correct the behavior firmly and sternly.

The habit of running around during mealtimes should also be corrected. If the child leaves the table to watch TV halfway through its meal, you should let it clearly know that leaving the dining table means it's done with eating. If the child is still hungry, you shouldn't give it anymore food, snacks or milk. You must wait until it's time for snacks or a meal to let it know its mealtimes clearly.

The child develops the habit of picking on food

The child now knows what flavors it likes, hence, the habit of picking on its food is most severe during this period of time. When the habit is at its most serious, the child will crave for the same food at every meal. It'll kick up a fuss and lose all interest in other food. Some kids will start playing halfway through its meals when it doesn't like the food. If this happens, you should tidy up the table and put the food away. If nothing particular happens, the child will start eating other food after a few days. Observe the child for two weeks. Don't worry if it doesn't pick on its food anymore.

Skipping breakfast isn't good for the child's development

It's surprising how much calories and nutrition a child needs for its activities daily. If it needs calories but doesn't get enough food, its body will use the reserve calories and nutrition in the body for growth, affecting its basic body constitution. As the child is still growing at this time, it should be given three square meals a day. Eating a balanced diet is more effective than eating any supplements. If the child skips its breakfast, its brain activity will be hindered. The brain needs three times more energy than the heart. So if the child skips breakfast and develops an empty feeling in its stomach, the brain will be stimulated and the child will be in an unstable physical state. If it eats and its blood sugar increases, its feeding center will be stabilized. The child will also then be physically stabilized. Due to this reason, children who skip breakfast are more irritable.

General Knowledge in a Box: Take Note of the Fruits the Child Eats

Citrus fruits such as tangerines and oranges

Tangerines and oranges are difficult for the child to digest and they can easily trigger allergic reactions. So it's better to only give them to the child after nine or 12 months after birth. If possible, delay the eating of sour fruits as well.

Strawberries and tomatoes

These fruits are related to an amino acid known as histidine which causes allergic reactions. So it's better not to give them to the child too early to prevent allergies. It's better to wait till the child is one year or older before giving it strawberries and tomatoes. For children with allergies, consult a pediatrician first before giving it such fruits.


They have three to four times more fiber than other fruits. They contain substances which can help relieve constipation, so they're very good for kids suffering from constipation. It's better for children who have watery stools or diarrhea to refrain from eating peaches.


Pomelos have substances which prevent the activity of an enzyme in the small intestine and will also prevent medicine absorption. So without permission from the pediatrician, don't mix pomelos with medicine.

Eight Best Dishes by the Stage 4 of Baby Food

By this time, the child can be eating almost everything which the adults eat. When preparing the adult’s food, you may retain a portion to prepare it differently for your child. As much as possible, don't let the child develop the habit of picking on its food. Use a variety of ingredients and serve up baby food using the child's favorite bowl, cup or spoon.

Sweet and Fresh Fish Balls

Ingredients: 70g codfish meat, 1 big spoonful of egg white, 2 big spoonfuls of glutinous rice flour, a little salt, 30g onion, 20g carrot, 10g green bell pepper, 1 mushroom, 1/2 big spoonful of sugar, 1/2 big spoonful of vinegar. 1/2 small spoonful of soya sauce, 1/2 big spoonful of cornstarch

Cooking method:

1. Mince codfish meat, add egg white and salt and mix thoroughly.

2. Make the paste into round balls, coat with glutinous rice flour and steam in electric steamer for 10 minutes.

3. Slice onion, carrot, green bell pepper and mushroom. Add 200c.c. of water and bring to a boil. Add sugar, soya sauce and vinegar. Lastly, add cornstarch to thicken gravy and drizzle over fish balls.

Carrot and Tofu Steak

Ingredients: 50g tofu, 20g black mushrooms, 10g carrot, 2g onion, 5g green bell pepper. 1/2 small spoonful butter, 3 big spoonfuls beef stock and 1 small spoonful oil

Cooking method:

1. Cut tofu into cubes of 2cm each. Blanch mushrooms and then finely cut.

2. Dice onion, carrot and green bell pepper.

3. Heat pan and let an adequate amount of butter melt. Add onion, carrot, green bell pepper and black mushrooms in this order. Stir and add beef stock. Bring gravy to a boil.

4. Fry tofu until both sides turn a little golden brown. Serve on a plate and drizzle gravy.

Potato and Cheese

Ingredients: 1 potato, 20g fresh prawns, 10g broccoli, 1/2 slice cheese, 1/2 small spoonful butter, white sauce (1 big spoonful flour, 1/2 small spoonful butter, 100c.c. beef stock

Cooking method:

1. Cook prawns and dice. Blanch broccoli, dice and stir-fry quickly with 1/2 small spoonful of butter.

2. Heat pan and add 1/2 small spoonful of butter. Add flour and fry until yellow. Add beef stock and slowly simmer until it becomes 50c.c. of white sauce.

3. Steam potato, hollow center and pour in white sauce and add #1. Top with cheese. Microwave in medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

Spaghetti with Peas and Butter

Ingredients: 2 big spoonfuls of peas, 30g spaghetti and a little salt

Peas and butter sauce: 1 big spoon flour, 1 small spoon butter, 100c.c. milk, 100c.c. pea’s water and a little salt

Cooking method:

1. Cook peas then add 100c.c of water. Mash peas and sieve to retain peas water.

2. Put 1 drop of oil in boiling water, cook spaghetti and then drain.

3. Melt butter in pan, add flour and stir-fry until fragrant.

4. Add pea’s water and milk into pot. Add salt and simmer until gravy thickens.

5. Put spaghetti on plate and drizzle gravy on top.

Vegetable Dumplings

Dumpling skin: 20g spinach, 2 big spoonfuls of water, 200c.c. flour
Fillings for dumpling: 30g tofu, 20g beef, 10g carrot, 20g chives, 2 big spoonfuls of beaten egg, a little salt and sesame oil

Cooking method:

1. Dice spinach, add water and flour and stir evenly to prepare for making dumpling skin.

2. Mash tofu. Dice carrot and beef, add chives and mix thoroughly.

3. Put #2 in a bowl, add egg, salt and sesame oil. Blend well to make into fillings for dumpling.

4. Wrap fillings with dumpling skin and make into a dumpling shape.

5. Add 150c.c. of water into electric steamer and steam dumpling until cooked.

Fresh Fish Soup

Ingredients: 60g fresh fish, 30g turnip, 30g carrot, 1/8 piece tofu, 1 stalk scallion, 200c.c. stock

Cooking method:

1. Cut fish into 4cm strips. Slice carrot into 0.2cm thickness.

2. Dice tofu. Cut scallion into small sections.

3. Pour adequate stock into pot and bring to boil. Add turnip and fish according to this order. Then add tofu and scallion and bring to boil.

Beef and Turnip Soup

Ingredients: 50g beef, 50g white turnip, some leeks, 2 big spoonfuls of sesame oil and 1/2 small spoonful oyster sauce

Cooking method:

1. Remove turnip skin and slice turnip thinly.

2. Heat sesame oil in pan and stir-fry minced beef.

3. When beef is half-cooked, add turnip and stir-fry together.

4. Add 400c.c. of water into #3 and braise. When it's boiling, skim away bubbles on the surface.

5. Switch to low heat and add leeks and oyster sauce. Continue to cook for another 20 seconds.

Marinated Kelp and Chicken

Ingredients: 403g chicken breast meat, 20g carrot, 30g white turnip, a little salt and pepper
Marinate: 1/2 big spoonful soya sauce, 1/2 small spoonful sugar, 1/2 small spoonful apple juice, 40c.c. stock

Cooking method:

1. Cut chicken meat into small pieces and marinate with a little salt and pepper. Then stir-fry it a little.

2. Cut carrot and white turnip into bite-sized pieces and cook until soft.

3. Cut apple and extract juice. Then mix with an adequate amount of marinate.

4. Mix chicken meat, carrot, white turnip together with #3. Cook until soft.

Those are the information and some recipes that you can use for the stage 4 of baby around 12 to 15 months after birth.

Sandra Henderson

Editor-in-chief at Babiology and a proud mother of four passionate about sharing pregnancy and baby growth knowledges

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments