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Simple biscuits and milk along with some random food items won’t be the favourite snacks for the 18-month-old toddler in your home anymore. He is growing up, and so are his tastes and preferences. Therefore, a little variety in his meal plan can go a long way in ensuring he meets his nutritional requirements as well as looks forward to his food once again.
Nutrient Requirements for 18 Months Old Child
While putting together some awesome lunch ideas to hook your 18-month-old on to, here the nutrients that need to be in them.
- Iron: The importance of iron-rich foods in your child’s diet keeps getting important throughout his growing years. It is necessary to ensure that your kid keeps getting items like broccoli and spinach regularly in his meals.
- Fats: Your kid’s appetite would not be as high as it used to be earlier. Hence, it is important to ensure he gets the right amount of fat on a daily basis. A couple of servings of butter along with coconut or fat-rich fruits is a good way to make that happen.
- Whole Grains: The benefit of consuming whole grain food items is not instantly visible but takes place internally over time. Even simple habits such as using whole grain bread instead of white can bring about an improvement in your child’s health.
- Meat Products: With his growing age, your child might begin to prefer meat, as well as his digestive system, will get stronger. Nevertheless, a controlled amount of meat intake, along with eggs, is a good way to meet his protein requirements.
- Legumes: Some families might tend to use leguminous foods in their veggie preparations regularly while others might go for nuts once in a while. If your child is allergic to nuts, you could try using peas as well as flaxseeds or hemp for him.
- Dairy Products: Milk continues to be a major foundational element in the growth of kids during the early years. While whole cream milk is highly recommended, supplementary products such as cottage cheese, can provide health benefits, too.
- Vegetables: Parents may be at their wits end in figuring out how a variety could be maintained in vegetables in the longer run. Keeping a balance of leafy vegetables with raw salads, you can mix and match preparations to satisfy your kid’s nutritional requirements.
- Fruits: Including fresh fruits with your kid’s breakfast is a great way to make sure his body appropriately gets the necessary nutrition. Don’t refrain from giving dry fruits as well, since they have a whole other constitution that can benefit your kid.
How Much Food Does Toddler Need at 18th Month?
The quantity of food a toddler eats around this age is comparatively less than what he would have been earlier. Therefore, it is necessary to match a calorie intake of about 1.2 kilocalories than looking at a quantity of food.
Best Foods for Eighteen-Month-Old Baby
Figuring out the right food items for your little toddler might present some obstacles, as your dinner ideas might not fit well with his requirements. Here are some foods you can include in the meal plans.
If your child is still on breastmilk, it would be great if you can alternate it with a little full milk once in a while. Apart from the nutritional benefit, it is necessary to teach your kid to start drinking milk as well as water from a cup instead of a bottle.
It is best to keep away from juicing the fruits or pureeing them since it robs your kids of the fibrous benefits they provide. Mix up different fruits to keep a balance of tastes.
Various recipes can make even the hated vegetables pretty interesting to eat along. Using coloured vegetables as raw alternatives in small pieces can be easy finger food, too.
4. Meat and Nuts
While this combination might seem weird, pairing both these foods together packs quite a ‘protein’ punch! Supplement portions of chicken or fish with soy chunks, sprouted beans, cashews, and so on. You don’t have to do this every day; having this combination every alternate day of the week should still provide you with the benefits you’re looking for. However, discontinue having portions of meat and nuts together if you notice any signs of a food allergy.
Avoid choosing white bread for your kid as much as you can. Whole wheat bread should be your go-to option for any sandwiches you make. To meet the grain requirement, you can even go with dry cereal or crackers instead of bread.
When making sandwiches, make sure you butter the bread lavishly for your child. Even when preparing meals you can use a good dollop of ghee to go along with it. These tiny measures will ensure a good fat intake by your child and keep him healthy.
Most of the processed and refined sugar in the market don’t pose any direct, using jaggery instead as a sweetener comes as a recommendation from the old ages. Not only is this more natural and healthy, but the sweetness is quite controlled as well.
Even if your child is consuming milk daily, supplementary dairy products are necessary to go along with it. Different varieties of cheese along with yoghurt provide probiotics and other nutrients that simple whole milk may not always do.
9. Salad Mixes
Use raw salads or other vegetables in a tasty salad or in a baked recipe to entice them and keep their diet plan going.
Before you even think that your kid has enough water, it is important to note that juices and liquid foods are not an equivalent for drinking plain good water. There are chances of your kid suffering from digestive issues and health problems if his water intake is not up to the mark.
18 Month Old Baby Food Chart / Meal Plan
A food chart that establishes some general meals for each week can assist you in creating your own.
|Monday||Cheddar Cheese and tomato sandwich||Banana pieces||Chicken Shawarma wrap with hummus||Glass of milk||Pasta Bolognese|
|Tuesday||French Toast with blueberries and strawberries||Orange chunks||Peas and cauliflower with rice||Glass of milk with almonds||Eggs on toast|
|Wednesday||Peanut butter and jam sandwich||Guava bites||Lentil and rice Koshari with boiled pasta||Orange smoothie||Greek Salad with feta cheese and crackers|
|Thursday||Oats porridge with apple pieces||Kiwi chunks||Spagetti with meatballs||Hummus and bread sticks||French Toast|
|Friday||Pancakes and milkshake||Strawberry chunks||Steamed fish and veggies with brown rice||Mini pizza||Cottage cheese sandwich|
|Saturday||Banana Waffles||Watermelon pieces||Creamy mushroom chicken with rice||Berry Milkshake||Broccoli and cheese baked in the oven|
|Sunday||Egg and cheese sandwich||Papaya chunks||Spinach & cheese quiche||Glass of milk with almonds||Banana and Berry pancake|
Your kid should also have at least half a glass of milk every day.
Food Recipes for 18 Months old Baby
Coming up with new breakfast ideas or novel plans for dinner can be made easier if you have a few recipes at your disposal that you can get started with right away.
1. Soya Cutlets
Bring together the goodness of soya chunks with the tasty preparation of cutlets made from it.
- Mixed spices
- Boiled and mashed potatoes
- Soya bean and lentil paste
How To Prepare
- Use a large bowl and mix the soy paste, potatoes, spices, coriander and some salt. Mash the potatoes further and mix them well.
- Now, use portions of this mix to roll balls and flatten them to create the cutlets. If they are loose, keep them in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Add some oil to a pan and shallow fry the cutlets on both sides using a medium flame.
- Pair with some tomato salsa or sauce and serve.
2. Cheese and Spinach Quesadillas
This hearty, healthy and delicious meal will not only waw your toddler but will keep him full and well nourisdhed too!
- 3 Tablced spoons of olive oil
- 8 oz. fresh baby spinach
- 2 large flour tortillas, burrito size
- 16 oz oaxaca or monterey jack cheese, shredded
How To Prepare
- In a large skillet on medium-low heat, place 1 table spoon of olive oil and the spinach. Cook for about 1 minute, tossing constantly to ensure even cooking. Once it darkens and wilts, remove to a bowl or plate.
- Place another table spoon of olive oil in the skillet and a tortilla. Move it around a little to soak up the oil. Spread about half of the shredded cheese on half of the tortilla, then sprinkle a small amount on the other half. Top the cheese with about half of the spinach. Cook for 30 seconds – 1 minute until the cheese starts to melt.
- Fold the tortilla over on itself, like an omelet. Cook for 30 seconds, then flip and cook for another minute.
- Remove to a plate and cut into fourths. Repeat the process with the remaining oil, spinach, tortilla and cheese and then serve for your little one to enjoy!
3. Banana Pancakes
We were just as surprised to read the title as you are. But once we tasted it, there was no going back.
- Pancake Batter
How To Prepare
- Take a large bowl and add banana pieces to it, mash them well. Mix these with the pancake batter properly.
- Coat a pan with ghee and add a cup of this batter on it, while sitting on medium flame.
- As you spread, add a little more ghee on the edges.
- Flip it around and cook both sides. Pair this with honey for an ecstatic flavour.
4. Oats Apple Porridge
This breakfast recipe can be made for the entire family in a single go.
- Almonds, soaked
- Instant oats
How To Prepare
- Heat together oats and milk in a deep pan for a few minutes to cook them well.
- Peel and grate almonds along with other nuts, and add them to the mix with raisins and the honey. Keep stirring constantly.
- The moment it starts thickening, turn off the flame. Garnish with apple pieces and some more nuts before serving.
5. Hard Boiled Egg and Avocado Bowl
Avocadoes and eggs are an excellent combination and a great source of good fats and proteins for your toddler and he will love this quick and easy preparation!
- 2 hardboiled eggs, chopped
- 1/2 large avocado, chopped
- 1 heaping tablespoon of sauted red onion, finely chopped
- 1 heaping tablespoon sauted red bell pepper, finely chopped
- A little pinch of sea salt and ground pepper
How To Prepare
- Combine the hardboiled eggs, avocado, sauted onion and bell pepper in a bowl.
- Sprinkle on a pinch of sea salt and ground pepper.
Here are a few tips to make your meal times better.
- Lead by example so that your kids follow
- Use attractive cutlery to add visual appeal
- Pair food items to mask the hated ones
- Let your kid play around with the food
- Focus on table foods from this age
- Avoid including too many sweets or fried foods
- Resort to smaller meals on a frequent basis
- Keep the variety going to expand their palate
- Keep juices to a minimum
- Teach your kid to chew food properly
With the recipes mentioned above and the diet chart as a benchmark, you would have a good answer to your question around what to feed my 18-month old for his meals. Tweak them to your liking and keep track of his behaviour over the months.
Also Read: 15 Healthy and Tempting Finger Foods for Toddlers