Food Ideas for 21 Month Old

Updated on June 07, 2009
A.Q. asks from Leesburg, VA
5 answers

I'm sure this has been asked before, but I need some ideas/suggestions for my 21 month old son. He eats all "grown up" food by now obviously, but he is so darn picky! If it's not in the shape of a noodle or chicken finger or dipped in ketchup, forget it! What are other moms feeding their little ones? Also, lunch ideas would be appreciated too. My son goes to day care 3 days/wk and I'm in a rut with what to pack him for lunch. He hasn't started PB yet as I've been advised against that until after he's 2. He's very resistent to try foods even with repitition. It drives us crazy b/c it seems like he never eats! I would love to hear some suggestions/recipes, good books, or websites. THANK YOU!!

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answers from Washington DC on

I am pretty much a stickler about this and would generally say, jus toffer healthiy foods tha tyou are making for the rest of the family and if he is hungry, he will eat.

That being said, try to substitute or add nutrition in creative ways. For instance, tomato sauce instead of ketchup. Puree veggies and hide them in other meals.

Also, this is a great age to get him invovled in meal preparation. Let him dip/spread crackers and veggies in dressing, let him put cheese on bread for a sandwich, let him teear up lettuce for a salad, let him sort veggies into a saucepan. A kid who likes to "cook" will like to eat.



answers from Washington DC on

I have a 21 month old son as well. He usually does a good job with eating - but will exert his control over the world by refusing to eat sometimes. My first rule is that I don't make separate meals - my sister got into that habit with her son and now at age 5 he NEVER eats the same thing as the rest of the family. She always has to make him something special and its a big pain the butt, so I've sworn that I will not introduce that habit. Its okay if they don't eat much - my pediatrician told me that his cardinal rule is that they will eat when they are hungry. If you try to force feed them it introduces overeating habits early.

My second trick, is that I pair something that he likes (i.e. grilled cheese) with something that he doesn't care for (i.e. cottage cheese or yogurt). I give him a couple bites of sandwhich but before he gets more he has to eat a couple bites of yogurt. He also really likes mac and cheese - which you can pretty much mix any veggie into.

I haven't yet had to fight the lunch battle b/c my daycare provides his lunch. As a matter of fact, he'll eat things for her that he won't for me because all the other kids are eating it. For example - she claims he loves red beans and rice but he consistently spits it out at home. I guess peer pressure is a powerful thing even at this age!! LOL

Good luck....



answers from Washington DC on

My son is 13 mos and has been on table food since he was 10 mos. He is not picky most of the time, although there are a few things he refuses - he's not a pasta fan.

Breakfast he gets a container of yogurt and some cereal. Lunch he gets fruit and cheese. We generally feed him whatever we are eating for dinner. I make sure he gets a veggie for dinner, even if we aren't eating on that night.

We've given him PB, as our pediatrician said we could give him anything and everything after he turned 1. (he's also had crab meat, shrimp, mussels, and clams)

I try to keep some cooked meatloaf in the freezer (which I freeze in an individual portion) for nights that he won't eat what we have. Its a great way to "hide" different veggies!

As for veggies, I buy fresh and frozen ones then use the ziploc steam bags to steam them with some rice and seasonings in the microwave. I do this once a week and make enough to last the whole week.

Also, I bake apples and pears sprinkled with cinnamon and he LOVES them! (slice them and put them in a baking dish, cover with water, sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. bake at 350* for 1 hour)

With meats, his favorites are beef and venison - he never refuses them. He also eats chicken, pork, ham and turkey. Fish sticks are another favorite of his.

If it takes letting him dip foods in ketchup, yogurt, salad dressing, apple sauce, etc. I don't see anything wrong with that.

Also, keep in mind, a child will not starve themselves. Their body will "crave" what it needs and will eat enough when it needs it. If you are worried he's not getting balanced nutrition, you could always get a multi-vitamin for peace of mind.



answers from Washington DC on

Hi A.,
My daughter is a little over 2, and she just recently got very picky. Some of her staples for lunch are hummus (she likes all the different kinds), she likes to dip anything in hummus. For lunch I'll give her hummus, whole wheat pita cut into small triangles or other shapes, and fruit. She also likes pizza and will eat veggies on her pizza. Fish sticks, quesadilla, grilled cheese, chicken salad, ham sandwich, soup (she loves all kinds of soup) and will dip her sandwich in soup or likes to put goldfish crackers in the soup and "fish" them out. She recently started liking the mini bagels with strawberry cream cheese and we also put strawberries or other fruit on top of the cream cheese b/c she thinks that is a lot of fun. I buy the whole wheat mini bagels (in the bread aisle at the grocery store) and she really likes those. Also, pasta of any kind. Also, I give my daughter lots of fruits b/c she is picky about vegetables but will eat any fruit. Diced avocado is good for lunch too. I use the hummus as a dip for just about anything since my daughter loves it so much and it is a good protein source. I also make a meatloaf with a ketchup/ginger/brown sugar topping that she loves. If you'd like the recipe, email me and I can send it to you.


answers from Washington DC on

my daughter has been horrible about new foods, luckily my son now 2 is much better. I make a big deal about eating foods, yummy sounds, offering him a bite off my plate (it tastes better coming off my plate or my hands then his plate for some reason). For lunches at this daycare, I used to send the lunchable jr turkey, then lunchmeat cut in cookie cutter shapes, then when that got old, cut up turkey hot dogs, then string cheese, now the smuckers uncrustables, he also loves pears, so I give him the Dole fruit cups with pears. or a yogart cup. I would also find out what the other kids were eating and try to send that. at a recent picnic he suddenly wanted to try lots of foods that he had previously refused because other kids were eating them. Ive heard that some kids love dipping, so teach him to dip into yogurt, ranch dip, or other things. good luck.

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