14 answers

Lunch Ideas for 18 Month Old

My daughter will eat anything and since I usually eat a lean cuisine for lunch what are some good, quick lunch ideas? Dinner is usually what ever me and my husband are having cut up small for her. Is it okay to still be giving her jar food? I feel like she is too old...

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Maybe not jar food anymore..but go for the Gerber graduates if you need a quick lunch. The little entree's are so easy and pretty tasty. There is a main meal with a side of veggies. We also like the ravioli's, chunk fruit and veggies. On the homemade front try the single serve microwave mac N cheese. There isnt a lot of sodium and kids love it. I also buy Chicken breast strips from Tyson, low sodium Vienna sausages, steamed fresh veggies of all kinds, Frozen french fries or tatter tots baked in the oven. You can never go wrong with cut up sandwiches Meat, bread, and cheese. Be creative. I always just make sure my daughter has a carb, protein, fruit, and veggie at every meal along with her milk. a good dessert idea is to throw cut up canned fruits into a ziploc in the freezer and I throw them frozen int ohe blender and it's like a sorbet. Or I pour apple juice into popsicle molds. Or sugar free jello or pudding. Even youngins need a little dessert sometimes..lol. Good luck.

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The jar food is not the best choice for nutrition. I cut up low sodium, preservative free lunch meat with cut up fruit for my son. You can try rice cakes with sunflower seed butter(peanuts aren't recommended before 2yrs). I also make a batch of brown rice pasta so he can snack on it for a few days. Steamed veggies and brown rice are also good options. You can bake a yam and scoop the flesh out, no need to puree. You can also cut a yam into strips and bake(healthier than regular fries). Plain yogurt with fresh fruit such as bannana. Flavored yogurt contains too much sugar. Here is a link for more info http://kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/toddler-foods.html#f....

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My son is 18 months also and picky. I have to disagree with a couple of the responses that said she is too old for jar food. Sometimes that is ALL I can get my son to eat and at least I know he is getting something in his stomach. It may not be the "best" source if nutrition, but it's better than nothing at all...in my opinion. I also try to follow up with some cheese or yogurt, if he'll eat it! But, perhaps if she will eat anything, you don't have to rely on jar food like I do.

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I have a 14-month-old and here are a few things he will eat at lunchtime:

shredded cheese, small apple cubes, bread w/butter and jelly (I was told by my doctor not to give him peanut butter until he is 2 because there are too many kids with peanut allergies these days).

small flour tortilla with refried beans and shredded cheese

grilled cheese sandwich

soup, goldfish crackers

white or brown rice, small avocado chunks

rotisserie chicken in bite size pieces, peas, mashed potatoes
(I buy one at the grocery store or costco and he loves them. They last him a few meals. When I give him this for dinner, I put the same meal in a Tupperware container and save it for lunch the next day. He doesn't mind the repeat meal, because it's all the things he likes).

Cut up pickle or cucumbers, tater tots, shredded turkey breast

For breakfast he usually has cereal, yobaby yogurt, or oatmeal. When he's teething and doesn't want to eat much, I blend some plain yogurt, a banana, and some milk in the blender and give it to him in a sippy cup.

If I think of anymore, I'll post it.

By the way, since you're looking for quick and easy-when I mentioned the rice, I make a decent size batch in the rice cooker and save it for lunches. I don't make it fresh each time. It lasts a few days in the fridge.

He had cottage cheese with his lunch today and loved it.

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My two year old is very picky. Here are a couple of sure fire things he would eat for me.
Turkey hot dogs, cut up small
Cubes of cheese
Dora Yoplait yogurts for kids
Gerber graduates sweet potatoes with glazed carrots. They are microwavable and come in individual servings for toddlers. Also, the pasta pick ups of the same brand/kind.
cubed chicken with bbq sauce
Gerber also makes cubed cooked carrots and green beans
Also found with both of my kids that they are more likely to try new foods if they are served with toothpicks and they can 'poke' the food and eat it.

My daughter will be 3 yrs. old in two months and although she eats all kinds of table food, we still give her jars of baby food and she loves them. She uses a spoon and feeds herself from the jar even. I say give her whatever she'll eat. I feel good knowing that my daughter is sure to get her vegetables even if it's in a jar. Who cares what others think. IMO there's no such thing as too old.
Hope this helps,
C.

There's a really great website called www.mom-a-licious.com - She has a cookbook available and the recipes are easy and yummy.

We give our daughter all kinds of things for lunch. She's 18 months too and not a picky eater at all. Some of her favorites (quick meals) are sandwich and chips (any kind, turkey, hame, cheese, etc) saimin noodles, rice and nori, boiled hot dog or vienna sausage. We sometimes keep gerber graduates on hand (ravioli, spaghetti, soups) since they were quick 30 sec in the micro (and came in handy when we had something she couldn't eat-mostly spicy stuff). We used to that regulary when she just started table food, but hardly now since she eats with us. I'm sure it's okay for her to still eat jarred food, we personally haven't given it since about 8-10 months. She feeds herself and is good at letting us know when she's done or when she wants more. Hope that helps.

Yes she is too old for baby food - she needs to be eating regular food. She is not going to eat all that much, so make her plates of fun food, like carrots, apples, slices bananas and a small sandwich (cheese, peanut butter, jam) something like that - she might like chicken noodle soup or crackers and cheese, yogurt... Just think like a kid, and take her shopping with you - she will soon start to identify what she likes and you can make it more fun for the both of your that way. And you can hit the book store and find a fun kids cook book - they have great snacking and simple meal ideas that might appeal to her tastes better.

Here are some things my little one eats:

cubed ham & cheese
small cut celery & carrots
small red apples with peanut butter
pb&j sandwiches
white meat chicken nuggets
canned corn, peas, green beans

One of her favorites is her special "Octopus": cut a hot dog in half starting about an in from on side, turn the hot dog and cut in half again and inch from the same side - you will have a body (the uncut part of the hot dog) and 4 legs, slice each leg in half and set the hot dog up on a plate with the 8 legs spread out around so it looks like the octopus is sitting on the plate, microwave it for about 20-30 seconds and serve with gold fish crackers around the legs.

One thing you can do is set a color theme for the day like red and have red apples, cherry flavored applesauce, pasta with marinara etc. My 2 1/2 year old still doesn't talk much but she does recognize colors, especially red because she loves strawberries.

I also cut her sandwiches, cheese, and ham into shapes and she loves that.

I would suggest a PB&J Sandwich, apples, you can peel grapes and cut them easily. Mac and Cheese is a good choice. Maybe she'll even eat a slice of turkey and cheese. My daughter is almost 17 months and she usually eats these things! Oh yeah, a hot dog or turkey dog, quessadilla, etc... I just feed her whatever I might eat along with some fruit or veges and milk or water!
I personally think she is too old for baby food but I don't know for you. I am surprised she still likes it. Most toddlers wing themselves off it eventually from what seeing what my daughter and my friend's kids did.
Good luck.

B.

My 19 month old eats whatever we eat. He loves drumsticks with the splinter bone taken out, brown rice, chicken nuggets, pasta, pizza, sushi, noodles of all kinds, mac and cheese, hotdogs, garden burgers, cheese/meat/crackers, soup, couscous, meatballs, eggs, fruits, steamed/frozen veggies w/ dip... You name it and he'll eat it. Tofu is an excellent food for them to eat at any age and it's quick to cut up and they can eat it with their fingers or try to stab it with a toddler fork. The only things I won't give him yet are nuts. Put whatever it is in a bowl, give her a spoon and let her go to town. It'll be messy but she needs to learn. Jar food is too basic for her at this age unless she has difficulties chewing/swallowing etc. Let her dive in and try new tastes and textures. I do still give my son baby cereal 3-4 times a week because of the nutrients in it. Have fun!

You can make extra dinner the night before and give her that. I think some cut fruit, veggies and lean meat is a perfect lunch for that age.
Just please do not feed her microwave foods :)

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!
I just read the other responses.
I can not believe the foods people are feeding their babies. The body that your child has is the same body your child will have for the next century. Why give them such a horrible start? Just because food is packaged doesn't mean kids should consume it! What ever happened to fruit and veggies (even if they are pureed- but never from a salt packed can)? Kids will eat what they are offered as long as they are not given choices that will get them hooked (like salty and sweet foods). So many people feed their children foods that are ruining their health.

Dear H. V;

I have four children and two adults and two teenagers. My eldest daughter is married and have a beautiful grand daughter of mine which is 18 mth old. I babysit her 4 X a week. My daughter started her with healthy snacks and lunch like grapes,banana,or any fruits that are available in a grocery. Please feed her a full breakfast with fruits and cerel,milk. Give her lot of fruits and healthy sandwiches,homemade soup,homemade meal. I cook 7 days a week and feed my children only home cook meals. I don't buy process foods from grocery because it is not healthy and lot of preservatives,chemical on it. I like to cook and prepare my own food for my family. Even thought I was working full time before, when I come home I could make 30-45 minutes homemade meals for my family. Peanut-butter and strawberry sandwich, egg sandwich, chicken sandwich, fruit salad. Good luck and keep healthy.

A.

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