Toddler Food Ideas for 18 Month Old

Updated on July 23, 2009
P.C. asks from Redlands, CA
14 answers

Hello Ladies,
My son is 18 months old and lately has not been eating as much as normal. He is healthy and on track for his weight. I am not so worried about the fact that he doesn't want to eat. I am more looking to find different food ideas. I feel like I make the same things for him over and over. Partly, he likes certain foods more than others. He loves cheese however, is not too into grilled cheese or quesedillas. I try to offer him a variety at each meal. I want to get all the food groups in him. Any good ideas and recipes for what you feed your toddler? I would love to give him a change.

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answers from Los Angeles on

P., for some inspirational'll love these 2 websites (my favorites):



ENJOY!!! : )))

L. (MAMA to 21 month old Dylan Orion....29 September 2007). : )))

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answers from Honolulu on
2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

When my oldest was that age she was very picky (my youngest is getting that way.) I used to take a cupcake tin and fill each cup with a different food, usually I would do 4 that she liked, and 2 new foods or ones that she'd previously rejected. For example, for the 4 foods she liked I would put yogurt, applesauce, chunks of cut up tofu or beans (like kidney or black), cottage cheese, cubes of cheese, or maybe raisins or nuts, for the other 2 I'd put some sort of veggie, or something completely new. It was very successful. Right now with my youngest we have a "no rice until the veggie is gone" rule because she'll gorge herself on rice and eat nothing else. Both of my girls were vegetarian at this point, so I don't push eating meat.

A good book to get is "Deceptively Delicious", the recipes are great and my girls like them. The only bad recipe was the Spaghetti Pie (it was soupy even though I followed the recipe exactly, the meatballs were green and my 4 year old wouldn't eat it.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My son likes tuna noodle casserole with whole wheat rotini.. make your own sauce, not a canned variety to keep the sodium down.
Baby carrots
Seasoned grilled chicken breasts
"fried" rice
frozen grapes

I don't worry too much about choking because my son has always eaten these things, but if you have any concern please cut them to your size

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I have been going through the same thing with my daughter! I actually asked the doctor, but as you said her growth and everything is good, so she said it was quite normal at this age and not to be too concerned. I am still breastfeeding, are you still nursing or giving whole milk? You may have already thought of this, but I started making smoothies for her when I felt like she wouldn't eat much, she always seemed to drink a smoothie. Also I agree with the other post, my daughter loves string cheese and cereal bars. I also try to keep some cut up grilled chicken around that she can grab and munch on. And one thing I found she loves that surprised me is hummus. It is so good for them and she will eat it with some carrots or crackers or pita. They have several flavors of hummus and kids love dipping stuff so maybe it is worth a try for your son. I also agree with the other post that said to introduce new foods with something she already likes. My daughter loves pirates booty from trader joe's, so I know that is I put a few pieces on her high chair tray with whatever other food I am giving her she is more likely to eventually eat the other food as well. Trader Joe's has some great healthy snacks and alternative things for kids. My daughter went through this as well, but the past few days she seems to be eating better again and growing out of this phase, so hopefully the same will be for your son. Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Best advice I have ever gotten = Keep it Simple.

My son loves certain things that I KNOW he will eat and I stick with that most of the time. When introducing new foods that I'm unsure of, I always make sure to introduce it with foods I know he'll eat and do so for three/four days and then let it be. I give it rest and come back to it later.

My son is the same with cheese, and he's 3!! Just stick to what works and don't over think it.

One of my new favorite books is the Sneaky Chef. She has great ideas for healthy meals and ways to get toddlers to eat veggies and other foods.

It's more likely that you son just wants what he loves and isn't worried about variety yet!



answers from Los Angeles on

HI P. :)

When my son was that age, I made him little plates of "cheese rolls" .. I would use a slice of Kraft cheese and wrap a slice of lunch meat around it (look for meats WITHOUT nitrates, they can hurt our little boys in the future) Anyhow, he LOVED these, still does at age 12! I'd also slice the cheese into quarters and put onto a saltine cracker, and he loved little pickles. It was like a hors d'œuvre platter .. little finger foods, but he sure did like it!

Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

It sounds like you're doing a great job. I would get him involved in the process. I make "super Juice" with my son using collard greens, kale, lemon and agave nectar. He loves turning on the blender and the juice is delicious! Have him peel bananas and make smoothies. When kids are part of the process, they tend to want to eat a larger variety of foods. You can also check out our site for daily kids recipes-



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi! Very typical, for toddlers to get picky about food. I have a son who is extremely picky, though he didn't get that way until his preschool years. I've written about this topic. Check out my recommendations, below. Good luck!

Getting picky eaters to try new foods:

Fruit on a stick!

Grazing is good for kids:

Kid-friendly smoothie recipe:

Fast baked potato;



answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter 12 months loves
string cheese
peaches without the skin
wheat bread
beans and cheese not in a tortilla
broken up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (small pieces)
baked potato
cereal bars/ apple or strawberry from trader joe's
pasta and cheese filled ravioli with or without sauce (she likes tomatoes so both are fine)
mac and cheese
cooked carrots, peas, green beans
chicken pot pie
scrambled eggs
banana or blueberry muffins
vanilla yogurt
i find she likes things she can pick up easily the best and casserole type things she can eat pick out the things she likes but try new things if she wants. I'm sure you know this but it is still a good idea to keep a look out for allergies if you have not given him some of these things before like peanut butter, berrys and tomatoes.
good luck this can be a really fun stage.



answers from Los Angeles on

I feed my 19 month old everything I eat. EVERYTHING. He loves some of it, is not thrilled over some of it but if we have a meal where I feel he just didn't eat enough of the food I offered, then I'll follow it up with some cereal or something, but most of the time he gets what I offer and is happy to eat it. My first (4 years old now) I used to feed foods I knew she liked, I didn't want to fight her on food and so we also ate a lot of *her* kind of food (pasta, breaded chicken etc.) and she has become an extremely picky eater. Not making that mistake again!

some of my son's favorites that are great sources of fiber/protein and generally nutritious: lentil soup, chili, chicken (prepared almost any way), meatloaf (prepared with cut up veggies in it). and a wide variety of fruits and veggies (berries are his favorites but he'll eat almost any fruit and broccoli or raw carrots are favorite veggies but he'll eat most, except he's not good with yams/sweet potatoes).

yogurt in the mornings, and as a treat I get the tubes (YoKids) and freeze them for an afternoon snack (it's like having a popsicle!). cheese is great, I give my kids triscuit crackers with sliced cheeses or string cheese.

At lunch we often have sandwiches: Peanut butter and jam (blackberry or mixed berry - just fruit varieties) or I'll make chicken salad or tuna salad and sometimes even make a tuna melt or chicken salad melt. or grilled cheese. If I make a quesadilla I make it with chicken in it for more protein and to fill him up better. Lunch is ALWAYS served with fruits and veggies. I use double fiber bread as my daughter has constipation issues (due to her less than ideal diet (she's getting better as I've stopped caving in to her desires and offering what I''m making and not giving the option of an alternative.

I hope this is helpful!



answers from Honolulu on

When you eat, give him some of what you are eating. I am, of course, assuming that you are eating healthy foods and not microwave burritos!! Since he is 18 months, he has probably eaten just about everything (so you don't have to be quite as concerned about allergies). Just give him whole foods, don't give him too much processed foods. Give him lots of veggies, fruits, cheese, yogurt, whole grain breads and pastas, eggs, meat cut up into pieces the size of cheerios, etc. If something is too hard, just cook it until it is soft or cut it up really small.

He is entering into the picky phase of life, so I think it is important to keep offering him foods even if he chooses not to eat them. It is not too much trouble to offer him a variety of foods if you are offering him the same thing that you are eating yourself. If he is used to eating what you eat, then you won't turn into a short order cook later. This is what happened with daughter #1 for me. I was so concerned about giving her all of the food groups each day that I catered to her. Now that she is seven, we have a policy. If you don't like what is for dinner, next meal is breakfast. My younger daughter grew up eating whatever we eat and she is much more open to trying different foods. (she is four) Good luck and keep trying new stuff!!!



answers from Honolulu on

Have you tried pureed foods mixed in or fun sweet potatoes fries or polenta fries, baking mac n chez in muffin cup,fish cake shaped with cookie cutters etc.
I saw a segment on the view on this yesterday. It works great for my 13mo daughter. We have trouble getting her to eat meats but if its in a ravioli she'll eat it.



answers from Los Angeles on

Something we feed my son that is so easy I feel almost guilty are chunky soups. We'll strain off the soup leaving the vegetables and/or meat and he can eat it using his fingers. He particuarly likes minestrone (he puts the noodles on his finger-tips and thinks that's funny) and Italian wedding soup which has little meatballs in it along with lentils and spinach. I've also bought a variety of frozen vegetables and can defrost a handful in water in the microwave which doesn't leave a lot of waste. I currently have peas, carrots, brocolli, and squash in the freezer so I can fix him something different with each meal. For breakfast, we mix plain yogurt with baby-food fruit almost daily and he also likes frozen waffles and french toast sticks. Fresh fruit is a favorite snack of his (bananas in particular) and we have a ton of other stuff... I could go on and on if you'd like. Just some ideas... hope it helps.

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