Good Meals for 19 Month Old?

Updated on May 01, 2009
J.T. asks from Youngstown, OH
17 answers

Hello. My son will be 19 months old next week and I am looking for items to keep on hand in the house. Any moms have any secret food ideas that kids will love? Right now he is still eating mac n cheese and chicken n gravy baby food. He eats some gerber graduates. he likes cheeseburgers and some lunch meats, grilled cheese, noodles, chicken nuggets. However, it seems like I keep giving him the same things over and over. Please share with me some ideas for good snacks and meals, or eating habits in general. I am all ears.

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answers from Cleveland on

I have used a book by Ruth Yaron, "Super Baby Food", since my boys were little. Don't be disuaded by the title. She has a great recipies section that has some awesome healthy kid-friendly ideas. Be aware though, she writes from a vegetarian point of view and can be a little hard on us carnivores. The waffle recipie rocks, and power balls are good too. [power balls: nut butter, any kind, and honey. both one cup. mix together until smooth then add 2 cups instant oatmeal, ground flax 1/2 cup, and any dried fruit they will eat-mine love craisins- and carob chips and then roll into small balls. like the size of ping pong balls. they keep welll ing the freeezer.]



answers from Indianapolis on

Keep in mind that the food chart has change, so that vegetables and fruits are the biggest part of the chart. This age loves finger foods. If you cook frozen veg like peas and carrots, green beans, corn, broccoli, and let baby feed himself. The great thing about this is you can keep them on hand all the time in the freezer and just take out a bowl full and cook in the microwave. He will probably like scrambled eggs too, and bits of cheese.

For snack: grapes, raisins, bananas, graham crackers, saltines, mini marshmallows, fruit bars. Adult brand foods are cheaper than the "baby" brands and usually have the same ingredients anyway.

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answers from Fort Wayne on

My kids tend to like practically any fruit and mostly sweeter tasting veggies. I make my kids fruit plates, and they absolutely love them. I usually keep several types of fruit in the house anyways. I cut them up in little bite-size pieces and put perhaps 2 or 3 kinds of fruit on a plate. Sometimes I also put some vanilla yogurt on the side. Sometimes they liked to dip the fruit in the yogurt. Other times I would put a bit of cottage cheese on the plate.

I also keep several kinds of block cheese on hand. When it's on sale, I buy it up and put it in my deep freeze. Cheese freezes great: block, prepackaged sliced, grated, string cheese. My kids really like Colby, Colby-Jack and chedder/mozzerella twist cheese sticks. I always buy the generic or store brands because it's cheaper and tastes the same as Kraft.

I make Hamburger Helper and tuna helper for my kids. I do not always put the meat in the dish. My kids seem to like the Hamburger Helper better if the meat is in itsy bitsy pieces. So... I add about a cup of water to the pan when cooking it. That seems to help the hamburger separate into smaller pieces and easier to break up as cooking. I usually use half the amount of meat and 3/4 the amount of liquid the directions state.

My kids really like sliced or bite size veggies raw with ranch and blue cheese dressing. I also steam veggies in the microwave (add bite size pieces to bowl with water up to top of veggies, cover in plastic wrap, nook for 2-3 min). I either add a bit of brown sugar onto them, garlic salt or cheese sauce over them. They gobble the veggies right up! They don't really like cooked veggies. They love cheese, so it usually tempts them to at least give it a try with a preconception they may really like it.

My kids love popcorn. I keep the low fat and light popcorn available. Sometimes I sprinkle a little cheese on them. Their is dehydrated chedder for popcorn and parmasean in the canister that I think tastes good on popcorn.

My kids rather like the idea of icing and sweet treats, but I don't buy them very often. There are cereal bars by SunBelt that have a bit of icing drizzled on them. They use real fruit and less sugar and corn syrup to make their filling. The bar itself is whole grain. They think its like a dessert. Sometimes I nook them for about 10-15 seconds.

I think probably every kid loves fruit snacks. Welches and Juicy Juice make fruit snacks that are 100% juice with gelatin. There are other brands that use agar-agar, guar gum, carrageenan, cellulose and xanthan that are equivalent to gelatin to set up consistency of fruit snacks, which are healthier snacks. Kids also love jello. Mix light whipped topping into jello for a mouse dessert.

My kids also like soft granola bars. Many of them have mini chocolate pieces, marshmallow, fruit pieces, honey or peanut butter in them for more flavor.

Another tip is that for some reason my kids thing a baggie of snacks is really cool. So... they may not want to sit down at the kitchen table and eat dinner or a snack, but they like baggies since they can carry them around as they play. Its also nice for road trips, keeping in a diaper bag, in the car or purse. I put several different snacks into baggies and they can go into the snack box and pick out what they want when they are hungry. They like the freedom instead of waiting on me to go make something or going through the guessing game of what they want to eat. Also, I can quickly pull baggies of fruit or cheese from the fridge, a baggie of pretzels from the snack box and fill sippy cups for a meal on the road... pretty nice when you are in a hurry!

My kids kind of like Lunchables as well. I tend to buy them the turkey or ham dishes. They are quick and easy for me to grab or the kids. They usually do not need to be cooked, and there are generic brands that are more cost effective.

I have also made spaghetti noodles, added mayo, seasoning and sometimes tuna for a quick meal. When I make a pasta dish, I make extra noodles. So... tonight we might have spaghetti and meatballs, and tomorrow afternoon we use the extra noodles for pasta salad.\

I have also found ham that is cubed and julienne in packages. My kids like the bite size pieces, and it's easy to nook and put on a plate. They don't seem to like the larger slices when I cook it in the oven.

I have bought dinner rolls or hawaiian rolls and turned them into mini sandwiches with lunch meat and cheese slices.

My kids like coney dogs. I make home made ones with canned chili sauce and hamburger and drizzle cheese over them. It kinds of turns a plain dog into something different.

I have also found that my kids like to eat off my plate all too, which of course I try to discourage. Sometimes I make them a quick dish and make myself an adult meal. I find that they will try new dishes, veggies and salads if I don't offer it to them first. They think they are getting something special by taking it off my plate. I make enough so that when they decide they like it I can give them their own plate. (A little reverse psychology helps!)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

Hi J.. I have a 20 month old, so hopefully I can offer some suggestions. I agree that your son should start to eat meals along with you, but I also know that it can be a transition into that, so just be patient and you'll get there! I love when our daughter eats exactly what we eat, so that I'm not fixing another meal. But, sometimes we are eating something like a ceasar salad w/grilled chicken, which she simply will not eat. are some of the staples that we often give her:

For Breakfast:
(not baby oatmeal, but just good ol' adult from the big canister, and I usually put in a little unsweetened applesauce or yogurt to give it some flavor)
scrambled eggs
(I often add brocolli puree to these, and she gobbles them up)
multi grain waffles w/all natural peanut butter spread on
whole grain toast, again w/PB
unsweetened applesauce
ANY FRUIT, but bananas are cheap, easy, and very healthy

Lunch and Dinner:
deli meats, mostly turkey or chicken
(if you can find low sodium, that's great)
eggs are great at any meal, if you need protien
(my daugter has really been into sandwiches, because she sees us eating them. I make grilled cheese with very little cheese, then put on turkey slices, and I use a very grainy, healthy bread that's full of flax and stuff, and she loves it)
soft cooked veggies
(green beans are a favorite, I struggle with some others, so I still resort to making some purees for her)
frozen turkey meatballs
(especially from Trader Joes), just heat one up and cut it up
again - yogurt, fruit, unsweetened applesauce
cheese, any kind

*I don't give my daughter tons of snacks. I know they say that they are necessary, but I find that when she eats snacks, she's not as hungry at meal times. She never requests them, so we usually skip them. I guess it depends on your child's appetite.
- when I do give a snack, I usually give her High Fiber Ohs from Trader Joes (like cheerios, but with way more fiber and protien), or fruit, or cheese

I am trying to get her to eat more dinners with us, since that is our family meal together each day. She LOVES spaghetti, and actually she generally does well with casserole type things.

I ALWAYS start her with vegetables, since she's the most hungry at the beginning of a meal. Also, when she finishes her milk, I give her water instead of more milk. And she's never had juice, since there is no reason to give it.

Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

My son is 15 months old and eats everything! For lunch he often eats mixed vegetables with whole grain pasta noodles and a little canola oil. He loves cut-up tomatoes, black beans straight from the can and black olives. He eats whatever we eat if my husband and I are both home. Spaghetti, pizza, jambalaya. If we eat sandwiches we just give him all the ingredients cut up, bread, meat, cheese, spinach, tomatoes. He occasionally eats chicken nuggets or mac and cheese, but only as often as we do. He also has probably has like 10 french fries his whole life. I'd like him to never know that they are available and believe that cheeseburgers come with a side of fruit!



answers from Cleveland on

My son is 18 mos old and I try to mix it up quit a bit.

Salad toppers - chicken chunks
frozen vegetables
Fresh Fruit
Cheese Sticks
Graham Crackers
Fruit Strips - only found at Target

Low Fat:
Pitas & Hummus
Tuna Salad
Hard-Boiled Eggs
Asian Noodles
Ramon Noodles
Turkey Hot Dogs
Yogurt sprinkled with garnola
Cherry Tomatos
Green & Wax Beans
Salsbury Steak
Cream of Chicken
Jumbola Rice with Chk added
I bought a kid's cookbook with various different concoctions
Campbell's has a lot of mushy stuff on their website
My boy usually just wants whatever I am eating so I just started looking for creative stuff for me and he followed suit.

Good luck



answers from Dayton on

Anything you are eating will work for him. He shouldn't need baby food anymore. Also, one easy way for me to get more veggies in the kids was to microwave some before we ran errands and put them in a Ziploc bag. Then when the kids were bored in the store they could munch on that - it gave them an extra serving of veggies and gave them something to do.



answers from Columbus on

I notice you didn't mention any frutis and veges on the list of foods your son eats. Does he like any fruits or veges?

We keep in season things on hand at this time of year - blueberries are a favorite as are oranges, pears and apples. In all cases, I just wash (or peel) and cut into bite size pieces for my son. He gets fruit as part of lunch and dinner and as snacks. I also put berries with pancakes or oatmeal for breakfast sometimes. Cheese and crackers is another snack we do at home.

We also have tortellini salads with burgers or grilled sausages and add some vegetables and cheese (broccoli works nicely and a mild cheddar). Peas are so easy to heat and put on a plate with almost anything you mentioned. Or you could always add whatever veges he likes to the mac n cheese to make a meal.

We have themed meals some evenings - Mexican (soft tacos and burritos for instance) or Greek (gyros)...whatever theme floats your boat. Getting the kids involved by reading a little about the region the food is from and then even getting little regional items (sombreros or maracas?) for the kids sometimes helps them be more open to trying new foods.

Does he like fish? Fish sticks are the easiest but baking fish filets doesn't take long and white fish (orange roughy or cod or something similiar) doesn't have a really fishy taste that turns some kids off.

My husband likes foods like pasta in cream sauce with chicken. It's pretty simple to make and kids usually like it



answers from Lima on

It seems like your son likes most anything with cheese. Buy a cheese sauce and that can dress up veggies. Broccoli is one of the all time BEST vegetables there is. Make sure it is cooked tender (my one daughter loves it, but hates if it isn't tender) and put the cheese sauce on it. The cheese sauce may be artificial. Best if you can find powder mix on the cheese sauce, as it won't be near as high in sodium and cholesterol, etc...
For lunch, those little lunchables are very nice, they have crackers, meat and cheese. They don't have a veggie but you can make up for that at another meal.
Veggie lasagna is a good meal.
You don't have to cook the lasagna noodles ahead. Just layer the lasagna noodles as you normally would. Then add 1 cup water and cover tight with foil and bake. No need to cook noodles ahead, which are hard to handle.
Go to and type in 4 ingredients or less, they come up with excellent meals.



answers from Columbus on

My daughter is 18 months. One of her favorite snacks is cheese sticks (or really any cheese slices). We give her apple slices and mandarin oranges. She loves yogurt and cottage cheese. For a less messy snack, she gets dried fruit. I try to make sure she gets some veggies in there too. She doesn't like all of them, so sometimes I mix them with her cottage cheese and she will eat it. She also likes dry cereal a lot so I look for healthy cereals for her to snack on. She has 3 older siblings so she watches them also and they have been a big help in getting her to eat.
Good luck with the eating thing. I wouldn't worry about him eating the same thing.



answers from Mansfield on

Hi J. and I agree with the other ladies...he is old enough to be eating what you are eating as long as it isnt spicy or has to much acid in it. My 15 month old grandson (my hubby and are raising him along with his 8 y/o sister) eats just about everything we eat. Finger foods are always great to keep on hand and you can take those along with you when you go somewhere. Fruit is great, veggies...I put a very thin layer of peanut butter on a slice of bread and fold it in half for my grandson..he loves it...just try different foods,fruits and veggies and see what your son likes...even try the foods that you and your family dont like.



answers from Indianapolis on

By the first birthday, kids should be eating whatever the rest of the family is eating. They can gum pretty much anything if they don't have alot of teeth (my kids got their first tooth a week or so after their first birthday -- well within normal range). Just cut everything into bite-size pieces to make it easier until they get used to taking bites off. At 19 months, he should be eating 3 meals a day with the rest of the family plus a morning and afternoon snack. Toddlers have small bellies so they can't get all their nutritional needs in just 3 meals so snacks are essential. However, remember that "snack" doesn't mean junk food... A toddler snack should be like a mini-meal - dairy, protein, fruit, veggies, etc.



answers from Fort Wayne on

Feed hime wh at ever you're eating. Just cut it up into little bites. There is NO reason he needs to still be on baby food. He can chew, or even gum, any adult food. Canned veggies with no salt added may be easier to chew at this point. Also, stay away from all the processed foods. I know kids love nuggets and french fries (my daughter does!) but it's SO not good for them. We try to keep the nuggets and stuff like that to one day a week. Morning Star makes great veggie nuggets too. Goldfish crackers make great snacks and so do Multi-Grain Cheerios. Yogurt and cottage cheese with fruit are good with lunch too. If you're in a rut as a family, ( I know we get like that) try I have found SO many great recipes off that site. Most of them are really easy and are made with stuff you already have around the house.



answers from Indianapolis on

I'd buy a copy of FEED ME I'M YOURS by Lansky



answers from Cleveland on

Just feed him whatever you are eating. Obviously cut the food up in little pieces for him. The more variety of foods he eats, the better.




answers from Indianapolis on

Here are some ideas for snacks (finger foods)

Thawed, frozen peas
cut-up cubes of cheese
cut-up fruit
rinsed black beans or baked beans from a can
corn puffs
cooled cooked broccoli florets
hummus and crackers to dip in it

Your child should be able to eat most of the same foods that you are eating at meals, just make sure it is not too spicy etc.



answers from Cincinnati on

I have a 15 mo old so I know your pain! My Daughter loves any fruit- Raspberries which she can eat whole, strawberries, blueberries, grapes cut in half, bananas, blackberries, broccoli steamed with the stalks cut off, brussel sprouts steamed, sweet potatoes baked and chunked up. She also likes ravioli or tortolini (sneak in chicken and cheese or spinach and cheese) cut up with alfredo sauce, meat loaf, meatballs with pasta, baked chicken (shake and bake), and "taco plate" which is rice with lightly seasoned ground beef, cheese, sour cream and mild salsa. She's a pretty good eater and is allergic to beans/peas so we've had to try things we normally wouldn't. she'll also eat gerber graduates cereal bars as a portable snack, yogurt or cheese slices (string cheese is a choking hazard). Try a toasted bagel with cream cheese cut up in bite sized pieces, or muffin tops for breakfast. Hope this helps!

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