Healthy Lunch Ideas For 18 Month Old


Healthy Lunch Ideas For 18 Month Old

From snacks to entrées, find recipes and tips on how to get your growing (and opinionated) little one to try new and nutritious foods.
Trying New Foods

Top 10 Food Ideas For Your 18 Months Baby

If you plan to introduce new food ideas for an 18 months baby to ensure their proper growth and development, you have come to the right place. As children grow, their tastes and preferences change. Therefore, you should introduce a variety of food to fulfill their growing nutritional needs.

Children can eat almost all foods except those that may cause choking hazards at this age. So, you can offer them three meals and two wholesome snacks to ensure they stay healthy and energetic.

This post provides you with tips on making mealtime enjoyable for your 18-month-old baby.

Tips To Increase Appetite:

Now is the time when growth takes a backseat in children. So expect some more crankiness during eating. They develop reduced appetite as they are keener to explore new skills. Let them eat whatever they like and demand food when hungry (1).

Try to follow these simple tips to increase your toddler’s appetite:

  • Never serve fruit along with a meal. Try to give them cut fruits around 2 hours before the main meal.
  • Do not feed him different kinds of foods one after the other. Let your toddler walk or play enough before coming to have his food. It will make him drained out of energy, and he will feel hungry.
  • If a toddler states they are not hungry, listen to them. You do not have to run their appetite as per the clock.

Below are the best food for 18 month old baby:

1. More Table Foods:

Eighteen months is the time to introduce him to more table foods than fluids. You should have started encouraging your child to drink milk from a cup instead of a bottle by now. Drinking milk from a bottle leads to excessive milk consumption which can lead to tooth decay, iron deficiency, inadequate or excessive weight gain and anemia. If it is tough to wean him from the bottle, offer him water and not milk in the bottle.

2. Encourage Playtime With Food:

Even the fussiest eaters will find it fun to eat food if you let them play with it. Keep aside the fear of the little one messing up your dining area. You can clean it later and still be content because your child has eaten well. Avoid food battles and let him enjoy his meal in a calm and pleasant environment. Even if she eats a little, try to emphasize on the quality of food she takes and not the quantity.

3. Fruits And Vegetables:

The little one needs to eat at least 1 cup of fruit and 1 cup of vegetables every day. You can make it more nutritious by making assorted combinations. Do not puree or juice the fruits, a whole fruit is anytime more nutritious with a great amount of much-needed fiber. Simply cut them into bite-sized pieces and watch them pick the colorful morsels into their mouths one by one.

4. Protein Needs:

An 18 month old will need 2 ounces of protein per day. You can try including in her diet any foods made with poultry, seafood, beans and peas, soy products, nuts, and seeds. The ideal choice would be to pick from lean or low- fat proteins.

5. Grains:

The child needs a minimum of 3 ounces of grains per day. More of whole grains in a diet , makes it better. Cereals low in sugar and high in fiber will be better choices. This is just appropriate for a 18 months old baby food.

6. Fats And Sugar:

There is no specifically recommended quantity of fats and sugar intake. However, it would be fair enough to offer approximately two tablespoons of fat and 2 to 3 tablespoons of refined sugar to be consumed per day.The types of fats can include ghee, oil, and butter.

Sugar can also be given in the form of jaggery, a better choice by grandmas. Fats should be consumed in moderation as already some usual foods contain invisible fats. Excessive fat intake can impair the absorption of important nutrients like calcium in your child’s body and can also contribute to the risk of obesity later in life.

7. Dairy Products:

In a day, two servings of any one of the dairy like milk, curds, paneer or pasteurized cheese can be given. You can even whip up dairy in the form of Chickoo shake, strawberry yogurt, fig and apricot cream cheese or cheesy corn.

8. Mask Foods:

Take care to cook only those dishes your toddler will enjoy eating. She should be a really choosy eater now and you can’t simply stuff foods in her mouth just because they are nutritious. So, now is the time for you to learn the art of masking foods. Mix few of her favorite ingredients into a less-loved veggie and make a delicious dish. For instance, offer her a carrot cake instead of the boring-looking carrot cubes.

9. Offer Meal Time Surprises:

Invite your toddler to the dining area by occasionally revealing him new surprises in the form of some attractive plates and spoons. If you can get for her plates with her favorite cartoon characters on it, she is sure to enjoy the meal time.

10. Children Tend To Imitate:

Children are one of the best imitators. Set a good example in yourself by showing them how you are eating fruits and vegetables of all kinds every day. Tell them a healthy diet is the secret of the energy you radiate. Always be careful not to show any dislike towards food in front of your child. They can be easily influenced! (2) Do refer a 18 month old baby food chart if you want.

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