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Feb 19, 2008 08:52 AM

Recipes for 18-month old?

i'm watching my 18 month old niece for another week or so...any suggestions on meals for her? i've been feeding her fruit, yogurt, and she really seems to like steamed brown rice...but she won't eat sliced ham, or shredded chicken..i'm getting concerned that she's not getting enough nutrition from just the formula, rice, fruit and yogurt...any suggestions?

incidentally, when her parents are taking care of her, she'll eat almost anything so i'm not sure what to do...also, i have a large amount of potatoes and stew beef that i'd like to use...


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  1. Our 15 month old daughter eats whatever we eat including: steak, chicken, corned beef, lasagna, spaghetti & other pasta dishes, crab legs, shrimp, fish, soups, cheeses, bbq ribs, mashed potatoes, etc.

    We also give her some baby food as part of her diet(mostly fruits and vegetables), but whatever I am cooking she is all over that.

    2 Replies
    1. re: swsidejim

      that's normally how my niece is, but she seems to have become very picky with me...

      1. re: soypower

        thats too bad. Now that our daughter has tasted adult food with flavow she wont eat the gerber meals anymore, jus the fruits, and veggies as I stated above.

    2. An 18-month old should be able to eat most anything as long as it is not too hard or too spicy. If you have stew beef and potatoes, make a beef stew. add lots of veggies for more nutrition - carrots, green beans, parsips, turnips, etc.

      Also she probably is going through an independence thing and likes to "do it herself" rather than being fed. Try steaming carrot sticks, green beans, cauliflower, broc. etc. until just tender enough to be finger foods. If necessary, serve with ranch dressing to dip.

      Scrambled eggs with some red peppers and a little onion can also be seen as finger-food to an 18-month old.

      Also try deli turkey slices, cheese, whole grain bread as a "deconstructed" sandwitch. Or make sandwitches with soft foods and cut them in small fun shapes.

      Homemade mac and cheese made with whole wheat pasta might work. Also just pasta and tomato sauce.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Springhaze2

        Variations on mac 'n cheese seem to work well with my bunch...tuna casserole comes to mind.

        Unfortunately what an 18mo old likes one day they might not like the next... just keep trying :)

      2. Tofu can also be a good for small ones -marinated or even just plain for some.

        I really wouldn't worry about it though. She gets protein from the yoghurt and formula, vitamins and a little fiber from the rice, vitamins and fiber from the fruit. She is fine. Kids often go through this picky eating stage and most docs say don't stress. how nice of you to watch her!

        She might enjoy some peas, roasted carrots, sweet potatoes, pureed carrots or sweet potatoes, golden beets, pasta with cheese, scrambled eggs with cheese, roasted potatoes or mashed potatoes, quesadillas...

        3 Replies
        1. re: jsaimd

          My 17 month old particularly like peas, corn, roasted baby carrots, cauliflower, grape tomatoes (cut up).

          Scrambled eggs is also a good suggestion. My son isn't a big breakfast eater, but he loves scrambled eggs. The yogurt that he can drink with a straw is a big hit too.

          Quesadillas are another good idea. And both of my kids love meatballs. You can buy some frozen ones (I buy turkey meatballs) and just heat a few at a time. They love 'em.

          1. re: valerie

            Our son did best at that age with things he could pick up himself like peas, beans (like black or cannelini) as well as things he could dip into something else. I agree that at that age it sometimes changed daily and could be really frustrating. One year later and he's much less rigid and will eat almost anything except spicy food.

            1. re: mayjay

              I am laughing at my own response from above. I couldn't believe I wrote that except when I looked at the date, I realized why...

              My son, who was 17 months old at the time, is now over 5. It was around age 2 that he gave up on peas, carrots, cauliflower! He will still eat corn, and tomatoes. And scrambled eggs have not crossed his lips in years! He still LOVES meatballs, though.

              I urge anyone to keep trying anything and everything but sometimes, no matter what you do, they just won't eat what they won't eat!

        2. I buy Greek yogurt to feed my baby granddaughter. It's higher in protein than the regular kind, and I mix it with baby food (she especially likes pears).

          I also put a piece of bread topped with cheese in the toaster oven and broil it a bit till the cheese is melted. I remove the crusts and cut it into bite sized pieces.

          But as another posted said, what works one day doesn't always work the next. These kids keep us on our toes!

          1. My son likes avocado. And dipping broccoli "trees" in mayo.