18 Months Old Baby Food – Ideas, Chart and Recipes

Medically Reviewed by
Nidhi Mehta (Nutritionist)
View more Nutritionist Our Panel of Experts

If your little one is 18 months old, he won’t be happy with his regular glass of milk and plain biscuits. At this age, your little tot will want more options in foods. As your little tot is growing up, his tastes and preferences will grow and evolve. He will be more than happy if you offer him a variety of foods. Introducing healthy snacks in his meal plan can go a long way in ensuring he meets his nutritional requirements as well as looks forward to mealtimes.

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Video: Food Ideas for an 18-month-old Baby

Nutrient Requirements of an 18-month-old Baby

The nutrients your child will need at this age include the following. Make sure you make food which is rich in these nutrients.

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1. Iron

It is important to include iron-rich foods in your child’s diet to ensure that his immune system functions normally. Include veggies like broccoli, spinach, and kale regularly in his meals.

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2. Fats

Your little one’s appetite would not be as high as it used to be earlier. Hence, it is important to ensure he gets the right amount of fat on a daily basis. A couple of servings of butter along with coconut is a good way to make that happen. You can also give him ghee or butter.

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3. Protein

Protein is an essential nutrient for a growing tot. It is important for the good health of our skin, hair, nails, muscles, and bones. So make sure you include protein-rich foods in your child’s snacks and lunch. Some protein-rich foods that you can give to your toddler include dairy products, eggs, meat, nuts, beans, etc. Giving these foods in the right quantity will meet his protein requirements.

4. Calcium

Calcium is important for the development of teeth and bones. Some good sources of calcium include dairy products, broccoli, kale, etc. Milk is important for a growing child, so include milk in your child’s diet. While whole cream milk is highly recommended, supplementary products such as cottage cheese or kefir can be good too.

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How Much Food Does Your Child Need at 18 Months of Age?

The quantity of food a toddler eats around this age is comparatively lesser than what he consumed earlier. Therefore, it is necessary to match a calorie intake of about 1.2 kilocalories than focusing on the quantity of food.

Best Foods for an Eighteen-Month-Old Baby

If you are looking for options in foods for your baby, you have come to the right place. Include the foods suggested below in your child’s diet.

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1. Milk

If you still breastfeed your child, then it is well and good. But once a day, you can give him cow’s milk. Milk is essential for the healthy development of teeth and bones of your child, so make sure your little one drinks a cup of milk daily. He should learn to drink milk as well as water from a cup instead of a bottle.

2. Fruits

Including fresh fruits in your child’s breakfast is a great way to make sure his body gets the essential nutrients. Don’t refrain from giving dry fruits as well, they are healthy too. Once in a while, you can give fruit purees, but don’t give fruit purees or fruit juices on a daily basis as they are not high in fibre and won’t be beneficial for your child’s health. Give him cut fruits every now and then.

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3. Vegetables

You must include veggies in your child’s diet. If your child doesn’t like vegetables, you can make finger food for him. You can make baked carrot sticks or mashed potatoes. Also, include leafy vegetables in his diet.

4. Meat and Nuts

While this combination might seem weird, pairing both these foods together can meet your child’s protein requirements. You can give chicken or fish with soy chunks, sprouted beans, cashews, and so on. You don’t have to do this everyday; having this combination every alternate day of the week should benefit for your child. But if you notice any signs of food allergy in your child, stop giving these foods together.

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5. Bread

Avoid giving white bread to your kid as much as you can. Whole wheat bread should be your go-to option if you want to make sandwiches for him. You can also give him dry cereal or crackers instead of bread.

6. Ghee

Ghee is good for health and your child needs it in his growing years. So make sure you give him ghee daily. You can make parathas in ghee or even add it to khichdi. A dollop of ghee can be very nutritious for your child, so make it a part of his daily diet.

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7. Jaggery

Instead of giving processed and refined sugar in your child’s food, add jaggery. Jaggery is good for health and can make anything taste delicious.

8. Water

We know water is not a food, but it is important for your child. Make sure that your little one drinks enough water daily. You can also give him other fluids. There are chances of your kid suffering from digestive issues and health problems if his water intake is not enough.

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9. Cheese

Along with milk, you can also include other dairy products in his diet. Kids love to eat cheese and cottage cheese, so give these to your kiddo without worrying. Different varieties of cheese along with yoghurt provide probiotics and other nutrients that simple whole milk may not always do.

10. Whole Grains

The benefits of consuming whole-grain food items may not be visible instantly but they take place internally over time. Instead of giving him calorie-rich cereals or white bread, give him whole wheat bread or whole-grain cereals.

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Video: Diet Plan for a 18-Month-Old Baby

A Sample Food Chart for an 18-Month-Old Baby

Here is a sample chart that you can follow for making a healthy meal plan for your eighteen-month-old toddler. However, it is recommended that you consult a doctor or an expert before giving him something new. You can make some changes in this plan and create a meal plan that suits your 18-month-old toddler.

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 1, Day 1

Breakfast French toast with milk
Mid-morning Mashed potato
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber + hand pounded rice
Evening Strawberry yoghurt
Dinner Sprouted moong (green gram)-oats cutlet with homemade date-tomato-mint chutney

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 1, Day 2

Breakfast Besan (gram flour) dhokla + banana milkshake
Mid-morning 1 small glass of watermelon juice
Lunch Palak paneer and paratha
Evening Seviyan (vermicelli) kheer
Dinner Mixed vegetable – paneer (cottage cheese) paratha

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 1, Day 3

Breakfast Wheat pancake with chocolate milk
Mid-morning Chikoo (sapota)
Lunch Tofu bhurji with jowar (sorghum)-wheat roti and grated carrot raita
Evening Milk
+ 2-3 whole wheat or multigrain biscuits
Dinner Dal khichdi with plain lauki (bottle gourd) soup

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 1, Day 4

Breakfast Appe with chutney and chikoo (sapota) milkshake
Mid-morning Banana
Lunch Jowar (sorghum)-wheat roti + masoor (red lentil) palak (spinach) + a few cherry tomatoes
Evening Apple-date milkshake (strained)
Dinner Pulao with tomato soup

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 1, Day 5

Breakfast Scrambled eggs or paneer (cottage cheese) ladoo with anjeer (fig) milkshake
Mid-morning Papaya
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber + hand pounded rice
Evening Homemade aloo (potato) chips with tomato chutney + milk
Dinner Ragi (finger millet) dosa with potato sabzi and sambar

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 1, Day 6

Breakfast Broken wheat porridge with almond or walnut powder and crushed raisins
Mid-morning Guava
Lunch Multigrain roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of boiled beetroot + hand pounded rice
Evening Ragi (finger millet) satva
Dinner Methi (fenugreek) pithla with jowar (sorghum) roti

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 1, Day 7

Breakfast Whole wheat pancake with milk
Mid-morning 1 small glass of pomegranate juice
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber + hand pounded rice
Evening Banana-walnut milkshake
Dinner Stuffed parathas with curd or lassi

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 2, Day 1

Breakfast Rajgira (amaranth) puffs milkshake with chopped anjeer (fig)
Mid-morning Aloo wadi
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber + hand pounded rice
Evening Besan (gram flour) ladoo
Dinner Paneer (cottage cheese) cutlets or grilled fish with coriander-tomato soup

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 2, Day 2

Breakfast Boiled egg yolk or homemade paneer
Mid-morning Carrot juice
Lunch Palak paneer and paratha
Evening Appe with coconut and dahi (curd) chutney
Dinner Rajma (kidney beans) with toast and cheese

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 2, Day 3

Breakfast Besan (gram flour)-jowar (sorghum)-coriander chilla made with curd
Mid-morning Boiled beet sticks
Lunch Tofu bhurji with jowar (sorghum)-wheat roti and grated carrot raita
Evening Murmura (puffed rice) chikki with milk
Dinner Paneer (cottage cheese) pulao with pumpkin soup

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 2, Day 4

Breakfast Oats-strawberry smoothie
Mid-morning Mini chilla with green chutney
Lunch Jowar (sorghum)-wheat roti + masoor (red lentil) palak (spinach) + a few cherry tomatoes
Evening Dal pakoda with curd
Dinner Paneer (cottage cheese) cutlets or grilled fish with coriander-tomato soup

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 2, Day 5

Breakfast Scrambled eggs
Mid-morning Moong (green gram) dhokla
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber + hand pounded rice
Evening Murmura (puffed rice) chikki + milk
Dinner Thalipeeth with white butter and buttermilk

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 2, Day 6

Breakfast Seviyan (vermicelli) upma + elaichi (green cardamom) – saffron milk
Mid-morning Apple-papaya chaat
Lunch Multigrain roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of boiled beetroot + hand pounded rice
Evening Sprouts bhel
Dinner Chole puri + lassi

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 2, Day 7

Breakfast Wheat-banana sheera
Mid-morning Sooji (semolina) ladoo
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber + hand pounded rice
Evening Plain curd with any fruit (except grapes and pomegranate)
Dinner Vegetable cutlets with bean soup

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 3, Day 1

Breakfast Banana pancakes + milk
Mid-morning Almond or peanut ladoo
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber + hand pounded rice
Evening Multigrain cookies with milk
Dinner Dal dhokli with pumpkin-barley soup

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 3, Day 2

Breakfast Multigrain muffin + a glass of milk
Mid-morning Mixed fruit chaat
Lunch Palak paneer and paratha
Evening Jowar (sorghum) puff chivda with milk
Dinner Curd rice with grated cucumber

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 3, Day 3

Breakfast Sattu (barley)-apple porridge with milk
Mid-morning Homemade mava barfi
Lunch Tofu bhurji with jowar (sorghum)-wheat roti and grated carrot raita
Evening Sooji (semolina) dhokla with coriander chutney
Dinner Bajra (pearl millet)-wheat roti with dal methi

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 3, Day 4

Breakfast Jowar (sorghum) idli + chutney + kesar (saffron) milk
Mid-morning Guava cubes with black salt
Lunch Jowar (sorghum) -wheat roti + masoor (red lentil) palak (spinach) + a few cherry tomatoes
Evening Masala buttermilk with vegetable sandwich
Dinner Paneer (cottage cheese) or egg bhurji with roti and vegetable soup

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 3, Day 5

Breakfast Cornflakes with milk and powdered walnuts and strawberries
Mid-morning Paneer (cottage cheese) or boiled egg (chopped) with chaat masala
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber + hand pounded rice
Evening Dalia (broken wheat) upma with milk
Dinner Non-spicy pav bhaji with moong dal (green gram split) soup

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 3, Day 6

Breakfast Almond-date milkshake
Mid-morning Murmura (puffed rice) chikki
Lunch Multigrain roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of boiled beetroot + hand pounded rice
Evening Fruit custard
Dinner Besan (gram flour)-jowar(sorghum)-coriander chilla with curd and bean soup

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 3, Day 7

Breakfast Poha with tomatoes and capsicum + chocolate-walnut milkshake
Mid-morning Soya-wheat gur papdi
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber + hand pounded rice
Evening Milk custard or egg custard pudding
Dinner Rajma (kidney bean) chawal with tomato soup

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 4, Day 1

Breakfast 1 egg or paneer paratha with green chutney
Mid-morning Papaya cubes with chaat masala and honey
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber + hand pounded rice
Evening Seviyan (vermicelli) kheer
Dinner Paneer cutlets or grilled fish with rajma (kidney bean) soup and grated carrot sticks

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 4, Day 2

Breakfast Scrambled eggs + multigrain toast + 1 glass fresh of orange juice
Mid-morning 2-3 whole wheat crackers with hummus
Lunch Palak paneer and paratha + cucumber
Evening Milk
+ 2-3 whole wheat or multigrain biscuits
Dinner Tofu bhurji with jowar (sorghum)-wheat roti and grated carrot sticks

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 4, Day 3

Breakfast Rajgira (amaranth) puff porridge with almond and walnut powder
Mid-morning Boiled aloo (potato) and carrot chaat
Lunch Tofu bhurji with jowar (sorghum)-wheat roti and grated carrot sticks
Evening Apple-date milkshake (strained)
Dinner Paneer (cottage cheese) paratha with tomato soup

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 4, Day 4

Breakfast 1 cup of poha + 1 small glass of fresh orange juice
Mid-morning Poha (flattened rice) soaked in dahi with mashed banana
Lunch
Jowar(sorghum)-wheat roti + masoor (red lentil) palak (spinach) + a few cherry tomatoes
Evening Dahi (curd) with masala puri
Dinner Methi matar malai with paneer (cottage cheese) pulao

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 4, Day 5

Breakfast French toast + 1 glass of fresh apple juice
Mid-morning Oats-apple smoothie
Lunch Bajra (pearl millet) khichdi with lauki (bottle gourd) soup
Evening Carrot phirni
Dinner Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber + hand pounded rice

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 4, Day 6

Breakfast Dhokla + green chutney
Mid-morning Peanut ladoo
Lunch
Multigrain roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of boiled beetroot + hand pounded rice
Evening Cornflakes chivda
Dinner White sauce pasta with mixed vegetable soup

Diet for a 18-month-old – Week 4, Day 7

Breakfast Omelette or besan chilla
Mid-morning Mashed potato with cheese
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber + hand pounded rice
Evening Lauki (bottle gourd) halwa
Dinner Pongal with vegetable soup

Your little one should also have at least half a glass of milk every day.

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Video: Food Recipes for an 18-month-old Baby

Food Recipes for an 18-month-old Baby

Coming up with new breakfast ideas or novel plans for dinner can be difficult when you have to do it daily. So here are some recipes of some dishes that your child will love to eat.

1. Soybean Cutlets

You might have made bread cutlets often. How about this time you try something different? Make soy cutlets – your little one will love eating them.

Ingredients

  • Chopped onions – 1 cup
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Chopped coriander leaves – 1 cup
  • Pepper – 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Chaat masala – 1 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1 tsp
  • Boiled and mashed potatoes – 4
  • Bread crumbs – 1 cup
  • Soybean dal paste – 1 cup

Method

  • In a large bowl, mix the soy paste, potatoes, spices, coriander, and some salt. Mix the ingredients well.
  • Now, make small balls of the above mixture and flatten them to make cutlets. If they are loose, keep them in the fridge for 30 minutes. Next, coat them with the crumbs.
  • Add some oil to a pan and shallow fry the cutlets from both the sides on a medium flame.
  • Serve with tomato chutney.

2. Besan Cheela

The versatility of this recipe is what makes it a great hit amongst children and adults alike.

Ingredients

  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Chopped coriander leaves – 1 small cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required
  • Besan – 1 cup

Method

  • Take the besan and salt in a bowl. Add coriander to it. Add water slowly and stir continuously to mix it well. Make sure no lumps are formed.
  • Heat some oil in a pan then pour a ladle or two of the batter on the pan – spread it evenly. Cook it well from both the sides – until it turns golden brown.
  • Serve with ketchup or yoghurt.

3. Banana Dosa

Banana dosa may sound strange but it tastes delicious. Here is how you can make banana dosas for your little one.

Ingredients

  • Ghee – 2 tbsp
  • Bananas – 2
  • Dosa batter – 5 cups

Method

  • Take peeled and mashed bananas in a large bowl. Add the dosa batter to this bowl and mix them well.
  • Heat some ghee in a pan and pour a ladle or two of the batter on to the pan, spreading it evenly to make a small circle. Add a little more ghee around the edges.
  • Cook the dosa on a medium flame then flip. Let it cook from both sides.
  • Serve with honey and let your child enjoy it.

4. Oats and Apple Porridge

This breakfast recipe can be made for the entire family in a single go.

Ingredients

  • Jaggery or honey – 2 tbsp
  • Chopped apple – 1
  • Milk – 2 cups
  • Instant oats – 1 cup

How To Prepare

  • Cook together oats and milk in a deep pan. Stir it continuously for a few minutes.
  • Turn off the flame when it starts thickening. Garnish with apple pieces before serving.

5. Spinach Moong Khichdi

Spinach moong khichdi tastes yummy and offers umpteen nutritional benefits.

Ingredients

  • Ghee – 3 tbsp
  • Turmeric – 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Garlic (crushed) – 3-4 cloves
  • Spinach leaves (chopped) – 1-2 cup
  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Moong dal – 1/3 cup

How To Prepare

  • Wash the rice and dal in separate bowls and strain the excess water. Keep them aside.
  • Heat some ghee in a cooker. Once the ghee is hot, add the cumin seeds.
  • Once the colour of the cumin seed changes, add in the crushed garlic and spinach. Add in turmeric and sauté.
  • Then add the washed and soaked dal to the cooker, followed by washed and soaked rice.
  • Add 2-3 cups of water and let it cook for five whistles. Mash it properly and add some ghee before serving.

Tips to Feed Your Child

If your little one is a fussy eater and doesn’t eat what’s on his plate, here are some tips you can try to make him eat his food.

  • Lead by example so that your kid will follow. If you want that he should try a new vegetable or something else, eat it in front of him and say that it is delicious. When he sees you trying something new, he might be tempted to try that out.
  • Let your child play with food first. It is okay if he doesn’t eat a veggie – let him play. In a few days, he will eventually put that veggie in his mouth, and you never know he might actually love its taste.
  • Give him small meals but frequent meals. If you serve too much he might not eat it. So keep it small but frequent.
  • Offer new foods every week this will evolve his taste palate.
  • Teach him to chew his food properly.
  • Use attractive cutlery and make the dishes look appealing if you want to make your child eat something new.

It is hard to make a child eat something if he is not in the mood to eat. But we hope the food mentioned in the diet chart will be liked by your kiddo. The diet chart mentioned in the article is a sample diet plan. You can tweak it as per your liking. A better option would be consulting a doctor before making your child try anything new. So talk to your doctor and find out what is best for your 18-month-old. Work out a plan with your doctor and give the best to your kiddo!

Also Read: 15 Healthy and Tempting Finger Foods for Toddlers