21 Months Old Baby Food – Ideas, Chart and Recipes

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

Toddlers can be a challenge when it comes to nutritional intake and feeding. This is the time that they begin to develop individuality and endeavour to control what they eat. Such developmental milestones can make mealtime a struggle for parents. It is important to support the baby with planned meals while also setting boundaries on who has control.

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Video: Food Ideas for 21 Month Old Baby

Nutrient Requirements for 21 Months Old Child

Listed below are some nutrients that are essential for children at 21 months of age:

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1. Carbohydrates

Glucose from carbohydrates is used by the brain to fuel itself. The amount of carbohydrate required by a 21-month-old child is around 130 grams. This is the same amount needed for an adult brain to work properly.

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2. Protein

Babies require a low protein diet. A toddler requires a mere 13 grams of protein per day.

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3. Fat

Fats are an essential nutrient for toddlers. They’re is required by the body for absorption of fat solvable vitamins, cellular building, muscle movement and blood clotting.

4. Sodium

Sodium works as an electrolyte in the body, and it is imperative for nerve function, muscle contraction and to regulate blood pressure. An infant requires a minimum of 1 gram per day for optimum functioning.

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5. Iron

Iron is required to produce red blood cells that carry oxygen through the blood. Iron insufficiency can lead to frequent infections, fatigue, and pale skin. Toddler requires 7mg of iron per day.

6. Calcium

Calcium is an important micronutrient required for the development of bones, teeth and even heart function. Toddler up to the age of 3 require 700mg of Calcium per day.

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7. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is vital for absorption and utilization of calcium by the body. Children require 300-400 units of Vitamin daily.

8. Water

Toddlers at 21 months of age require 1.3 litres of water that should come from mixed sources such as water itself, from food, and water contained in milk. Water forms 70-75% of your body weight and is required to structure large molecules, transport other nutrients, lubricate and cushion organs, and flush toxins from the body.

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How Much Food Does a 21-Month-Old Toddler Need?

Toddlers have a lower calorific need than infants due to a slowdown in growth. Toddlers require anywhere between 1,000 to 1,400 calories every day, depending on their size, physical activity level and age. This translates to roughly ½ a cup of rice, 1 small fruit, 1 cup mashed or cooked vegetables, 1 cooked egg, and 1 cup of milk each day. Toddlers also require a healthy amount of oils in their meal.

Best Foods for 21-Month-Old Baby

Homemade food that is processed as little as possible is the best way for children to meet their nutritional needs. Some of the best foods to offer 21-month-old babies are listed below:

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1. Cooked eggs

Eggs can be boiled or scrambled and can be served with butter or cheese.

2. Bread rolls

Flatten the slice of bread and butter it. Roll to make finger food.

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3. Rava dosa

Dress up your regular dosa by adding a fistful of rava to give it texture.

4. Idli

Have your toddler eat plain idli or serve it with a non-spicy chutney.

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5. Upma

Peas and carrots mixed in to make rava upma can be served with a helping of ghee.

6. Cheese paratha

Make soft, cheese filled parathas that will leave your toddler wanting for more!

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7. Cream of tomato soup

Pureed tomato with a dash of cream would make a healthy and tasty meal for your child.

8. Banana pancakes

Mashed banana on pancakes can be served with a drizzle of honey to increase its appeal.

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9. Fruits

A mixed bowl of whatever fruits are in season will help improve the nutritional intake of your toddler.

10. Lentil dosa

This is a wholesome dosa option that can be paired with curds or butter to make it tasty.

Video: Diet Plan for a 21-Month-Old-Baby

21-Month-Old Baby Food Chart/Meal Plan

Encourage your toddlers to try a bite of all new food given to them. Here is a suggested food chart for a 21-month- old Indian baby.

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 1, Day 1

Breakfast Chole paratha + milk
Mid-morning 1 elaichi banana
Lunch Multigrain roti + dal + a subzi of choice + a few slices of boiled beetroot+ hand pounded rice
Evening Plain dahi (curd)/dahi (curd) with jaggery
Dinner Jowar (sorghum) roti and matki (moth bean) with lauki (bottle gourd) spinach soup

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 1, Day 2

Breakfast Ragi (finger millet) dosa with sambar or chutney
Mid-morning Banana/apple/any locally available fruit
Lunch Egg bhurji with roti + curd rice and beetroot raita
Evening Millet porridge with curd
Dinner Lauki (bottle gourd)-methi (fenugreek) muthia with buttermilk

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 1, Day 3

Breakfast Besan (gram flour) chilla with green chutney
Mid-morning Banana/apple/any locally available fruit
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber + hand pounded rice
Evening Banana-walnut milkshake
Dinner Shahi paneer with paratha and tomato- mushroom soup

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 1, Day 4

Breakfast Boiled egg or paneer (cottage cheese) cubes
Mid-morning Watermelon/carrot juice
Lunch Besan (gram flour)-methi (fenugreek) paratha with carrot palak (spinach) raita
Evening Yoghurt
Dinner Paneer (spinach) cutlets or grilled fish with baked bean soup and grated carrot raita

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 1, Day 5

Breakfast 1 cup kabuli chana (chickpeas)- capsicum poha with 1 glass of milk
Mid-morning Papaya- apple chaat
Lunch Ragi (finger millet)-wheat roti + sprouts and palak (spinach) + a few cherry tomatoes
Evening Sauted paneer (cottage cheese) with chutney
Dinner Tomato soup + paneer (cottage cheese) paratha

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 1, Day 6

Breakfast Methi (fenugreek) paratha with mango milkshake
Mid-morning Mashed apple/banana/any locally available fruit
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of carrots + hand pounded rice
Evening Potato cheese lollipops
Dinner Bisi bele bath with curd and a few slices of cucumber

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 1, Day 7

Breakfast Apple with chutney and chikoo (sapota) milkshake
Mid-morning Mashed banana
Lunch Palak paneer and paratha + a few cherry tomatoes
Evening Seviyan (vermicelli) porridge with chopped dates and almond powder
Dinner Dal khichdi with lauki (bottle gourd) soup

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 2, Day 1

Breakfast Sabudana (sago) khichdi with cucumber raita
Mid-morning Date and dry fruit barfi
Lunch Multigrain roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of boiled beetroot + hand pounded rice
Evening Plain dahi (curd) with banana/apple/locally available fruit
Dinner Paneer (cottage cheese) cutlets or grilled fish with coriander and tomato soup

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 2, Day 2

Breakfast Doodh (milk) poha with chopped banana or apple
Mid-morning Sattu (barley) milkshake
Lunch Egg bhurji with roti + curd rice and beetroot raita
Evening Banana-almond milkshake
Dinner Baked beans with toast

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 2, Day 3

Breakfast Jowar (sorghum) puff kheer
Mid-morning Papaya/banana/apple
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber+ hand pounded rice
Evening Almond-anjeer (fig) milkshake
Dinner Dosa with coconut and dahi (curd) chutney

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 2, Day 4

Breakfast Mango lassi + murmura (puffed rice) chikki
Mid-morning 2-3 homemade cookies + milk
Lunch Besan (gram flour)-methi (fenugreek) paratha with carrot-palak (spinach) raita
Evening Palak (spinach) poha (flattened rice) raita
Dinner Veg risotto

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 2, Day 5

Breakfast Oats- almond kheer
Mid-morning Masala makhana (fox nuts) + banana milkshake
Lunch Ragi (finger millet)-wheat roti + sprouts and palak (spinach) + a few cherry tomatoes
Evening Peanut chikki + ½ cup apple
Dinner Stuffed capsicum + pulao + palak (spinach) soup

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 2, Day 6

Breakfast Poha with grated carrot + apple milkhake
Mid-morning Boiled potato and carrot chaat
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of carrots+ hand pounded rice
Evening Mango milkshake
Dinner Dal baati with grated carrot raita

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 2, Day 7

Breakfast Banana pancake
Mid-morning Coconut- mava ladoo
Lunch Palak paneer and paratha + a few cherry tomatoes
Evening Dalia (broken wheat)
Dinner Dal chawal

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 3, Day 1

Breakfast Rice pancakes with coconut and jaggery filling
Mid-morning Carrot-beetroot soup with mashed murmura (puffed rice)
Lunch Multigrain roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of boiled beetroot + hand pounded rice
Evening Plain khakhara mixed with curd
Dinner Kaali dal (black lentil) and paratha with carrot slices in dahi (curd) dip

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 3, Day 2

Breakfast Tomato uttappam with chutney
Mid-morning Fruit chaat
Lunch Egg bhurji with roti + curd rice and beetroot raita
Evening Mashed potato with grated paneer (cottage cheese)
Dinner Hakka noodles + sweet corn veg soup

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 3, Day 3

Breakfast Grated cucumber-oats pancake
Mid-morning Sweet lime- orange juice
Lunch Puri with aamras + aloo matar sabzi
Evening 2-3 homemade cookies + milk
Dinner Methi (fenugreek) pithla with jowar (sorghum) roti

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 3, Day 4

Breakfast Vegetable upma with buttermilk
Mid-morning Fruit juice
Lunch Besan (gram flour)-methi (fenugreek) paratha with carrot palak (spinach) raita
Evening Masala makhana (fox nuts) + banana milkshake
Dinner Stuffed paratha with curd or lassi

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 3, Day 5

Breakfast Omlette with bread or paneer (cottage cheese) sandwich
Mid-morning Fruit chaat
Lunch Ragi (finger millet)-wheat roti + sprouts and palak + a few cherry tomatoes
Evening Rajgira (amaranth) chikki dipped in milk
Dinner Besan (gram flour)-methi (fenugreek) paratha with carrot-palak (spinach) raita

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 3, Day 6

Breakfast Rajgira (amaranth)-wheat sheera with mashed raisins
Mid-morning Jamun (black plum)- apple chaat
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few carrot slices+ hand pounded rice
Evening Ragi (finger millet) ladoo with milk
Dinner Moong (green gram) sprouts with oats cutlet + homemade date-tomato-mint chutney

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 3, Day 7

Breakfast Idli with chutney and sambar
Mid-morning Fruit chaat with black salt
Lunch Palak paneer and paratha + a few cherry tomatoes
Evening Dahi (curd) /mashed banana/mashed papaya/pineapple raita
Dinner Puri with aamras and aloo sabzi

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 4, Day 1

Breakfast Fresh homemade medu vada with chutney
Mid-morning Pineapple cubes with chaat masala or honey
Lunch Multigrain roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of boiled beetroot + hand pounded rice
Evening Ragi (finer millet) biscuits with milk
Dinner Mini roti + dal + any sabzi of choice + a few slices of carrot/cucumber/tomatoes + coriander/mint chutney

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 4, Day 2

Breakfast Doodh (milk) poha with chopped fruits
Mid-morning Banana/apple/any locally available fruit
Lunch Egg bhurji with roti + curd rice and beetroot raita
Evening Rice crackers with cheese spread
Dinner Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber + hand pounded rice

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 4, Day 3

Breakfast Jowar (sorghum) puff kheer
Mid-morning Banana/apple/any locally available fruit
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of cucumber + hand pounded rice
Evening Paneer (cottage cheese) fruit chaat
Dinner Vegetable raita + vegetable pulav + moong dal (green gram split) soup

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 4, Day 4

Breakfast 1 cup kabuli chana (chickpeas)- capsicum poha + 1 glass of milk
Mid-morning Grilled and cut sweet potato
Lunch Besan (gram flour)-methi (fenugreek) paratha with carrot-palak (spinach) raita
Evening Chopped fresh fruits
Dinner Veg risotto

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 4, Day 5

Breakfast Methi (fenugreek) paratha with mango milkshake
Mid-morning Banana/apple/any locally available fruit
Lunch Ragi (finger millet)-wheat roti + sprouts and palak (spinach) + a few cherry tomatoes
Evening Chikoo (sapota) milkshake
Dinner Chole paratha and pumpkin soup

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 4, Day 6

Breakfast Idli + sambar + milk
Mid-morning Fruit chaat
Lunch Roti + dal + a sabzi of choice + a few slices of carrots+ hand pounded rice
Evening Paneer (cottage cheese)-date ladoo
Dinner Chicken/paneer (cottage cheese) curry with rice

Diet for a 21-month-old – Week 4, Day 7

Breakfast Parathas + chocolate milk
Mid-morning Banana/apple/any locally available fruit
Lunch Palak paneer and paratha + a few cherry tomatoes
Evening Banana-almond milkshake
Dinner Methi (fenugreek) thepla with potato sabzi + curd

Video: 21 Month Old Baby Food Recipes

Food Recipes for 21 Months Old Baby

Here are some wholesome and nutritious recipes that you can try for your 21-month baby:

1. Aloo Paratha

Potato has a high carbohydrate content, and a stuffed paratha provides a good mix of oil, carbohydrates and proteins.

Ingredients

  • ½ potato
  • ½ cup wheat flour
  • 1 spoon ghee or butter
  • ½ spoon oil
  • water as required
  • salt to taste

How to Prepare

Wash, peel, and boil the potatoes. Mash them and add a pinch of salt. Keep aside. Knead the flour into a soft and malleable dough. Take a small ball of dough and roll it out. Put a little-mashed potato in the centre and fold the rolled dough over the filling to cover it. Now flatten it out again. Place the paratha on a heated pan or griddle and cook both sides. Apply ghee on both sides before serving.

2. Wheat Pancakes with Honey

Wheat pancakes make a soft and fluffy food item that your toddler would love.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 spoon melted butter

How to Prepare

In a mixing bowl, add together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour the milk, beaten egg and melted butter. Mix until you have a smooth batter. Heat a griddle or pan and pour out a scoop of the batter. Brown on both sides and serve warm with honey.

3. Pongal

Pongal is wholesome because it contains proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice
  • ½ cup moong dal
  • 1 tsp jeera
  • 5-7 curry leaves
  • ¼ inch grated ginger
  • 1 tsp ghee

How to Prepare

Soak rice for ½ an hour. Dry roast the moong dal and keep aside. Let jeera splutter in the cooker. Add curry leaves and ginger and sauté. Add rice and dal with 5 cups of water and cook for 5 whistles. Simmer for 5 mins. Switch off. Cool and mash the mix. Remove leaves before serving to a toddler.

4. Chicken Soup

A warm cup of chicken soup is as good for health as it is said to be for the soul.

Ingredients

  • ¼ kg chicken with bones
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 medium cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp ginger grated
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 2 cups water

How to Prepare

Clean and chop chicken into small pieces. Finely chop or grate ginger, garlic and onions. Grind together the cumin, half the onion, and coriander leaves to a fine paste. Heat ghee in a cooker and splutter the cumin and sauté the cinnamon and cloves. Add remaining onions, chopped ginger and garlic and ground paste. Fry until it doesn’t smell raw. Now add rest of the ingredients and sauté for a few minutes. Add water and pressure cook for 4 whistles. Simmer for 2-3 minutes and turn the flame off. Strain the soup using a sieve before serving to a toddler.

5. Pasta in Cream Sauce

Whole-wheat pasta cooked with cream sauce is a health and tasty option for your young ones.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup macaroni or fusilli
  • ½ cup fresh cream
  • ½ cup cheese
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • peas
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp olives

How to Prepare

Boil the pasta with salt and a spoon of oil. Run under cold water and set aside. Add butter to a pan and melt it. Add in the flour and stir. Don’t let it burn. Add the milk to the flour and stir without lumps. Let it come to a boil and then simmer to thicken and reduce the sauce. Add the peas, salt, grated cheese and fresh cream and let it simmer until the peas are soft. Add the pasta and toss it in the sauce. Cool and add a few olives as garnish.

Feeding Tips

Here are some feeding tips to help reduce the struggle during mealtime:

  • As a toddler is looking for control, they want foods that they can eat by themselves. Give them bite-sized foods or finger foods.
  • Ensure that foods are rich in Vitamin C to enable absorption of iron.
  • Do not make mealtime a battlefield. When you try to force your toddler to eat, there will be a natural resistance.
  • Limit the intake of juice and given them fruits instead.
  • Do not bribe your toddler them sweets as rewards for finishing the food.
  • Have several small meals or snacks rather than 3 big meals. It provides variety and makes sure that your toddler doesn’t feel hungry.
  • Start with soft foods and slowly add chewy or tough foods like meat.
  • Let your child sit during the meal and do not encourage running around.
  • Make mealtime fun by telling stories. Do not encourage eating in front of a television as it hinders the processing of taste and texture.
  • Appreciate your toddler for trying new foods but don’t force what they don’t like.

Toddlers at 21 months of age can experimental and tough. Do not let it stress you out. Understand that all children are not alike, and their appetites and tastes vary according to their temperament. You will lose some battles, but with patience, you will nurture a toddler who has a varied interest in food and grows up with an adaptable palate.

Disclaimer:

  1. Each child is different and so use these meal plans as a trusted guide as per your discretion. You can modify the meals according to your child’s preferences / requirements.
  2. Never force-feed a child.
  3. While preparing formula, please follow the instructions on the box and use the measuring spoon provided with it.
  4. While introducing solid food to a baby, initially, one needs to prepare watery gruels/soups. As a child gets older, the caretaker/ mother has to increase the thickness of the liquids slowly according to the child’s capacity to swallow. Foods that are too thick can cause stomach upset/ unnecessary load; while excessively watery food might cause the child to remain hungry.
  5. Some kids may eat less on some days and that is absolutely alright. However, if a child eats less for more than 3-4 consecutive days, please visit a doctor to guide further.
  6. A child may eat less during the teething phase or if he/she may not be feeling well. You could increase breast milk /formula feeds on those days. Re-introduce the foods once the child is back to normal.
  7. Don’t stop feeding if the child is suffering from diarrhoea.
  8. You can alter the taste of the food by adding some natural flavours like cinnamon, jeera powder, lemon juice, curry leaves etc. if the child doesn’t accept the food initially.
  9. If your child suffers from an allergy to nuts, gluten or eggs, please consult your doctor before feeding him/her any foods that may contain them.

Also Read: Healthy Food for 2-Year-Old Baby