By the age of 12 months, your baby probably has a grasp of the whole eating thing. Also by this time in their lives, they're probably eating most of the same foods that you are.
This is a great opportunity to shape their food choices and get them used to having healthy food options around at all times. We're here to help you get your toddler familiar with healthy foods with these 9 recipes for toddlers 12 18 months old.
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No “Adult” or “Baby” Food, Just Food
1. Broccoli Meatballs
Most toddlers love the independence of finger foods just remember to portion out servings appropriately as choking is still a concern at this part of their development.
These meatballs are perfect for toddlers that love to eat on their own and you'll be happy to know they'll be getting a good source of vitamins, potassium, and fiber from the broccoli all at the same time.
2. Whole Grain Pumpkin Waffle Dippers
We love this recipe as it gives toddlers a healthy option and allows them to play with their food at the same time. It can be served for breakfast or as healthy snacks during the day alongside yogurt or applesauce as a dip to complete the dish.
Another thing you'll love is how freezer friendly these are! Make them ahead of time, freeze your leftovers, and reheat them in your toaster during the week. These are one of our favorite recipes for toddlers 12 18 months old.
3. Easy Cheesy Egg Roll-Ups
Another great healthy breakfast option for your growing baby is these egg roll-ups. With only three ingredients, you can have these whipped up in a flash. A great finger food for babies and is soft enough for your baby to eat with or without teeth.
4. Baked Chicken Tenders & Sweet Potatoes
A classic favorite of most kids: chicken tenders and fries. However, this toddler-friendly recipe introduces them to a much healthier version. We love how this can be cooked on just one sheet pan and baking them reduces unnecessary fats and oil from frying.
A great finger food that toddlers love, just be sure to cut everything into small, manageable pieces for your baby.
5. Green Mac and Cheese
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Almost every kid I've met, including myself growing up, loves a good bowl of mac and cheese. However, we know that mac and cheese isn't exactly the healthiest option you can give your toddler.
That's where this recipe comes in handy that sneaks in healthy veggies like broccoli, sweet peas, and spinach. With this colorful plate of mac and cheese, you'll have your toddler eating and loving vegetables without even knowing it.
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6. Tex Mex Rice Cakes
One thing you'll want to stop doing is labeling food as “adult” or “baby” food because it creates a stigma on what your toddler should or shouldn't eat. Toddlers have less of a tendency to be picky eaters if they're part of regular family meals and eating what everyone else is.
This Tex Mex Rice Cakes recipe is a great finger food recipe you can make for your toddler and have him/her go at it while eating healthy all at the same time. We love how fun and flavorful these are, not to mention they can be whipped up in about 10-15 minutes flat.
Most of the ingredients are probably in your kitchen right now and this can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer. Just pull the patties out when needed, thaw, and cook. A hit with both adults and toddlers alike!
7. Immune Boosting Very Berry Smoothie
The last thing a parent wants to see is their child getting sick. One way you can help prevent that from happening is by keeping their immune system boosted with fruits and vegetables. Getting your toddler, and even fellow adults, to eat their fruits and vegetables can be a chore but make the task more manageable by blending them up!
A great weapon to have during the cold season to keep sickness away for both your kid and yourself.
8. Easy-Peasy 5 Veggie Pasta for Baby
Just like the recipe says, this dish is so simple to make and handy to have if you're in a rush and need to make dinner fast. All you need if yours or your toddler's favorite pasta, a cup of chopped vegetables and it all comes together with a delicious basil dressing. You can easily toss in frozen vegetables or handpick them yourselves.
Whether it's corn, mushrooms, peas, carrots, etc., the key is cut them into small pieces that are easy for your toddler to consume. Feel free to experiment and mix it up but pay attention to which ones your toddler prefers.
9. Banana & Yogurt Muffins
Another perfect handheld food for your toddler to munch on during breakfast or as a healthy snack during the day. Not only that, no added sugars in this as they are sweetened naturally with the ripe bananas in the recipe.
When blending the muffin batter, make sure to check and make sure the batter has blended completely and is smooth before adding dry ingredients. This will help reduce chunkiness in the final product.
As you can see from these recipes for toddlers 12 18 months above, all it takes is a little experimentation and patience to get your toddler set on the path of healthy eating.
According to KidsHealth, one thing to remember is that toddlers have small tummies so we need to focus on serving them food that is nutrient-dense and places a limit on sweets and empty calories. While your toddler may not take a liking to all fruits and vegetables right away, it's just important to expose them to these choices early.
What are some of your toddler's favorite recipes to eat? Try any of the recipes above? Tell us in the comment section below!
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