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Healthy And Interesting Food Ideas For 15-Month-Olds

Healthy And Interesting Food Ideas For 15 Month Olds

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Once your little one is around 15 months old, they can recognize the tastes and their food habits might change. They might like to have something more than mashed or pureed foods.

Therefore, you need to come up with some healthy options that are appealing to your baby’s changing tastes. As your baby needs at least three meals a day with some healthy snacks in between, you might want to try various recipes. Therefore, MomJunction has compiled some of the best food ideas for a 15-month-old toddler. We also tell you about the foods that you can feed them and share a diet chart.

Foods You Can Feed A Toddler

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nearly 50% of the calories should come from fat during the initial two years after birth (1). And the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests nearly 13 grams protein for a 15-month-old every day (2).
Therefore, plan a balanced meal wherein you add one source of protein to one source of carb with adequate amounts of fat to complete the dish. The meal plan for a 15-month-old can be a mix cereals, bread, rice, wheat, pasta, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dry fruits, dry beans, oil, milk, and dairy products. Below we list the essential foods that you may feed your baby.

1. Cow’s milk (whole or full cream milk)

Several mothers ask us, “How much milk for a 15-month-old?” You may give 360-480ml cow milk (3) every day to meet the daily requirements of calcium and vitamin D.

  • As your baby is a toddler now, offer them cow milk in a cup and not in a bottle.
  • Divide 480ml of milk into three servings and these can be given in any form, such as milkshakes, puddings, yogurt, paneer, custard, etc., to offer a variety rather than plain milk. But always remember to give one form only once a day.
  • You may continue or stop breastfeeding now. You no longer have to offer formula milk as the solid food diet caters to all the requirements.

2. Fresh fruits and vegetables

Encourage your toddler to develop a taste for as many unprocessed, fresh foods as possible. This includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that will not only add color to the plate but also make your baby’s meal nutritious. The daily dose of such a meal will help your toddler get a good supply of the basic nutrients necessary for growth and development.

3. Cereals

Cereals are good sources of carbohydrates, which is the main source of energy to the body. A toddler needs the energy to fuel the developmental changes happening in their body. Hence, include several varieties of cereals, such as rice, wheat, and millets, in their daily diet, given during different times of the day. Fortified cereals with no added sugar or salt or artificial coloring can also be added to the diet.

4. Protein and fat diet

Protein-rich foods are a must in the toddler’s diet. If you prefer animal protein, add meat, chicken, and egg for a balanced intake of fat and protein. You can also try fish like salmon, canned light tuna, catfish, and pollock. But as you do so, remember to cook them well.
If you prefer vegetarian protein sources, cheese is a good source. It makes a great finger food for a 15-month-old and can be included in almost any meal. Similarly, add a variety of pulses to the diet. You can also add nuts and seeds in the meal but mash or powder them to avoid choking.

Note: Introduce one new food at a time with brief waiting periods. Look for signs and symptoms of any allergy which might come up with the addition of new foods in the diet.

Diet Chart For 15-Month-Old Babies

Early morning

      • ½ to 1 cup whole milk

Breakfast

      • ½ cup iron – fortified breakfast cereal or 1 cooked egg
      • Add fruit to cereal or offer as it is
      • ½ banana, sliced
      • 2–3 sliced strawberries

Mid-morning

      • 1 slice toast or whole wheat muffin
      • Apply 1–2 tablespoons cream cheese or peanut butter, or yogurt
      • A few fruit slices
      • ½ cup whole milk

Lunch

      • ½ Sandwich sliced turkey or chicken, tuna, egg salad, or peanut butter
      • ½ cup cooked green vegetables
      • ½ cup cereal

Evening snack

      • 2–3 tablespoons fruits or berries or 1–2 ounces cubed or string cheese
      • 1 cup whole milk

Dinner

      • 2–3 ounces ground or diced cooked meat
      • ½ cup cooked yellow or orange vegetables
      • ½ cup pasta, rice, or potato
      • ½ cup whole milk

Source: Healthychildren.org

Simple Homemade Recipes For 15-Month-Old

Here are a few simple homemade food ideas for your 15-month-old baby.

Breakfast recipes

1. Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

Image: iStock

Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 (adult)

You will need:
  • 3tbsp butter
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup wheat flour
  • 3tbsp sugar
  • 1½tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp baking soda
  • ½tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1 egg white
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • Cooking spray
How to:
  1. Mix flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk them together.
  2. While whisking, combine buttermilk, oil, egg, and egg whites in a bowl. Add the mixture to the flour mixture. Stir well.
  3. Heat a nonstick griddle coated with cooking spray, over medium heat.
  4. Spoon around one-fourth cup onto the griddle, per pancake.
  5. Turn over the pancakes when the tops are covered with bubbles and the edges are cooked.
  6. Serve with syrup and butter.

2. Winter Squash Puree (Healthy Starter)

Winter Squash Puree

Image: iStock

Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 1 to 1-1/2 cups

You will need:
  • 1tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1tbsp precut fresh or frozen winter squash or pumpkin cubes
  • Water or milk as needed
How to:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Mix olive oil and squash in a bowl. Toss them.
  3. Spread the squash on the baking sheet.
  4. Roast the squash for 20 minutes. Puree in a blender until smooth.
  5. Sieve the mixture and add water or milk to get the consistency.

3. Purple Puree

Purple Puree

Image: Shutterstock

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2½ cups

You will need:
  • 1½ cups blueberries (puree)
  • 2 frozen spinach (10oz packages)
  • 1/2tsp lemon juice
  • 2tbsp water
How to:
  1. Place spinach in a pan and add water. Boil, cover, and simmer for seven minutes.
  2. Drain the water. Make a puree of spinach, blueberry, water, and lemon juice until smooth.

4. Ragi Idli

Ragi Idli

Image: iStock

Prep time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10 idlis

You will need:
  • 2 cups idli batter (fermented)
  • ½ cup nachi flour or ragi flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 1tbsp oil (to grease)
  • 1/4 cup + 2tbsp warm water
How to:
  1. Add warm water and the flour to a bowl. And mix to get a thick paste.
  2. Add the paste to idli batter. Add salt. Stir gently.
  3. Set aside for nearly 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, boil the water in a steamer and grease the plates with oil.
  5. Pour the batter into molds and place the idli stand in the steamer.
  6. Allow it to steam for ten minutes and serve warm.

5. Oats Chilla

Oats Chilla

Image: Shutterstock

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 chilla

You will need:
  • 1 cup oats
  • Water as needed
  • ¼ cup chickpea flour
  • 1tsp cumin
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • ½ grated carrot
  • 1 small onion
  • Oil or ghee as needed
How to:
  1. Add powdered oats to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Add water as per requirement.
  2. Grease the oil on a pan. Heat it.
  3. Spread a ladle of batter on the pan. Drizzle oil around the edges.
  4. Flip it once it is cooked. Cook the other side too.

Healthy Snacks For 15-Month-Old

6. Oven-Roasted Green Beans (Finger Food)

Oven-Roasted Green Beans

Image: Shutterstock

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: ½ cup

You will need:
  • 1lb green beans (trimmed)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2tsp extra-virgin olive oil
How to:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºC. Put jelly-roll pan for ten minutes in the oven.
  2. Take the beans in a bowl, sprinkle oil, add salt. Toss them well.
  3. On the pre-heat baking sheet, place bean mixture in a single layer.
  4. Bake for eight minutes until crisp and tender.

7. Dates Sesame Ladoo

Dates Sesame Ladoo

Image: Shutterstock

Prep time: 20 min
Servings: 12 to 15 ladoos

You will need:
  • 300gm dates
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup cashews or peanuts (roasted)
  • 4 green cardamoms
How to:
  1. Take a pan, add sesame seeds. Dry roast them on the medium flame.
  2. Cool and powder them.
  3. Mash the dates well and add sesame seeds powder. Knead for a few minutes to get a soft mixture.
  4. Make it into small balls. Store in an air-tight container.

8. Pasta Kheer

Pasta Kheer

Image: iStock

Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 3 to 4 servings

You will need:
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¾ cup pasta
  • ¼ cup jaggery syrup or organic sugar
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 ½ rice flour mixed in ¼ cup water or milk
How to:
  1. Boil water in a pan. Add and cook pasta for a few minutes.
  2. Drain and keep aside.
  3. Heat butter and ghee in a pan, add cashews (if desired). Keep them aside after roasting.
  4. Pour milk into the same pan and boil. Add pasta and allow it to cook.
  5. Take a cup and add rice flour, water, and milk. Mix well without lumps.
  6. Pour this into the pan slowly, while stirring.
  7. Allow the pasta kheer to thicken. Sprinkle cardamom seeds on it.
  8. Add jaggery syrup or organic sugar as a sweetener.

9. Carrot Puree

Carrot Puree

Image: Shutterstock

Prep time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3 to 4 cups

You will need:
  • 1 yam (peeled and cut)
  • 3 carrots (peeled and cut)
  • 2tbsp water
How to:
  1. Add yam and carrot to a pan with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Drain out water and puree the contents in a processor.

Lunch Ideas For A 15-Month Baby

10. Baby’s Little Pasta

Baby’s Little Pasta

Image: Shutterstock

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 cups

You will need:
  • 1½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2tbsp uncooked pasta
How to:
  1. Add the chicken broth to a pan and bring it to a boil. Add pasta.
  2. Cook for seven minutes with intermittent stirring.

11. Khichdi (Indian Baby Food Recipe)

Khichdi

Image: iStock

Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 cups

You will need:
  • 2tbsp rice
  • 1tbsp tuvar dal (split red gram)
  • 2tbsp vegetables (grated and chopped)
  • Salt for taste
  • ½ tsp ghee
  • Turmeric (optional)
  • Pepper powder (optional)
How to:
  1. Wash the rice and dal together. Soak them in water for at least half an hour.
  2. Add chopped vegetables to the bowl containing rice and mixture.
  3. Pressure cook for two whistles on medium flame.
  4. After the pressure is released, mash the contents. Add salt, ghee, and turmeric. Mix well.

12. Yummy Warm Cereal

Yummy Warm Cereal

Image: iStock

Prep time:15 minutes
Servings: ½ cup (4 floz/125ml)

You will need:
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz/60 g) pearled barley powder
  • Water (as needed) or milk
How to:
  1. Boil water in a pan and slowly pour the powdered barley. Whisk continuously as you pour.
  2. Keep stirring and allow it to cook for ten minutes.
  3. Add water or milk to get the desired consistency.

13. Curd Oats

Curd Oats

Image: Shutterstock

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 cups

You will need:
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups water/milk
  • ¾ cup fresh curd
  • Salt for taste
  • 1tbsp grated carrot or pomegranate seeds
  • 1tbsp coriander leaves (finely chopped)
For seasoning:
  • 1tsp mustard seeds
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 1 finely chopped green chili
  • A few curry leaves
  • 1.2 inch finely chopped ginger
  • 1tsp split black gram
How to:
  1. Cook oats in water for five minutes. Mix curd (well beaten) to the oats.
  2. Heat oil in a tempering pan and add all the ingredients for seasoning.
  3. Add this seasoning to the oat-curd mixture.
  4. Add salt and coriander leaves. Top with grated carrot or pomegranate seeds.

14. Curd Rice

Curd Rice

Image: iStock

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 cups

You will need:
  • 1 cup rice (cooked)
  • 1.5 cup milk
  • 1.5 cup curd
  • 2tbsp cream
  • Salt to taste
For seasoning:
  • 1tsp mustard seeds
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 1 finely chopped green chili
  • A few curry leaves
  • 1.2 inch finely chopped ginger
  • 1tsp split black gram
How to:
  1. Mash the cooked rice add milk and keep stirring. Add the cream and curd.
  2. Heat oil in a tempering pan and add all the ingredients for seasoning.
  3. Add this mixture with oil to curd rice.

Dinner Ideas For 15-Month-Old Babies

15. Barley With Shiitakes And Spinach

Barley With Shiitakes And Spinach

Image: iStock

Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 adult servings

You will need:
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2tsp olive oil
  • 1/2tsp chopped dried rosemary
  • 8 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quick-cooking barley
  • 3tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 8 cups bagged baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4tsp freshly ground black pepper (optional)
How to:
  1. Heat oil on medium heat in a Dutch oven. Add garlic, rosemary, and onion. Saute for three minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms. Let them cook. Stir occasionally for eight minutes.
  3. Add cheese and spinach. Stir frequently. Cook for two minutes.

16. Banana & Avocado Guacamole

Banana & Avocado Guacamole

Image: iStock

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1½ cup

You will need:
  • 1 avocado (cut)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 garlic clove powder
  • ¼tsp lemon juice
How to:
  1. Scoop the flesh out of the Avacado half into a bowl.
  2. Peel banana, add the chunks into the Avacado bowl.
  3. Add garlic clove powder into the bowl. Sprinkle lemon juice.
  4. Mash them all using a potato masher.

17. Risotto Primavera

Risotto Primavera

Image: iStock

Prep time: 40 minutes
Servings: 1½ cup

You will need:
  • 2 cups yellow squash (chopped)
  • 1½tsp olive oil
  • 3 cups asparagus (cut diagonally)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups leak (chopped)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1½tsp fresh thyme
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 32oz chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste
How to:
  1. Take a pan, add asparagus, squash, salt, black pepper, and saute on medium flame. Keep aside.
  2. Pour water and broth to another pan and keep them on low heat.
  3. Take a Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.
  4. Add leek and cook for five minutes. Add in one and half cup broth mixture, and cook.
  5. Add remaining broth mixture and keep stirring. Let the broth get absorbed.
  6. Add one-fourth cup thyme and cheese. Top it with veggies.

Things To Remember

You may try various recipes and combination of ingredients for the good of your baby. But you cannot force-feed them just because it is good for their health. Here are a few things to remember and dos and don’ts to follow:

1. Make food fun

It is now time to bring out your creativity with your toddler’s meal. Try pretending cauliflower or broccoli as trees on a mashed-potato island. Try cutting sandwiches, idlis, and more with cookie cutters to get them into the shapes of stars, animals, and more. Your little one would surely enjoy eating.

2. Eating habits change

Do not worry even if your toddler is a fussy eater. Their eating habits may change due to the change in the growth pattern. The food they loved last month may not remain the same now.
The toddler’s appetite may slow down in the second year, unlike the first year. Your baby must have tripled their birth weight in the first year, but the weight gain might slow down in the second year with an expected weight gain of just around 2.4kg.

3. Exploration time

It is time your little one is busy exploring the world and may not bother much about food. Also, their appetite is still not big enough to have one big meal. Be prepared for smaller meals several times all through the day.

4. No force, please

Remember, your toddler will eat when they are hungry. Do not force them to finish the plate or judge your little one by the quantity they are eating. Instead, check for their energy levels, physical as well as mental growth.

5. Allow self-feeding

Your toddler still needs your help while feeding but allow them to feed themselves if they want to. Do not worry if they get messy. A 15-month toddler will be able to hold and drink from a cup with a little assistance from an adult. They would show interest in eating with a spoon.

Your 15-month-old can eat the same food prepared for the rest of the family. But it should be low on salt and spices. Chop the food into toddler-friendly pieces. Whenever possible, try to eat together as a family and boost up your bonding!

How do you make food interesting for your toddler? Let us know in the comments section below.

References:

1. Feeding and nutrition tips: Your 1-Year-Old; Toddler Nutrition; Healthy Children (2016)
2. Protein; Nutrition For Everyone; Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (2013)
3.Recommendations on milk intake for young children; Department of Health, Hong Kong

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