Healthy And Interesting Food Ideas For 15-Month-Olds

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Once your tiny tot hits 15 months, they can distinguish different tastes and may change their food habits. At this age, they would want to have more than just pureed and mashed foods. Hence, you could consider trying some healthy food ideas for 15-month-olds. These food options need to be healthy as well as appeal to your infant’s changing tastes.

Since your baby needs to have at least three meals a day with healthy snacks in between, you may want to try out various recipes. Hence, we have compiled a list of the best food ideas for a 15-month-old baby.

In This Article

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). The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests nearly 13g of protein for a 15-month-old every day.

Therefore, plan a balanced meal wherein you add one source of protein to one source of carbs with adequate amounts of fat to complete the dish. The meal plan for a 15-month-old can be a mix of 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 360-480 ml cow milk (2) 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 instead of bottle-feeding.
  • Divide 480 ml 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.
protip_icon Quick fact
Full-fat milk is recommended for toddlers until two years of age, as the fat in milk is essential for optimal brain development. Children with a family history or those at a risk of obesity may be advised against consuming full-fat milk (6)(7).

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. In fact, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 % of children aged two to five in the United States consume some amount of fruit on any given day. This emphasizes the importance of introducing fruits and other fresh foods into your toddler’s diet, as they are already a component of many children’s meal plans in the United States.

Olesya Wilson, a US-based certified nutritionist, says, “Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best for nutrition and fiber that promotes a healthy gut biome. These items can be picked up by your child and will help their physical and mental 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 and whole grains, 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

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.

Tina Jui, a mom and a breakfast enthusiast, says she loves making pancakes for her toddler, and he loves having them for breakfast. She add, “We have recently entered a pancake streak. Even though I have been feeding him these pancakes since he was a baby (this is a great recipe for baby-led weaning), our toddler only recently decided that he absolutely loves pancakes and needs them all the time. Making pancakes has become a fun morning activity that we do several times a week. (i).”

protip_icon Quick tip
Replace the all-purpose flour with oats flour or almond flour to increase the nutritional value of pancakes for your toddlers.

2. Winter Squash Puree (Healthy Starter)

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

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

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 the idly 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

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)

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

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

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

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

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.
protip_icon Quick tip
Add vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, zucchini, and baby corn to your toddler’s pasta to enhance its nutritional value. Add eggs or other meats to make the meal protein-rich.

11. Khichdi (Indian Baby Food Recipe)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 into 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.

18. Pesto Pasta

Pesto Pasta

Image: Shutterstock

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 servings

You Will Need:

  • 125g blended green beans
  • 16g basil
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • Medium-sized onion
  • 100g pasta shells
  • 5ml olive oil

How To:

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan, keeping the flame medium, then add finely sliced onion and garlic.
  2. Cook until browned. Add the pureed green beans and chopped basil leaves.
  3. Cook pasta as per the directions given on the package, then drain and mix with sauce, and adjust the consistency as desired.
  4. Serve it warm and sprinkle it with some shredded cheese for a better taste.

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. Baby-friendly snacks like finger foods make it easier for them to eat and experiment.

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.

protip_icon Quick tip
Do not label food as good or bad, involve your toddler in food preparation, and have at least one meal together as a family to encourage healthy food habits in toddlers.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why does my 15-month-old baby chew the food but not swallow it?

If babies chew the food and do not swallow, the process is known as food pocketing. This may happen from weak muscles of the face and neck, sensory issues, behavioral disorders, cleft lip or palate, autism, nervous system disorders, low birth weight, and stomach problems. Talk to your child’s doctor if you notice swallowing problems in children (3).

2. How much water should a 15-month-old drink?

The suggested water intake for a 15-month old is 8 to 32oz or one to four cups daily (4).

3. What are the best foods for my 15-month baby to gain weight?

A 15-month baby can gain weight by eating high-calorie foods. You may offer them avocados, boiled and mashed beans, bananas, lentils, mashed potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, whole milk yogurt, and fresh ground meat. Thinning these foods with formula, breast milk, or broth is ideal for feeding your baby (5).

4. How much should a 15-month-old eat per meal?

According to UNICEF, a 15-month-old should be given three-quarters to one cup of food per meal three to four times daily (8).

5. Can a 15-month-old eat solid food?

Yes, a 15-month-old can eat solid food along with being breastfed. However, solid food at this age should be their primary source of nutrients (8).

Provide a balanced diet with fish, meat, and milk products for protein, fruits, vegetables, pulses, and cereals for your baby. A 15-month-old baby’s food usually contains pureed and finger foods. They can eat the same food prepared for the rest of the family but ensure they have less salt and spices. Avoid forceful feeding and allow the child to explore various foods and eat independently. Try presenting food in fun and creative ways to grab your baby’s attention and get rid of their picky-eating habits. Try to eat together as a family whenever possible to boost your bonding.

Infographic: Important Points To Remember When Feeding Your 15-Month-Old

Parents need to be patient and offer a variety of healthy foods to a 15-month-old toddler. Encourage them to eat on their own and avoid forcing. Additionally, refer to the following infographic for more tips on feeding a 15-month-old and share it with others.

tips to note when feeding a 15 month old baby (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • 15-month-olds can distinguish between different tastes and would want to try out different foods.
  • The meal plan for a 15-month-old must include a combination of fruits, vegetables, protein sources, and grains.
  • Introduce new foods to your little one with brief waiting periods while being on the lookout for possible symptoms of an allergy.
  • Give your child small portions and do not force them to finish what is on the plate.
  • Allow your child to feed themselves and explore if they want to and do not be fazed by the mess they create.
  • Involve your child while you prepare food and get their curiosity going.

See this video to delve into the daily routine and mealtime adventures of a 15-month-old baby, making mealtimes enjoyable and effortless for all.

Personal Experience: Source

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

1. Feeding and nutrition tips: Your 1-Year-Old; Toddler Nutrition; Healthy Children (2016)
2.Recommendations on milk intake for young children; Department of Health, Hong Kong
3.Feeding and Swallowing Disorders in Children; American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
4.Recommended Drinks for Young Children Ages 0-5; American Academy of Pediatrics
5.High Calorie Diet for Infants and Toddlers; UW School of Medicine and Public Health
6.Cow’s milk and children; National Library of Medicine
7.Cow’s Milk Alternatives: Parent FAQs; American Academy of Pediatrics
8.Feeding you baby: 1-2 years; UNICEF

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