Seeing your baby eat gives you immense satisfaction. When you are introducing solid foods to your baby, you are all enthusiastic. However, once your little one turns 15 months, he can pretty well recognize the tastes. His food habits change and so should you because you can no more add mashed banana or puree to his diet.
At this age, your baby needs at least three meals a day with some healthy snacks in between. MomJunction has compiled the best food ideas for a 15-month-old baby.
What Kind Of Foods Should Be Offered To A Toddler?
Ideally, the meal plan for a 15-month-old baby should be a salubrious mixture of the following: cereals, bread, rice, wheat, pasta, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dry fruits, dry beans, oil, milk, and dairy products.
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 13 grams of protein is needed for a 15-month-old every day. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that nearly 50% of calories should come from fat during the initial two years after birth.
Do not try to incorporate all these foods in a single meal. They can be a part of the main course meal, a complimentary dish, or even a snack. But make sure you include at least one protein-rich source in all main meals daily.
1. Cow’s milk (whole or full cream milk)
How much milk for a 15-month-old? He needs a minimum of 350ml cow’s milk every day to meet the nutritional requirements for calcium and vitamin D. The extra fat in the whole milk will play a part in enhancing brain growth and development.
Offer him cow’s milk in a cup, not in a bottle. Offer three servings of milk in any form, once a day. If your toddler is not keen on drinking milk, give it to him in the form of milkshakes, puddings, yogurt, paneer, custard, and so on.
Do not feed him with more than 400ml milk because having more of it may cut down the toddler’s appetite for solids. Cutting down on solids means a direct impact on the intake of essential nutrients such as vitamins and iron. 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. Offer fresh fruits and vegetables along with his favorite foods. Give him enough scope to enjoy a varied, nutritious diet. Minimize sugary and fatty foods like deep fried sweets and junk foods.
A good amount of fruits and vegetables in the diet enriches the color factor and contributes to fiber content. Fiber helps in tackling the common constipation problems in kids and helps in maintaining good bowel movement.
Cereals are good sources of energy. Include several varieties of cereals such as rice, wheat, millets in the toddler’s foods during different times of the day. Fortified cereals with no added sugar or salt or artificial coloring are the best for your baby.
4. Protein and fat diet
Add meat to the toddler’s diet for fat and protein. Offer him soft pieces of pork, chicken, or hamburger. Go for fish variety like salmon, canned light tuna, catfish, and Pollock. Give him scrambled eggs or legumes as finger food.
Cheese too is a protein and fat source. It makes a great finger food for a 15-month-old. Peanut butter is also a source of protein and fat, but some toddlers have trouble swallowing it. Avoid nuts, for now, to avoid choking hazard.
Note: Introduce one new food at a time with brief waiting periods.