By the time my twin boys were 18 months old, I was excited at all the new foods they were now eating. No more pureeing all their food! Not that they weren't picky about their food, however. Many times you have to introduce a new food to a toddler many times before they will accept it.
Below I have listed what my boys ate when they were 18 to 24 months old. I tried not to give them the same things to eat every single day. Basically they had 3-4 favorite meals that I rotated.
Sausage links or cut up ham
1/2 piece toast with peanut butter
Morning or Afternoon Snack
Homemade oatmeal raisin cookies
Ritz dinosaur crackers
Rice Krispie Treats
Frozen juice bar
Juice* or water
2-3 frozen chicken nuggets
2-3 fish sticks
1/2 hot dog, cut up
Frozen french fries
Spaghetti-O's with meatballs (cut up)
1/2 toasted cheese sandwich
1/2 peanut butter sandwich
Cut up ham, cubed cheese, crackers
Canned peaches or pears
Carrot sticks (we're still working on these)
For dinner, your young toddler should be starting to eat what your family eats for dinner. If they can't have what we're having, I give them something from the lunch list. Here are some of the things they like to have for dinner:
Ham, cut up
Tater Tot Casserole
Macaroni and Cheese
Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Corned beef hash
Mashed or baked potatoes
Canned green beans
This is just a partial list...we're still working on eating vegetables! I encourage you to try to incorporate your toddlers into your family's meals as much as possible. They like eating with mom and dad!
* Note: I don't give my boys straight juice to drink. It's hard on their systems and can give them diarrhea. I give them half 100% fruit juice and half water. When they want more juice I give them ice water. They seem to like the water better with ice in it!
Copyright 2007, Creative Homemaking. This article may not be reprinted.