18-Month Old Diets

Written by joe faulkner-edwards
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18-Month Old Diets
A child should be able to feed herself at 18 months of age. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

At 18 months, your little one should be fairly proficient at self-feeding and will be willing and eager to experience a variety of tastes and textures in her diet. Ensuring your child has a healthy, balanced diet full of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients she needs is essential for promoting healthy development.

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At 18 months, your toddler's bones are still growing rapidly. Calcium is essential to support the development of healthy bones and teeth. Milk is a great source of calcium, and also contains vitamin D which aids the absorption of calcium. Your child needs two or three servings of dairy each day. Opt for whole milk, cheese, cottage cheese or yoghurt.


Grains are another essential element of your toddler's diet, providing energy, fibre and important minerals and vitamins such as folic acid and B vitamins. Baby Center recommends your child consumes six servings of grains every day. One serving could include half a bagel, 1/4 cup of rice or pasta, several crackers or 1/3 cup of cooked oats or cereal.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense, full of important vitamins and minerals. What's more, they provide a great source of dietary fibre, essential for promoting healthy digestion and regulating proper insulin response. A minimum of two or three servings of fruits and vegetables are required each day for an 18-month-old. Half an apple or banana makes for a tasty snack between meals. 1/4 cup of cooked peas or broccoli is the perfect accompaniment to meals. Try a variety of fruits and vegetables to introduce new flavours and textures, and ensure your child is getting the full range of vitamins and minerals.


Protein is essential for growth, required for repairing and building new muscle cells and connective tissue. Make sure your child is eating at least two servings of protein every day. Minced meat or chunks of fish or poultry are healthy choices. Hard boiled eggs, tofu, beans and peanut butter are also good alternatives. Again, try introducing a range of proteins into his diet.

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