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28 Easy Toddler Dinner Ideas for 12-18 Months

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    Easy toddler dinner ideas for 12-18 months and recipes for 12-18 months like deconstructed fajitas, toddler pasta salad, and naan pizza.

    Looking for recipes for toddlers 12-18 months? Wondering what can I cook my 14 month old for dinner? What can I feed my 1 year old for dinner? What dinners are family-friendly for toddlers?

    Here you will find a list of toddler dinner ideas perfect for young toddlers based on what my own kids have liked and eaten at this age. Toddler dinner ideas like pulled chicken, deconstructed fajitas, baked chicken tenders, and deconstructed loaded sandwiches.

    Hi, I’m Jessica! A mom of three with a passion for sharing our easy and family-friendly toddler meal ideas.

    Dinner doesn’t have to be anything fancy and your kids can learn to eat what you eat at dinner time (which makes it easier on everyone!).

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    How to Cook Food Safely For Toddlers

    By 12-18 months old, your toddler can eat most of the food you can, it might just need to be modified in some ways to make it safe. The below list is not all inclusive, but is a good start for some food safety beginner tips. Always consult your doctor if you have questions or concerns regarding food safety.

    • Cook food until tender: avoid raw or hard fruits and veggies like raw carrots or apples. If the food is hard, cook until tender to avoid choking.
    • Cut food appropriately: food should be cut into small pieces to avoid choking; quarter grapes, squish blueberries, cut hot dogs and sausage length wise first.
    • Avoid small hard foods: such as nuts, seeds, popcorn (kernels), and candy.
    • Watch the sodium: baby’s kidneys are still immature so they aren’t able to process salt effectively. After 1 year old or so, the recommendation changes slightly as toddlers are able to safely process more salt. However, you should still limit salt for your toddler because diets high in sodium are shown to lead to increased blood pressure and other diseases down the road.

    Best Feeding Supplies for 12-18 Months

    You don’t necessarily need anything special to feed your toddler, but there are some feeding supplies that can make your life just a little bit easier (and cleaner). Here are some of our favorite young toddler feeding supplies:

    WeeSprout Silicone Divided Plate (pictured above) – our favorite silicone plate! We love that they come with the option of a lid and have suctions on the bottom.

    Pillowfort Divided Toddler Plate – affordable, durable, and are a great size for young toddlers! You will see these plates frequently pictured below.

    Ingenuity Baby Booster Seat – 12-18 months old is a great age to move your toddler to the table (if they are still sitting in a high chair). We moved both of my kids by 18 months old. It helps them feel more involved in family meal time and is great practice for when they get older.

    Grabease Baby and Toddler Self-Feeding Utensils – a great first utensil set for those just learning to poke and scoop with a fork and spoon. We love that the grip is round so it’s easy for little hands to hold and there is also a gag guard.

    Toddler Dinner Ideas for 12-18 Months

    Four toddler dinner ideas for 12-18 months.
    1. Buttered Pasta w/ Veggies – most young toddlers love pasta and it can be the perfect dinner time meal the whole family can enjoy.
    1. Meatballs, Steamed Veggies & Sweet Potato Fries – meatballs are one of our favorites for young toddlers because they tend to be super tender and break apart easily. Steam veggies like broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, and green beans until soft.
    1. Pulled Chicken – cook chicken breasts with cream cheese in the slow cooker for 4-6 hours on low, then shred and add more cheese (or salsa or green chiles). Sides of avocado and black beans.
    1. Broccoli & Cheese Quesadilla – a quesadilla made with a flour tortilla and stuffed with chopped broccoli and cheese, side of quartered grapes and avocado.

    Related Post: 18 Fun Toddler Snack Ideas

    1. Mac & Cheese – a toddler favorite can also be a family favorite at dinner time! Choose a pre-made variety or make your own homemade (like our Super Creamy Mac & Cheese) with peas mixed in and sides of olives and strawberries.
    1. Cauliflower Tots – whether you have these as a side dish or main course for your toddler, we love Veggie Tots! Side of diced sweet potatoes and quartered grapes.
    1. Deconstructed Taco Plate – instead of full tacos, try serving a deconstructed version with chicken or ground beef, shredded cheese, rice, corn, and avocado.
    1. Pasta w/ Red Sauce – pasta with red sauce, veggies, and chicken sausage with sides of fresh mozarella, and grapes.

    Our favorite affordable divider plates: Pillowfort Divided Toddler Plate

    Four plates with toddler dinner ideas.
    1. Steak & Mashed Cauliflower – iron rich foods are so great for your growing baby and toddler, so don’t be afraid of red meat (just cut into small pieces and make sure its not too overcooked and chewy). Steak with a side of mashed cauliflower and broccoli.
    1. Deconstructed Fajitas – if you are making fajitas for dinner, serve a deconstructed version for your 12-18 month old toddler. Shredded chicken thighs, cooked bell pepper, tortilla triangles, guacamole, and black beans.
    1. Baked Chicken Tenders – breaded and baked chicken tenders cut up into bite-sized pieces for your young toddler. Side of broccoli and sweet potato fries.
    1. Teriyaki Bowls – rice, chicken, and veggies cooked in teriyaki sauce.

    Related Post: 50 Toddler Snack Tray Ideas

    Four toddler plates for 12-18 month toddler dinner ideas.
    1. Grilled Broccoli & Cheese – grilled cheese made a little more wholesome with added chopped broccoli. Side of raspberries.
    1. Baked Chicken & Sweet Potatoes – use a sheet pan to cook chicken breast, broccoli, and diced sweet potatoes for an easy family-friendly meal.
    1. Baked Beans – don’t forget about baked beans for a wholesome protein-filled meal option. Side of mandarin oranges and Dr. Praeger’s Spinach Littles.
    1. Deconstructed Sandwich Plate – if you’re having sandwiches for dinner, serve a deconstructed version to your toddler for an easy meal idea! Ham and cheese, diced tomatoes, cucumber, black olives, hummus, and quartered grapes.

    Our favorite flower divided plate: EZPZ Mini Play Mat

    what to serve your toddler for dinner
    1. Salmon & Mashed Potatoes – fish is easy for babies and young toddlers to eat and is a great family-friendly meal option for young toddlers. Side of brussle sprouts and mashed potatoes.
    2. Pasta w/ Parmesan – a quick and easy dinner option for toddlers is pasta with grass-fed butter and Parmesan cheese (which both provide a bit of protein). I love choosing red-lentil or chickpea noodles and sides of cheese, bell peppers, and grapes.
    3. Cheese Crisp – a great modification for taco night is to serve your one year old a cheese crisp! Sides of sour cream for dipping, olives, and refried beans (Siete Refried Beans are a favorite of ours!)
    4. Orzo – this is one of our favorite recipes made with orzo, bacon, spinach, and veggies.
    recipes for 12-18 months
    1. Mini Naan Pizza – Mini pizza made on Naan and cut into strips or quarters, with sides of avocado and grapes.
    2. Grilled cheese bites – grilled cheese cut into bites or strips so its a little easier to eat with sides of baked beans and melon.
    3. Breakfast for Dinner – breakfast foods for dinner are always a hit in our household. We love french toast with sides of chicken sausage (Applegate is our favorite), and raspberries).
    4. BLT Pasta Salad – another family-favorite recipe that is also great for one year olds, with sides of shredded cheese, and raspberries.
    12-18 month old dinner recipes
    1. Deconstructed Teriyaki Chicken – breaded chicken with a little Teriyaki sauce, rice with coconut aminos, and broccoli.
    2. Pasta Salad – an easy make-ahead lunch or dinner recipe with sides of cucumbers with hummus, and grapes.
    3. Chicken Sausage – chicken sausage cut up and quartered, sweet potato tots, and broccoli.
    4. Deconstructed Hamburger – when ever you have hamburger night, make your toddler a deconstructed version! Roll cut into strips, corn on the cob, bite-sized cheeseburger with ketchup, tomato, and avocado.

    Toddler Dinner Ideas Summary

    Here is a quick breakdown of 16 easy toddler dinner ideas perfect for 12-18 month olds:

    1. Buttered Pasta w/ Veggies
    2. Meatballs, Steamed Veggies & Sweet Potato Fries
    3. Pulled Chicken
    4. Broccoli & Cheese Quesadilla
    5. Mac & Cheese
    6. Cauliflower Tots
    7. Deconstructed Taco Plate
    8. Pasta w/ Red Sauce
    9. Steak & Mashed Cauliflower
    10. Deconstructed Fajitas
    11. Baked Chicken Tenders
    12. Teriyaki Bowls
    13. Grilled Broccoli & Cheese
    14. Baked Chicken & Sweet Potatoes
    15. Baked Beans
    16. Deconstructed Sandwich Plates
    17. Salmon & Mashed Potatoes
    18. Pasta w/ Parmesan
    19. Cheese Crisp
    20. Orzo
    21. Naan Pizza
    22. Grilled Cheese Bites
    23. French Toast
    24. BLT Pasta Salad
    25. Deconstructed Teriyaki Chicken
    26. Pasta Salad
    27. Chicken Sausage
    28. Deconstructed Cheeseburger

    Thanks for stopping by!

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