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Can you recommend healthy lunch foods for an 18-month-old?
Q: I have a problem thinking of healthy food to serve my granddaughter for lunch. She doesn’t have as many teeth as most 18-month-olds, just her top and bottom teeth in the front. I feed her lots of fruit, but what else can I offer her?
Jo Snellville
A: Even though your granddaughter’s molars have not yet erupted, she can still eat a large variety of table foods. It sounds like you are concerned that she might choke because she lacks her chewing teeth, and this is a justifiable concern. However, if she is capable of swallowing without choking, you’d be amazed how strong and capable her jaws are to mash foods before swallowing.
Avoid foods that are obviously “choke foods,” like hot dogs, large apple chunks, etc. Pasta dishes such as macaroni and cheese or spaghetti are appropriate and toddler favourites. Yogurt, puddings, eggs, cheese slices and dry cereals are all great snacks and manageable for an 18-month-old, even without all her teeth. The best part about this age is watching children learn to feed themselves, so sit back at mealtime, let her try new things and enjoy these special muments with your grandchild.