Transitional Recipes for Baby: 12-18 Months

These 12 recipes are designed to help you transition baby to the family meal. Each recipe is a family-friendly recipe, and next to each one you’ll find directions on how to modify or adapt a small serving of that recipe for baby. Get excited because this is the beginning of simplified meal planning!

Baby Micah

Transitioning from Baby to Toddler

Feeding your toddler what the rest of the family is eating is often a tougher hurdle for parents to get over than it actually is for baby. But remember, your child is ready and technically has been eating more tender, plainer versions of adult food for a while now. It’s important not to label food as “adult food” or “kid food” because it creates connotations for your toddler of what he should or shouldn’t eat. Your little one will try almost all foods right now, so this is a perfect age to offer dishes and foods the rest of the family is eating. Plus, it simplifies mealtime tremendously for the cook! Here, we give you tasty family-friendly recipes and modifications for little one.

Mini Whole-Wheat Apricot Muffins Recipe

Mini Whole-Wheat Apricot Muffins

We love muffins for toddlers because they're perfect for quick breakfasts and snacks. They're also great for sneaking in extra fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber. To ensure that the apricots in these mini muffins are soft enough for baby, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes; drain them well before chopping them.

For baby: Serve 1 to 2 cooled mini muffins.

View Recipe: Mini Whole-Wheat Apricot Muffins

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins Recipe

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Introduce baby to this family favorite made even more healthy by adding whole-wheat flour and oatmeal. Tossing unthawed frozen blueberries with a couple tablespoons of flour before adding them to the batter keeps them from turning the batter purple while they bake. If you use fresh blueberries, skip that step.

For baby: Serve 1/2 to 1 cooled muffin.

View Recipe: Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins Recipe

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

Look for untoasted wheat germ in the organic food section of your supermarket. Adding boiling water to the batter and allowing it to sit for 15 minutes before baking allows the hearty oats, wheat germ, and bran to soak up the liquid for a more tender muffin.

For baby: Serve 1/2 to 1 cooled muffin.

View Recipe: Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe

Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

Serve the pancakes with heated maple syrup. Remember that serving sizes are designed for adult needs; baby will eat less and need only a small drizzle of syrup.

For baby:
•   Cut a pancake into bite-sized pieces and serve on a rimmed plate.
•   Drizzle lightly with syrup.

View Recipe: Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

Breakfast Couscous Recipe

Breakfast Couscous

Couscous are tiny granules of semolina flour that cook up light and fluffy in just a few minutes. This is a great time-saving recipe for busy mornings because you can prepare it the night before and reheat it in the morning. The recipe is easy to double if you need to serve more people.

For baby:
•   Serve cooled spoonfuls in a small bowl.
•   Omit walnuts, if desired.

View Recipe: Breakfast Couscous

Mac and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes Recipe

Mac and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes

Introduce baby to this comfort food classic that the whole family will love as a main dish or side. Plenty of milk and cheese make it a great source of bone-building calcium. Feel free to use a mild cheddar, if you'd like.

For baby:
•   Omit black pepper.
•   Serve spoonfuls in a small bowl.
•   Cut the tomatoes and macaroni, if needed, into bite-sized pieces.

View Recipe: Mac and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes

Barley with Shiitakes and Spinach Recipe

Barley with Shiitakes and Spinach

Although barley isn't a commonly used grain, it's great for baby because of its mild flavor. In this recipe, barley provides a quick yet hearty base for vegetables, cheese, and rosemary, which can be served as a meatless main or side dish.

For baby:
•   Omit black pepper.
•   Serve the barley mixture in a small bowl.
•   Cut the mushrooms and spinach into bite-sized pieces, if needed.

View Recipe: Barley with Shiitakes and Spinach

Pan-Grilled Snapper with Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

Pan-Grilled Snapper with Orzo Pasta Salad

Small rice-shaped pasta, orzo cooks quickly and soaks up flavor from the vinaigrette. Double the vinaigrette, and spoon some over the top of the fish, if you like.

For baby:
•   Omit black pepper.
•   Shred the fish into bite-sized pieces.
•   Serve fish and a spoonful of orzo mixture in a small bowl or on a rimmed plate.

View Recipe: Pan-Grilled Snapper with Orzo Pasta Salad

Pilaf with Chicken, Spinach, and Walnuts Recipe

Pilaf with Chicken, Spinach, and Walnuts

You'll need a large skillet with a lid for this recipe. Breaking the cinnamon sticks and sautéing them with the onion brings out their aromatic goodness. To save time, use chicken breast meat from a rotisserie chicken.

For baby:
•   Omit the walnuts and dill.
•   Serve spoonfuls in a small bowl.

View Recipe: Pilaf with Chicken, Spinach, and Walnuts

Beef and Vegetable Potpie Recipe

Beef and Vegetable Potpie

Cooking the beef filling first in a large skillet and then in the oven ensures that the meat and vegetables are tender and flavorful. Finishing the casserole in the oven browns the breadstick-dough topping. For a fun presentation kids will love, make individual servings in 4-ounce ramekins. You can also freeze single servings for later.

For baby: Serve spoonfuls of potpie in a small bowl.

View Recipe: Beef and Vegetable Potpie

Oven-Roasted Green Beans Recipe

Oven-Roasted Green Beans

This simple side dish can pass as a healthy version of French fries and will add color to any meal. Plus you can roast the beans at the last minute while you finish setting the table.

For baby:
•   Omit black pepper.
•   Cut the green beans into bite-sized pieces.
•   Serve 3 to 5 green beans in a small bowl or on a rimmed plate.

View Recipe: Oven-Roasted Green Beans

Honey-Glazed Carrots Recipe

Honey-Glazed Carrots

Orange rind gives carrots a sweet, citrusy flavor, but the white pith has a bitter flavor, so be sure to avoid it when you're zesting.

For baby:
•   Omit black pepper.
•   Cut the carrot slices into bite-sized pieces.
•   Serve spoonfuls in a small bowl or on a rimmed plate.

View Recipe: Honey-Glazed Carrots

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