13 - 18 month old baby feeding schedule: How much should a 13 - 18 month old eat?

Updated Jun 04, 2024
13 - 18 month old baby feeding schedule: How much should a 13 - 18 month old eat? | Huckleberry

After your baby’s first birthday, it’s full speed ahead into toddlerhood! And with that, may come rapidly developing eating skills. Your child can likely now eat most foods, experiment more with utensils and open cups, and make their likes and dislikes known. Keep reading for all you need to know about feeding your 13 - 18 month old toddler.


IN THIS ARTICLE:

13 to 18 month old baby sample feeding schedule

How much to feed a 13 to 18 month: Food chart

Tips for feeding your 13 to 18 month old baby

Night feedings at 13 to 18 month olds

Takeaway

13 to 18 month old feeding schedule FAQ


Around 13 months old, your toddler may still be in transition from liquid feedings to more solid food meals. Keep at it! By about 15 months, your child may be eating three meals and two snacks on most days. You may continue to nurse if you wish, but the goal is still for nutrition to come mostly from food so consider limiting nursing sessions if they are interfering with solid food consumption. If your child is drinking animal milk or other non-dairy milk, they should drink no more than 16 - 24 oz a day. 

The following feeding schedule is meant to be a guide and can be modified to fit your family’s needs. 

Sample feeding schedule for 1-nap

6:00 AMOptional nursing session (wake up)
6:15 AMBreakfast
8:15 AMMorning snack
10:45 AMLunch
1:45 PMAfternoon snack
5:00 PMDinner
6:00 PMOptional nursing session or snack (before bed)

Sample feeding schedule for 2-nap

6:00 AMOptional nursing session (wake up)
6:15 AMBreakfast
9:00 AMMorning snack
11:30 AMLunch
2:00 PMAfternoon snack
5:00 PMDinner
6:30 - 6:45 PMOptional nursing session or snack (before bed)

Your toddler will start depending on solid foods to get the nutrition they need to grow. It’s recommended to move away from bottles and toward solid food meals and snacks including roughly three meals and two snacks per day. 

13 - 18 month feeding chart 

Wake-up:Optional nursing session
Breakfast:Oatmeal with blueberries, milk
Mid-morning snack:Hummus with cucumbers and crackers
Lunch:Peanut butter and jam sandwich, pretzels, banana, milk
Mid-afternoon snack:Yogurt pouch
Dinner:Pasta with tomato sauce, meatballs, apple slices, milk
Before bed:Optional nursing session

Your child’s rate of growth slows by a lot after they turn one year old. This means they need less energy (food) overall to support growth and development. So while it may feel like your child is eating way less than normal (and maybe they are!), it’s okay. They are just adjusting their intake according to their body’s needs. 

Most toddlers will go through some sort of picky eating phase and that’s perfectly normal! Taking it in stride will help ensure your kiddo grows out of this phase. Overall, keep serving foods even if they don’t eat them and avoid becoming a short-order cook as much as you can. When possible, serve a food they will eat with every meal and snack alongside other foods. Trust your child to eat when they are ready. 

Toddlers love to make their opinions known and this can lead to power struggles at mealtime. Defuse them quickly with the words “You don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to.” This simple phrase follows the division of responsibility, a practice that gives mealtime “jobs” to the parent/caregiver and to the child. The parent/caregiver decides what is being served, when it will be served, and where it will be served. The child decides if they will eat it and how much. 

Many kids eat with their hands well into the toddler years, especially for foods that are more difficult to eat with a utensil. However, it’s a good habit to provide a utensil and cup for meals and snacks so they can practice. Model how to use them and praise them for trying. 

Professional health organizations agree 13 - 18 month olds should drink primarily plain water and unflavored, full-fat animal milk [1] with consumption not exceeding 16 - 24 oz/day. These drinks provide the hydration and nutrition toddlers need. It's worth mentioning that many non-dairy milk alternatives contain less protein and fat compared to cow's milk, which means you'll have to source these nutrients from other food sources if you offer non-dairy milk alternatives. If serving fruit juice, limit to 4 oz of 100% fruit juice a day. 

Night feedings are typically not needed for 13 - 18 months olds. Help your child sleep well through the night by offering sufficient calories during the day and offering plenty of opportunities for them to be physically active. If you serve dinner early or find your child is truly hungry at bedtime, try serving a small bedtime snack about 30 minutes before bed. Serve something with a mix of protein and carbohydrates such as crackers with peanut butter, fruit and cheese sticks, or yogurt. 

Also note that children may go through a period of sudden disrupted sleep at this age, commonly referred to as the 18 month sleep regression.

Feeding at the beginning of toddlerhood is exciting and full of change. Expect your child’s appetite to fluctuate and for some picky eating behaviors to emerge. Tackle them both by implementing responsive feeding practices and the division of responsibility. Most of all, enjoy watching your little one continue on their eating journey!

13 to 18 month old feeding schedule FAQ

Q: How often should a 13 - 18 month old eat?

A:

A 13 - 18 month old toddler should eat about every two to three hours during the day. This typically looks like three meals and two snacks a day. Meals and snacks should be made up of table foods at this age.

Q: How long between feeds can a 13 - 18 month old go?

A:

At 13 - 18 months a toddler can probably go up to three to four hours between meals and snacks. However, it is recommended to offer them a chance to eat every two to three hours. Toddlers have small stomachs and don’t always eat when given the opportunity, so they need multiple times to fill up during the day.

Q: Can you drop night feeds at 13 - 18 months?

A:

Yes, unless directed by a medical professional, 13 - 18 month olds do not need to eat overnight. If your child is hungry at night, make sure they have enough opportunities to eat during the day. You may also try adding a small bedtime snack roughly 30 minutes before bedtime.

Q: Why is my 13 - 18 month old eating less than usual?

A:

There are a variety of reasons why your 13 - 18 month old is eating less than usual. Many times they are just in a slower season for growth and their intake is following their energy needs. They may also not be feeling well or teething. Contact your pediatrician if you are concerned.

Q: Is 30 oz of milk too much for a 13 - 18 month old?

A:

At 13 - 18 months toddlers should be getting most of their nutrition and calories from solid foods. Therefore 30oz of a liquid, whether it’s breastmilk, cow’s milk, or non-dairy milk, is too much. Reach out to your pediatrician or a feeding specialist if you need help weaning from liquid feedings.

Note: The content on this site is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice from your doctor, pediatrician, or medical professional. If you have questions or concerns, you should contact a medical professional.

1 Sources

+

  1. Healthy Drink Healthy Kids (2023). Parents and caregivers. https://healthydrinkshealthykids.org/parents/