53 answers

Alternate Ideas for Protein for a 13 Month Old

Does anyone have ideas for protein other than meat. My daughter is 13 months old and will not eat conventional protein or beans. She gets sick of the same foods too! She has eaten cheese and yogurt as alternatives. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi,

My son ate tofu--cheap, easy to prepare. Just rinse a block of firm tofu in water, gently squeeze out the excess water, pat dry with paper towels, cut into cubes, saute in a small amount of butter or olive oil.

:-) D.

1 mom found this helpful

How about eggs or hummus, or tofu cubes. Also, some whole grains, such as quinoa, have a ton of protein.

1 mom found this helpful

I had the same issue with my dd so I tried eggs,scrambled and she loved them. You can even add a little cheese if you want, but my dd liked them plain.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Cottage cheese is super high in protein! Also very good- 100% whole grains (oatmeal, wheat bread, etc), try wheat germ (sold near the oatmeal at the grocery store) and it can be mixed applesauce, substitutd for flour, added to pancakes, mixed in with yogurt (and it actually tastes yummy!), tofu is easy to be sneaky with- you can dice it and mix it with just about anything, avocados, my nephew loves edamame, and there's also milk!

3 moms found this helpful

Think Thin Bars from Trader Joes - 20g protein, 0g sugar and gluten free. Both my kids love them - chocolate and brownie flavors.

2 moms found this helpful

My pediatrician told me not to worry about the protein, that they will get enough from other sources, but that the lack of iron in the diet could be a concern (once they are no longer taking formula or fortified cereal). He advised an iron supplement, you may want to mention this to your ped. to see what his thoughts are.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi M..
I have been veg for 14 years and vegan for 3. It is true that we do not need nearly as much protein as our society would suggest. Not only that, but our body is equipped to combine the necessary amino acids it gets from various sources to make the complete protein that it needs.

That said, many of the "protein" sources are also high on the allergen chart, so you want to introduce them slowly and one at a time. Your baby is after the one year mark, so, unless there is a family history of allergies, this is an appropriate time to start.

Egg whites are all protein, so if you eat eggs, then you can sneak them into all types of things.

Soy is a good source, but it is high on the allergen chart and there is the estrogen issue, so I would not overdue it.

Try a variety of beans and in a variety of ways- whole or "refried". My kids like some, but not others, so try a variety. Lentils are very versatile and a good source of iron. You can mix them with rice, puree them in soup, or make a baked "loaf".

Peanut butter on wheat bread is a complete protein. Quinoa is a light flavored grain that is also high in protein. Avocados are great too.

The real trick is to offer a variety of foods in creative ways.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

Another good alternative are things like "Pediasure" and "Carnation Instant Breakfast"... both are 'meal' drinks for children and have protein in it.

I have given these to my son, who is VERY fickle and picky with his foods, everyday. And he will drink this.

You might also try egg-whites.
At this age, foods is still an 'acquired' taste for babies/children....as their taste buds are STILL developing. Thus, their preferences and changes in food likes/dislikes.

Again, check with your Pediatrician too. As protein is an important 'building block' nutrient for growing toddlers.

All the best,
Susan

2 moms found this helpful

Have you considered that your child has food allergies. Western Medicine does not give enough attention to allergies. And they should.

I recommend that you log on to website NAET.com. They are allergists who eliminate allergies. They are the ONLY doctors in the world who eliminate allergies.

I am 37 and have had allergies my entire life and I am now eliminating them with my NAET allergist. I am also completing my degree in Nutrition Science. I have been doing many hours of studying on this.

I believe your child has food allergies.

Should you have any further questions, you can email me at ____@____.com Well.

N.

1 mom found this helpful

Blend soft Tofu with tomato sauce to make a creamy spagetti sauce (or for any pasta). My kids love it. Just do not give tofu too often because it promotes estrogen in the body, but occasionally it is fine. Also, we put cottage cheese (which is higher in protein than yogurt) on toast and swirl honey over the top, so in little bites a 13 month old can eat that too. That's another big hit with my kids. There is always eggs in any form. Some grains are high in protein too, like Quinoa. You would have to look into diffent ways to cook that.

1 mom found this helpful

what about tofu? scrambled eggs? peanut butter?

1 mom found this helpful

M.,

Check out the cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld. It is called Deceptively Delicious and there are some great tricks in there to hide food that your daughter doesn't like but will still get her protein without even knowing about it. I have a 5 yr old girl and 2 1/2 yr old boy and they are picky about different things and when you make the food fun and they have no idea what is in there they will try the food. This cookbook even has a recipe for brownies using carrot and spinach puree. They will never know it's there.
Good luck
K.

1 mom found this helpful

It's already been mentioned, but my daughter gobbled up tofu squares. She liked them plain - couldn't be any easier!

1 mom found this helpful

M. I'm in the same boat w/ my 16-month-old who is fighting being weaned and who has been refusing to eat solids. So..I have to get creative with her. (Oh before I go on, I believe I just read in one of my pregnancy mags that Cheerios have a lot of protein.)

Anyway, how does your child feel about hot dogs? I went online yesterday and found some recipes for "pigs-in-a-blanket". I made her some and she actually enjoyed them. The following are the recipes I used:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pigs-in-Blankets/Detail.aspx...
This is the one I used. I made my own biscuit mix- see following link. I also followed the suggestion to use cornmeal instead of flour to roll out the dough. I rolled it out into a 10" by 10" square and then cut it into 14 strips- 6 wider, 8 thinner. (I took a package of 8 hotdogs and sliced two of them into fourths lengthwise to make them thin enough to not pose a choking hazard for my daughter. She tried to stuff a 1 1/2 inch piece into her mouth so now, I'm thinking of cutting them into shorter pieces as well and making truly bit-size snacks for her.)

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Biscuit-Baking-Mix/Detail.as...
This is the recipe I used to make my "basic biscuit mix". I cut everything in half and I ended up with 6 cups of mix. I used 2 yesterday and still have enough for 2 more batches of "piggies" or I can use for pancakes/waffles etcetera. I understand BettyCrocker.com has good recipes that this can be used for as it is similiar to Bisquick.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pigs-in-a-Blanket/Detail.asp...
This was also another recipe that looked good. They used cheese, which I'll probably try myself. I also read the suggestions and found many of them to sound pretty good.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Fry-Sauce/Detail.aspx
Dipping sauce: I have actually seen people "make" this before including my 18-year-old, but I never tried it. It's actually quite tasty. The recipe makes 1cup but you can make as much or as little as you want as long as you use 1 part ketchup to 2 parts mayonaise. I used a regular small flatware spoon and mixed a single serving for myself to try out.

Also keep in mind you can adapt these recipes to suit you. Next time I make the biscuit mix, I plan on using whole wheat flour. Another way to healthify is the suggestion to use Canola oil rather than the shortening. I'm also thinking I will try Vienna Sausages and maybe chunks of canned chicken. We'll see.

Anyway, hope this is useful and fun for you also. I found it extremely easy and even fun. Oh! And my older girls loved them so even if your little one doesn't eat them, your family will so they won't got to waste.

1 mom found this helpful

My kids also refused meat at this age, and my pediatrician said that at this age it is still fine if most of the child's protein comes from dairy products. So, my kids would have whole milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and several different types of cheeses.
Peanutbutter is good, and you may want to try out just a little bit of scrambled eggs. (Not too often,and watch out for allergies). My daughter loved them at this age.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.. I have one idea that may work for you and your daughter. I started my young ones with tofu (extra firm).
Take it out of the package, slice into 1/4 inch rectangles and then place it in Italian bread crumbs. I used a cast iron pan, placed butter in the pan, heated up and then put the tofu in. Brown both sides, remove, cut up in manageable finger size pieces and serve. Make sure that the tofu has cooled off first. Hope this works and good luck!
P.

1 mom found this helpful

Soy-tofu is a great source of protein. You can mix it into anything. It will take on the flavor of whatever you combine it with. I give it to my son all the time in asian dishes. It's a big hit!

S.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi mama...you've already gotten great suggestions. (I'm going to use a few myself!) My son is hit and miss on the proteins too. One day he'll gobble it down, the next he won't even take a single bite. Just keep giving it to them. A few things I've been successful with...the chicken drumettes at Trade Joes. I pop 2 or 3 in the oven, then cut them up and toss with a little bit of ketchup. Also at Trader Joes, the turkey meatballs...plain or tossed with a little marinara sauce. I also make whole wheat french toast and soak the bread well to get more egg. I put a little fruit spread on it and my son gobbles it up. (It's a consistent winner.) Just don't give up. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

scrambled eggs, cereals made with soybeans, yogurt, tuna, cottage cheese, peanut butter, milk, beans (try different kinds - mashed or not) & lentils, tofu. Read this: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/T044400.asp

1 mom found this helpful

I gave my kids tofu and smoothies with protein powder at that age. Jay Robb's protein is sugar free and a yummy choice...but there are many others like it. And she can have hard boiled eggs or egg whites at 13 months. You have a lot of options. There are also so many frozen meatless products in your grocers freezer. And you can blend almonds, tofu, or soy beans to put in a smoothie too. Feed it to her with a spoon. If you need a recipe for a smoothie let me know.

1 mom found this helpful

Somebody mentioned Carnation Inst. Breakfast, and I know that it used to have a lot of additives in it that you probably wouldn't want to give your baby. Be sure to read the label. Hummus is a good alternative--you can make your own, picking up a recipe off the net or buy a natural one at Trader Joe's or a store like that. Low sodium canned beans or refried beans (black beans are the most nutritious) are good. You can spread hummus or the beans on bread or crackers, or even eat it with a spoon.

1 mom found this helpful

As long as your baby is drinking plenty of milk, that alone is a great source of protein. My son loves cheese, quinoa, FISH and more. This is a great time to be offering new flavors and textures. -www.weelicious.com

1 mom found this helpful

How about eggs or hummus, or tofu cubes. Also, some whole grains, such as quinoa, have a ton of protein.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,

My son does not like meat either. So I give him Lentiles peas on rice or mash patatoes with mix vegs and salmon. He loves it!! You could try that to see...
peanut-butter is a good source of protein too

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,

My 11-month-old daughter and I are lacto-ovo vegetarian and we use a few different sources for alternative protein. First, you may want to make beans a little differently so she doesn't really know they are beans, sometimes, looking at them whole may turn her off from eating them. Also, try different kinds of beans, or sneaking them in a hearty soup (lentil and garbanzo are my favorite). Other than that, you can try eggs (although I don't know if you consider this meat), or tofu. But I hear that by far, the best source of protein comes from the soybean (far more than meat!). You can replace just about all dairy products with soy. Aside from the obvious (soy milk) there is soy ice cream, cheese, hot dogs, burger patties, and so on. Just be careful, because too much protein is also harmful and there IS such thing as soy poisoning. Now if your daughter, for any reason, turns out to be soy intolerant (some people are, so check with her doctor) then there are other sources like: nuts, seeds, yeast, and fresh water algae (check out this website: http://www.happycow.net/vegetarian_protein.html) There is sooooo much info on this website, but in case you don't have time to check it out, you can also try: Barley, Brown rice, Buckwheat, Millet, Oatmeal, Rye, Wheat germ, Wheat, hard red, Wild rice. These can all be prepared "kid-friendly" by making them into either hot breakfast cereal, a pudding, or bread, or lightly seasoning them so they are more appealing. There are also many, many vegetables that contain protein (actually all veggies have at least a little), but again, if you just check that site I told you, there is a good list of them there. If you need recipe ideas or anything else, contact me and maybe I can exchange ideas with you. Believe, me your struggle, has been mine for a while, lol. Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

Edamame, "The Wonder Veggie" is a complete protein containing all the essential Amino Acids. Edamame is the only vegetable that offers a complete protein profile equal to both meat and eggs in its protein content. Edamame is rich in calcium, iron, zinc, and many of the B vitamins.
My kids just love these little "peas." I get them at Costco in little steamer containers that can be cooked in the microwave. I pop them out of their casing and then you have these wonderful protein filled "peas" that your child can enjoy! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I had the same issue with my dd so I tried eggs,scrambled and she loved them. You can even add a little cheese if you want, but my dd liked them plain.

1 mom found this helpful

We don't eat meat so we get our protein from peanut butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear M.,
All of the suggestions are so good that have been already given.
Here are some more that are slightly different.
* soybeans arent too unconventional, but they can be mashed, seasoned with mayonaise and your choice of spices (I like light tumeric, fresh garlic paste, and dry basil)with bits of vegetable paste. A Japanese "orosu" is a small inexpensive type of fine grater that makes pastes from any fruit or vegetable-- if your little girl is too young for tiny carrot or onion squares for a slightly crunchy texture.
*"Paneer" is a type of Indian hand made cheese that you can make yourself if there are no Indian stores in your area. it is unlike other cheese in that there is almost no salt
and it doesnt melt when cooked at high temperatures. There has got to be a way to find out exactly how to do this on line. You only need cheese cloth with a way to keep the cheese strained, and about 6 lemons per gallon of milk and a large pot. the amount of salt and/or frige life is up to you.
*Some beans are are almost unrecognizeable when they are pre-soaked and then rubbed together to take the "peels" off. This technique ( or even a puree) will make a unrecognisable base of a soup or sauce.You can control the thickness. Thin bean broths are hearty yet not as "thick" or "monotonous" as regular heavy bean dishes. (write me if you would like a few examples or details)
*A friend of mine made vegi-burgers with Azuki beans mashed together with stickey rice, grated onions and corriander powder(The stickey rice is found in Asian markets. The Japanese call the rice "mochi")Most beans would work for this vegiburger but red or brown beans have a nice chewy-ness and REALLY look like hamburger when fried with the stickey rice.
GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY COOKING !!!

1 mom found this helpful

M.,

My oldest loved tofu at that age. You can buy it firm and cook it like scrambled eggs. You can buy it marinated and just heat it. You can cube it and heat it in broth as soup. You can find really good recipes for tofu. It doesn't have much flavor so it pairs well with lots of different stuff (I like it in soups and with teryaki sauce on it). It also comes in a few different textures so it is pretty versatile

Eggs are also a great source of protein. My youngest is 2 and he loves them scrambled or boiled.

Quinoa is a grain that is considered a whole protein - the only vegetarian source that I'm aware of that is a complete protein by itself (most veg proteins need to be paired with something else to form a complete protein, like mac & cheese, beans & rice, etc...) You can get it a Whole Foods and probably some other places too. It cooks pretty fast and tastes like whatever you pair with it.

My 2 year old is allergic to both dairy and soy so we've had to be really creative to come up with things he can eat. Fortunately he likes meat and eggs or we'd really be struggling for protein sources.

T.

1 mom found this helpful

M., we are raising our son vegetarian and he is healthy and strong! Here are some suggestions: sunflower nut butter (not considered an allergen), tofu salad made with regular mayo or veganaise (steam tofu, dice green onions, mash with mayo or veganaise ans spread on whole wheat bread), whole wheat pasta, low-fat cottage cheese, string cheese, and if your child doesn't have nut allergies (though doctors recommend waiting until kids are 2 before introducing nuts) you could try the various nut butters--peanut, cashew, almond, etc. Good luck! It's actually really easy to find protein if you know where to look! Best, C.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,
I am a mother of a 2 year old son who has never eaten meat. He is a vegetarian, as is my partner. I eat meat when we go out but we do not cook it at home. When Brayden started eating solids we introduced a variety of options for protein that were found in the freezer section. The Morning Star Farms brand offers lots of different options that your little one might like. We don't like using frozen food all the time though so we also use tofu in our meals and different meat-like products that are found in the vegetarian section (refrigerated - maybe near the produce) in the grocery store. We eat all kinds of protein such as; burgers, hotdogs, bacon and sausage, ground beef, chicken, lunch meat, all that are meatless! We also have tried to incorporate different foods into meals in a sneaky way like the book "Deceptively Delicious" suggests. You should check it out. One other thing to remember is that what your daughter likes or dislikes today will change. Don't give up on it and if you want her to eat certain things, keep introducing them periodically. Eventually she will start eating them. I also have great success with giving my son one bite of something he loves for every bite he takes of the things he doesn't care for. Bribery has it's place in every home. Don't give up on the meals you want her to eat. She will come around eventually.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Tofu, it will take on flavor of just about anything.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I would try things with different textures. Maybe vegetarian refried beans with some grated cheese on top, thin spread of almond butter on healthy crackers, tofu lightly seasoned sauteed in a little oil with a little soy sauce, beans and rice are a complete protein. she might like fish. It sounds funny, but tuna and cottage cheese mixed together are good. would put a few different things on her high chair tray and let her explore. Don't worry if she doesn't eat it. You can also blend whey protein powder into fruit smoothies. Best of luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I know you said she won't eat beans, but have you tried Hummus? My little one loves it, because it has the same texture as baby food. She likes to dip pieces of pita bread. You can even dip veggies in hummus.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there,
Morningstat Farms, Ives and Boca all make great meat alternatives and can be found in just about any grocery store. Also, try making fresh fruit and yougurt smoothies with a little added protein powder.

1 mom found this helpful

Peanut butter has some protein in it. You can also try tofu or soybeans, or soymilk.

1 mom found this helpful

My kids also won't eat meat so I had to start giving them tofu. There are a million ways to prepare it, but I usually get the silken kind and blend it until it's creamy. Then I can hide it in a lot of different foods, yogurt, pasta, mac & cheese, soup, etc. It has no taste on its own and it adds just a slight creamy consistency to whatever you put it in.

You can aslo get the firm kind and cut it up into cubes. Perfect finger food for a 13 month old.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

since she is too young for nuts, maybe some nut butters, such as peanut butter or almond butter. the latter can be quite expensive, but so healthy! also some grains are pretty high in protein. one that comes to mind right away is quinoa (keen-wah), which you can get at health food stores. cottage cheese is pretty high too, and of course there's always tofu if you can get her to eat it. pasta with cheese would be a good combo b/c both have protein. hope some of these ideas help!

1 mom found this helpful

My son has never cared much for meat sources of protein. At 15 months my doctor recommended adding peanut butter to his diet (we have no history of peanut allergies in our family). Luckily my son does like baked beans.

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried tofu? My son loved it when he was that age and it's a great source of protein.

1 mom found this helpful

Try tofu and other soy based products like sausage patties, etc.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello M.

My favorite is salmon - but I guess she might be too young to appreciate this meal. I suggest that you "google" and search for information. Technology is great - when I need information I go to my computer and search.

E.

1 mom found this helpful

We also had to give our daughter pediasure, per the drs. recomendation, since she wasn't big on protein. My cousin gives her daughter tofu mixed into food to boost her protein.

1 mom found this helpful

We make protein shakes using vanilla yogurt or milk (can substitute tofu), frozen fruit and protein powder. Also, when my DC are feeling especially food picky, I give in and let them eat a 'candy bar' (1/2 a Zone or Balance bar) with a glass of milk.

1 mom found this helpful

my son is a huge fan of scrambled eggs. also, avocados have protien and healthy fats in them. all whole grains have protein, such as brown rice. peanut butter is a good source, as are all nut butters. tofu has protein, and if you check with your local health food store, i'm sure they would have plenty of other ideas.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi,

My son ate tofu--cheap, easy to prepare. Just rinse a block of firm tofu in water, gently squeeze out the excess water, pat dry with paper towels, cut into cubes, saute in a small amount of butter or olive oil.

:-) D.

1 mom found this helpful

smoothies made with protein powder. I make smoothies like that for my daughter for breakfast. Amway makes a great one, and they make great meal replacement bars too.

1 mom found this helpful

FIrm tofu cut into cubes, they like to feed themselves. Mix in veg or fruit in her eggs so she likes them. Mash bean on a wheat tortilla with cheese to hide the beans, peanut butter on whole wheat bread, no jelly, whole grain cereals have protein as well.

1 mom found this helpful

Does she like nut butters? Whey powder can be added to smoothies for an extra protein boost. I've heard that bee pollen and royal jelly (a bee product) are good sources of protein. Eggs are a great sources of protein if she likes them. Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

I make my 13month old eggs scrambled with the Kirkland brand canned chicken (it's all white and really good), and add potatoes. She loves the potatoes, so gets the other stuff while going for those! I also will mix the chicken with refried beans and put it on saltine crackers for baby nachos.

Have you tried Gogurt? That's fun too, since they can hold it themselves...

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

what about lentils? my husband is indian, so we eat a lot of indian food and our son wouldn't eat proteins either, but loved rice and daal. it's pretty easy to make bland for kids. Also, I forget the age, but what about fish? scrambled eggs are another favorite of our son.
Spaghetti sauce with ground chicken or turkey on pasta or a soft pizza? or tiny finger sized meatballs? chicken sliders (mini-burgers) are a favorite at our house too, though 13 months may be a bit young for that.

1 mom found this helpful

The main sources of non-meat protein at our house include:
-eggs
-nut butters (no hydrogenated oils or corn syrup) - with whole wheat bread, it's a complete protein
-beans & rice (another complete protein)
-yogurt & kefir
-cheeses
-milk
-hummus
-tofu
-avocados

You can try the 'sneaky chef' way, like I do for my son with vegetables, and puree/mash high-protein sources into everyday foods. Smoothies are a great place to hide nutrition. We're to the point with my son that he knows we're putting spinach, celery, carrots, zucchini, etc into his smoothie. He doesn't care, as long as he doesn't have to eat an actual vegetable and if the smoothie tastes good.
I'd suggest mashing beans and including/sneaking them in a meal, rather than the beans sitting in front of her, although I still like to have the actual food on their plate, so they get used to it and always have the opportunity to try it.
Also, I know your daughter's not old enough, but we've established a one-bite rule or 'polite bite' with our 3-year-old. He doesn't have to like it or even swallow it, but he needs to have one bite of everything on his plate. Hopefully, trying the same flavors over and over, he'll decide it's not so bad after all.

Hello,
Sorry, a little slow getting to my email these days. Try a new product called Sun Warrior Protein. It is a sprouted brown rice protein. Easily digestible and totally raw, organic and great for all ages. If you can't find it locally, try www.sunwarrior.com
Good luck,
A.

Hi! from what i understand, how much protein we need is inflated from the food industries to make you buy more. we actually need a lot less than they say and our body uses them more rapidly from a plant source. i actually have a dvd that talks about that in detail. let me know if you are interested in borrowing it. it is done by an individual and is quite old and is for a product that myself and my friend eat and give to our children. it has no additives, preservatives, colors, or sweeteners. it is pure food.

let me know.

God Bless!

J.

If you ar elooking for a natural way , i would suggest Avocado. It has tons of proteinin it. Also since she is olter than 12 months, variaous nuts in small amounts could help her to get enough protein

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.