J.M. asks from Sacramento, CA on February 24, 2008
No Meat Food
My daughter, who will be 2 in March, will not eat meat, but will eat the unhealthy meat of the chicken kids meal from local fast-food place. We rarely eat out and I'm just real concerned that she is not getting enough protein. If anyone had suggestions for what I could give her, would be much appreciated! She usually eats edemame and tofu, but I've recently learned that tofu has a lot of estrogen in it, which concerns me of course. Please help and Thank you in advance.
So What Happened?™
I tried steaming the edemame for her dinner, but she wouldn't even try it. Looks like I'll have to continue hiding her edemame in the applesauce. I am patient though and will try and give it to her again tonight. As for the yogurt, I can get her banana pudding since she knows character from show she likes, likes bananas. All the suggestions are great and I very much appreciate them all! I know that while she may not be too hip to the new experience, eventually she will get used to it.
I believe I had heard somewhere that toddlers do not need that much protein, at least not so much from meat. It is just that I do not want to have to make a separate meal for her at dinnertime if we are eating meat. The other day she had one bite of sausage, but that was it! She is just very active and I keep thinking that because of that, she needs more protein, but that is probably because I'm a first time mom. Since there has recently been much warning on beef recalls sent to school's for lunch programs, my husband and I have decided that is she were to have lunch at school that it would be vegetarian. I will continue to try all the great advice I have been receiving on mamasource, but think she is just not going to be big meat eater.
The last time I went to the store I had seen some chicken nugget/pieces that they had one sale that had 14 grams of protein. I snatched them up and while she hasn't had just that for protein, she does seem to have thinned out in the mid-section. I've been concerned that she could possibly get marasmus. It was just something I've been reading about for one of my classes, even though the cause of the disease usually appears in the first year of life and is caused from lack of essential nutrients, and aside from protein, she's gotten more than enough of nutrients needed. Thank you so much to everyone who has replied to my posting-it is greatly appreciated!
K.H. answers from Fresno on February 26, 2008
My niece was the same way, and they talked to the doctor to find out what to do...he recommended them to make her protien shakes and suppliment with vitamins until she grew out of the phase...which she did.
B.L. answers from Sacramento on February 26, 2008
When I was little I also would not eat meat. The doctor recommended that my Mom give me a spoonful of peanut butter. It has the protein that she will need in a fun way to eat. I hope it works for you!
A.P. answers from San Francisco on February 26, 2008
One way that my sister got my nephew to get more protein in his diet, was to get a good quality protein shake (vanilla flavor), and add it to his pancakes. He loved the pancakes, and didn't know he was getting whey protein at the same time. Just a thought. She used Isagenix shakes for the high quality of the ingredients.
S.D. answers from San Francisco on February 26, 2008
my daughter also would not eat any meat but she loved chicken nuggets from mcdonalds. and she would occasionally eat chicken at home. but she would not try any other type of meat. it's not that she didn't like it she just wouldn't try it. i know this may sound silly but since its was obvious that she would eat chicken we automatically just started refering all meat to chicken. so when i cook beef, pork, or any type of meat. i just tell her to eat the chicken and she has no problem. but for some reason, if i call it meat or even beef, pork (pork chops) she will say "ewww" and wont eat it. so i just stick with calling all meat "chicken". :-)
J.N. answers from San Francisco on February 26, 2008
will she eat eggs? Out country has a misconception about how much protein we need to eat. As an adult, 1-2 eggs a day is enough protein for the whole day. Eggs are the protein standard to which all other sources are compared. I know my 21 month old son LOVES eggs--any way I cook them.
V.B. answers from San Francisco on February 26, 2008
I was a strict vegetarian for many years and only allow my daughter to eat chicken and fish. She loves fish sticks, black beans, edemame, peanutbutter, cheese, yogurt, quinoa, etc... I also load her up with good kids vitamins from Nordic berries, dha/omega fish oil, fruit and vegie. Good luck!
A.H. answers from Sacramento on February 26, 2008
Have you tried eggs yet? My son LOVES egg yolks for breakfast (microwaved for about 18 seconds then mashed). Also, lentils and legumes (beans) are protein-rich. I highly recommend wholesomebabyfood.com for advice and simple recipes.
"From their website: Lentils and dried beans/legumes come in many shapes, sizes and colors. Here are a few:
T.S. answers from Sacramento on February 25, 2008
Maybe she would try "nuggets" that you make at home. If you shop at Trader Joes they have some pretty good ones, otherwise my friend's son loves "dino bites." Check the ingredients and try to find her something without a whole bunch of extra "stuff".
Also, what about tuna? My son, who is not a big meat eater but also loves soy (can't believe its that common) loves a simple tuna salad (tuna, mayo, dijon). No bread, just eats it with a fork or dips crakers.
A.W. answers from Sacramento on February 24, 2008
My daughter will be 3 in May and she has never had meat. She eats fish and seafood, poultry; mainly turkey. I also give her a large variety of nut protein: peanuts, almonds, pistachios, peanut butter, almond butter and corn nuts. Another good source of protein is lentils such as lentil soup. Amy's Organics makes a really tasty and healthy lentil soup if you don't have the time to make it fresh. Any time you offer of rice and beans you’re getting a great protein and most children will eat rice and beans. I try to add a flavor my daughter already likes (like peach yogurt or soy butterspray) to all new food and she seems to accept it easier. Remember it takes most children 10 to 15 times to get used to a food. My strategy is to offer only the food I want her to eat when I know she's hungry at the beginning of the meal. Let her try it and if she refuses it give her the rest of her dinner and repeat this the next evening. Pretty soon she'll be eating everything healthy you want to get into her body. Perseverance does work.
Good luck, A.
S.H. answers from San Francisco on February 26, 2008
Hi J.,I have two very active twin grandbabies and food is an issue for them, too. Very picky, my daughter and I feed them cottage cheese, red beans and whatever veggie we can manage to squeeze in on that particular day (they become selective from one day to the next!), yogurt with a little honey in it, carrots or any thing else dipped in hummus, but mostly they eat what suits them if given a choice and no snack has been offered for over an hour. Though thin, they are flourishing because they love fruits, cereals (whole grain Os) and especially bread with peanut butter. That works really well as a protein source.
B.J. answers from San Francisco on February 26, 2008
The phytoestrogens in soy are not nearly so much of a concern for little girls as they are for little boys (it has an overall feminizing effect IF that's a boy's sole source of protein for many years).
Your daughter is likely just going through a stage, and doesn't like the texture of meat.
In the meantime, you can try giving her nuts, nut butters, lentils, beans, yogurt, cheese, peas, soy, etc. If you want a complete protein at each meal, mix one of these things with a carb, such as rice/bread/flat bread.
You can also try whole grains/whole protein breads, and eggs (scrambled, fried, in custards, etc).