16 Month Old Wont Eat Meat

Updated on August 29, 2011
S.K. asks from Chicago, IL
14 answers

My 16 month old does not like meat. Whenever I try to give him chicken he spits it out. He had eaten some fish the other day , I tried giving him again yesterday but he didn't eat it. How do I get him to eat meat? He eats veggies fine(not all though) Thanks!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

This is really common. My son will eat some ground beef in marinara sauce with pasta, you could try that. Fortunately, he really likes beans (baked beans, refried beans, black beans), so I try to get him some protein that way.

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answers from Honolulu on

Just give him protein from other sources.
Why does he have to eat meat?
It will just create un-needed food battles.

Does he eat eggs?

I didn't like meat as a kid.
My parents made no big deal of it.
As I got older, I ate meat. I still eat meat.

Your child is SO young.
How they eat now, is not permanent.
Eating never is, permanent.
It always... changes.
No biggie.

Kids... develop eating disorders later as an adult...by how they were taught to regard food, as a child.

Go by your child's cues.
By their natural food inclinations and biological cues for being hungry and being full.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

No need to make him, some kids naturally dont like taste or texture. Introduce other proteins like beans. grains, some nut butters and cheeses, they are a more healthful source of protein and contain much better qualities of other nutrients, minus the saturated fat and cholesterol, sulfites, hormones, antibiotics and bacteria that can inhabit meat and just a little bit of this a day is enough. Its fairly easy to get enough protein.

Now dark leafy greens and other veggies is quite a battle, if he will eat those you are in good shape

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Don't push meat if he doesn't like it. There are plenty of non-meat sources of protein.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

We didn't raise our kids eating meat, but recently they've made the choice to eat it. I wouldn't force meat. there are plenty of other protein sources out there. Try waiting for a while and introducing it again. your baby might just not like the texture right now.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Just keep offering it. One day he'll eat it. My first never ate meat until he was 2 or 2.5 and now eats meat and veggies. My 19 month old won't touch a vegetable or anything containing a vegetable but will eat an entire hamburger or chicken breast. I'd much rather have them eating veggies than meat personally but I'll take what I can get.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

I have three kids, 6, 4 and 2 and my oldest is practically a self proclaimed vegetarian. She eats yogurt,cheese and eggs but up until a year ago, almost NO meat. She is beautiful, healthy, smart, happy child :) Phases with food come and go with kids. No worries :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I used to make beans (mashed/refried) and would put shredded chicken into the beans.

Dip! Let him dip it in ketchup or ranch or mustard or honey mustard. He may be too young for this, but you might want to give it a try. I like the 'spaghetti sauce' suggestion below.

Season it -- is it dry boring food? Try sausage that's saltier. Or put some butter on it.


answers from Hartford on

If he eats other foods besides meat that are healthy, then don't push him to eat meat. Some kids just don't like it. He can get protein from other sources. I hated meat except for fish until I was an adult, and even now I don't eat it very often. It just didn't taste good to M. as a child and I hated the texture. My middle child doesn't eat much meat at all and never has. If she does, it's my MIL's chicken cutlets and she'll eat buffalo wings. It's a flavor and texture thing.

He has plenty of time to learn to like meat, but if he doesn't it's not a big tragedy. He can still be healthy if he's a natural vegetarian.



answers from Dallas on

Don't worry. Really normal. I have two small children and neither are really in to meat. They will eat scrambled eggs and deli meat - sometimes I make them scrambled eggs with cheese and tomatoes, and panfried deli ham for dinner.

Also - tacos - they will both eat soft tortillas with taco meat, beans, cheese, etc. in it.


Its ironic, but there have been many nights I have said, "No! You cant have yogurt until you finish your hot dog!"


answers from Rochester on

Meat is tricky in young children, and there are other easy ways to get protein (eggs, for example.)

However, chicken is often tough and stringy and not really a good first shot for meat. My 16 month old LOVES tuna salad, plain tuna, sardines, ground hamburger, sausage patties (cut up small, of course), turkey dogs (again, cut up very small), and very thinly sliced lunch meats, again, cut small. She won't each much for chicken or other kinds of beef. You can always disguise your meat in a casserole with cheese and other veggies he likes, and see if it goes down. :)



answers from Cincinnati on

My 3 1/2 year still does not like meat. I am fine with this and just give him healthy protein rich foods that he does like. Right now, my husband is the only one eating meat in our house. If your son is drinking cow's milk, he is probably getting all the protein he needs just from that source. Good job with the veggies. Good luck expanding his menu preferences.



answers from Seattle on

My 21 month old is like that. We feed her baked tofu, which she prefers.



answers from Kansas City on

Just keep giving it to him, eventually (probably) he'll eat it. At that age neither of my kids were big meat eaters, they mostly survived on fruit, veggies, and cheese! I can't remember the exact statistic but it's something crazy like you have to offer a kid a certain food like 30 times before they will actually eat it regularly. I'd put whatever meat you're having on his plate every night but don't make a big deal if he eats it or not...eventually he will! Until then he can have yogurt, cottage cheese, and beans for protein!

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