Daughter Will Not Eat Meat Any Ideas????

Updated on May 24, 2009
T.B. asks from Yukon, OK
14 answers

My daughter will be 4 in June and does not eat meat except for the occasional chicken nugget and the little meat that's on pizza. Just wanted to know if anyone had any ideas on how to hide meat in a dish or if you have this problem too. I've tried adding meat to mac and cheese she picks it out. She also doesn't eat eggs. So for protein we do alot of peanut butter and cheese. But I'm worried about her iron she does take a vitamin with extra iron but I feel it would be better if she could eat some red meat or something... thanks.

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So What Happened?

Thanks to all of you for your ideas and support. I'm going to try the bean burrito first and then some of the other ideas. Glad to know I'm not the only one who has such a picky eater. Best to you all and thanks again.

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answers from Tulsa on

my daugther is the exact soma way & shell be 4 in Sept! I hadnt worried bout til We moved in with my Fiance & he became a huge part in helping raise her... He was raised to eat what is fixed for dinner, which was a huge fight every night for the longest time but she is finally getting better & actually eating what is on her plate, I just dont give her very much of what i know she doesnt light! Since we have actually found stuff that she does like that i would have never dreamed bout making her eat like fried spam last night! She loved it & wouldnt stop eating it! Shes still not big on most meat & we have to fight bout it alil but like i said before i just dont give her very much, maybe a few bites if i know she doesnt like it! Dont get me wrong it is very hard to do this she cried & screamed thru the whole dinner til she was done then was like YAY mommy look I made a happy plate & was so proud of her self! She still throws a fit thru some things but is so much better! She also has to take a small bite of anything new, & we have actually found stuff she liked that way to! Good Luck I know its hard!

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answers from Oklahoma City on

My daughter (nearly 4) won't eat red meat either. She even picks it off the pizza when she can. Try giving your daughter beets. They are high in iron as well as other vitamins. It may just be a tecture thing with the meat that she will eventually grow out of. I'm hoping so with mine. However, we have several healthy vegetarians in my family, so that may be something that we each will need to research for our daughter's future meals. Good luck.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Meat and eggs arent really a requirement if she eats a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and beans. Most processed foods also contain unhealthy - and often dangerous - additives. When I cook meat, its typically in the form of casseroles or stir-frys, with vegetables and rices outwaying the meat by a margin of at least 4 to 1 (you should be able to feed a family of 4 on a pound of meat with leftovers. Its amazing how much farther your grocery money will go as well). The most important switch I made was sitting down for a family dinner - my girls saw me eating it, and there were no complaints. Check out these sites for some healthy tips:
If you need some kid-friendly recipe ideas, just lemme know.



answers from Fayetteville on

Hi T.,

I'm having the very same problem with my daughter. She just turned 5. The only meat I do not have to fight her to eat is McDonald's chicken nuggets. She doesn't even like meat on pizza. I've had some success with very small pieces of chicken and steak mixed in with rice. She knows that she has to eat a certain amount of the meat to get a 'treat'. But it is a struggle every night. We have had discussions about why it is important to eat healthy and balanced and that has seemed to help. Good luck!



answers from Lafayette on

I have had my grandson since he was 3 days old...he is 4 now. He won't eat meat either. It drives me crazy. He had low iron but it was because I was giving him too much milk, not because of the meat. I cut his milk products to equal about 20 oz. a day and his iron went back to normal in 2 weeks.

Hope this helps!



answers from Hattiesburg on

Beans have more protein and iron per ounce than meat and is far more nutritious. She is more healthy not to eat meat because it is so acid and contains so many chemicals. My children did not want meat as a child and one of them still does not want it. I think children inherently know what is good for them until their tastes are altered by the chemicals in our foods. Peanuts are very unhealthy foods, and contain a carcinogenic mold called anaflatoxin. The better nuts are macadamias, walnuts, almonds and pecans. A tbsp of black strap molasses is full of iron should you be concerned, and is much more well absorbed than the source of iron in multivits.



answers from Montgomery on

I wouldn't worry about it. My first born was the same way. His was a texture thing, hated the way it felt in his mouth. He is 12 now and loves meat. If you are giving her cheese and peanut butter she will be fine plus a vitamin..... she is fine. The doctor told me not to force it. She will see someone eating it one day and it will catch her eye and she will try it and probably like it. But you know, I have quite a few friends who are vegetarians and so are their children and they are very healthy children. Don't stress, find other ways to give her protein. Tons of protein in nuts, beans, and etc. Sounds like you are a good mom.




answers from Pine Bluff on

I agree with the ones who've said not to worry - it sounds normal to me! I think as long as she's eating items with protein and taking a vitamin all should be well. Kids sometimes just don't like the texture of meat, as it can be a lot drier than other things.

You could try pureeing it into something else, where she can't pick up on the texture. As a matter of fact, I make this Mexican tomato-lime soup and have thrown some canned chicken in there, then taken my immersion blender to it where it is still smooth. It's great, easy, and you can hardly tell the meat is in there!

How about spinach and broccoli? Also, beans and lentils are a good source of iron, as are pumpkin seeds. If she'll eat molasses, it's iron-rich.

Good luck!



answers from New Orleans on

My daughter was the exact same way when she was a very little girl. She's 26 years old now, quite the healthy one, and more health conscious than my boys who are older than she. Back when she was only 2 yrs old she refused to eat meat. The pediatrician seemed to think it was fine as long as we gave her other protein-rich foods such as peanut butter, cheese, broccoli, etc. My baby girl ate lots of peanut butter, beans rolled into a tortilla as a burrito, various cheeses, yogurt and lots of pasta dishes or rice and fruits. As I said, she was always quite healthy!

I believe the body knows what it needs. With all the chemicals the farmers are feeding the animals nowadays, it's probably unhealthy for little people to consume very much meat. There are so many other foods to feed her which will give her what she needs as long as she is also supplemented by vitamins age appropriate, of course.

Fret not, MOM. If your little girl shows no health issues, then she's probably responding to what her own body is saying to her. Be sure she eats lots of other healthy items and continue with regular check ups to monitor weight gain/loss, etc. All is well(from my perspective)with your little girl!

God Bless YOu and your family!




answers from Oklahoma City on

all kids go through fazes im dealing with it in my 3 year old boy my doc said its going to happen all kids go through fazes like it rather they dont eat meat or refuse to eat at all so i wouldnt worry about it unless she continues it after she turns 5.alk to ur doc . ur doc will b the best to get advice from and if u need i can give u the # to my kids doc so u can have some good advice. my kids doc was awarded top docs in 2005 . the only thing is my kids docis in las vegas nv. i will not ever change there doc i mean i live 13000 miles away from there doc



answers from Shreveport on

If she is eating peanut butter she is good. My son at that age didn't eat meat either. I talked to his doctor and he told me if he is taking a vitamin and eating some than don't force it and later in life she with eat what you eat.
Sure enough he is 15 years old and eating everything in the kitchen including meats of all kinds. I know when they are not eating what we feel is good iron we worry, but meat isn't the only source for iron. Rasins are good source. when my daughter was 3 she had a low iron count I found out that they where my friend. Tea will drain the body of iron.

Good Luck,



answers from Huntsville on

I was actually surprised that we don't have the same problem with our daughter. I was always a picky eater when I was little!

The only thing I can think of right now (other than the mac & cheese you mentioned) is spaghetti. Does she like spaghetti? If she does, just make the sauce with ground beef and hopefully she would eat it.



answers from Tulsa on

I wouldn't worry, she doesn't need meat! She is getting enough protein by far with peanut butter and I bet she'd love a bean burrito - she might not like the texture of whole beans, but spread some refried beans on a tortilla and add other stuff, cheese, veggies, whatever, and that's another excellent way to get protein. Or spread some hummus as the condiment on a sandwich, or use as a dip for whatever she likes to dip. We really don't need that much protein at all, and since she is also taking a vitamin with iron, you really have no problem at all. And hiding meat in other dishes never works...my mom used to try that with me and I'd pick out the meat and hide it in the potted plants or in my napkin. She will be fine and healthy with no meat at all. I noticed a recipe on the back of the Gerber baby oatmeal box to make individual little meatloaves, one for each family member, and you add the baby oatmeal (it is fortified with iron and vitamins) plus some of the Gerber baby food vegetable purees (garden vegetable and green beans) to sneak in veggies and make it nice and moist. I was going to try it with soy ground "beef" crumbles which I always use but you could try regular ground beef if you wanted. Send me a message if you want to try it and your box doesn't have the recipe - I've got it on mine.



answers from Shreveport on

Well My Son Never ate meat either till he turned 16 .. And he's 18 now . He did eat alot of Mac and Cheese and he also like Bean Buritos and cottage cheese So he got his protein from the bean and cottage cheese.. He had the perfect weight the doctor said not to worry when hes ready he will eat meat.. And so he did. And just as long as your daughter isn't sick she will be ok .

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