How To Get Toddler To Eat Meat

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This topic contains 20 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  lilusnow 3 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #73391

    creativeangel

    I have a two year old who just won’t eat meat, not even chicken. I know that my health nurse said that it didn’t matter that much and that she would grow to like meat but that was when she was one. Has anyone got any tips for getting my daughter to eat meat. I have even tried breaking the chicken up and shredding it in with veg but this is no use as she just spits it out. I would be grateful for any tips.

    #201383

    verymom

    My two year old daughter won’t eat meat either, and my now six year old son would not eat meat at that age, either. Lots of toddlers have an issue with the texture of meat. It’s really not important that they eat it, and sometimes if you try too hard they will resist tasting new things. So my advice is just don’t worry about it. Offer her meat every now and then to see if she will try it, but otherwise she can get the protein she needs from milk, cheese and eggs. She’ll grow into it.

    #201384

    cocotbo

    Just as Verymom said, it isn’t really necessary that they eat meat as long as they get their protein. There are other sources of protein that may work better with children at fussy stages. When I couldn’t get my son to eat meat, I tried to sneak in the protein whenever I could. Here are a few examples:
    Yogurt – he’s crazy about it. He thinks it’s just fun, but I know there is protein and calcium in there for him. There are many varieties now too – cups, smoothies, parfaits, tubes and more.
    Cheese – we just LOVE string cheese. Its handy, travels well and has lots of protein.
    Ravioli – I buy plain, frozen meat filled ravioli in a large bag, cook it all up and then keep it in small containers. I freeze most of them and keep one container in the refrigerator, ready to go. My son loves eating them plain and there is very little mess at all.
    Protein powder – I’m watching my weight and always have sugar free vanilla and chocolate whey protein powder handy. One day I slipped a scoop into my son’s milk and VOILA! he thought he had chocolate milk, but I knew he was getting a good serving of fat free/sugar free protein.
    Eggs – If your child isn’t allergic to eggs, they are also a great source of protein. My son loves hard boiled egg whites.
    I hope this helps.

    #206430

    Tsunshine

    My kids hate meat also. The only meat I can get them to eat is processed chicken nuggets, go figure. So I’ve had to be creative. Check out my blog [URL="http://parenting.families.com/blog/my-child-hates-meat"]http://parenting.families.com/blog/my-child-hates-meat[/URL] about the topic for some meatless protein ideas, and to find the actual amount of protein that your child needs.

    #206453

    heritagemom

    Your health nurse is right, two year olds don’t always like meat. It’s perfectly normal. you will also find that your child will go through phases where they will only eat one or two foods for a while, and then switch. They usually make up for it and get enough to keep them healthy and fine. Toddlers dont’ need as much protein as you’d think and the basis of their calories usually come from carbs.As long as she’s thriving, don’t worry too much about her.

    Tuna fish is a good source of protein and omegas and black beans and rice together are actually a “perfect” protein. Also, sprouted wheat is an INCREDIBLY healthy source of protein and my kids liked the ‘nutty’ flavor of them too. My 4 year old actually prefers protein bars to candy bars…although I only let him eat half of one at a time with LOTS of water.

    #206455

    HappyMomAnna

    My oldest daughter is 21 years old and has never eaten meat…. When she was little she would chew it and chew it–hours later she was still chewing and she just could not swallow it…. It was very concerning for me when she was a child, but I was able to feel comfortable about her protein intake by adding nuts, and other high protein things like eggs, cheese and some beans.

    Even today she does not eat meat any more then about twice a year when she claims she gets a big craving–but, then it must be a high-end steak or possibly some pot roast.

    I wouldn’t worry too much many families are vegetarian and their children seem to do just fine with added protein from other sources and dietary supplements.

    Your daughter may have issues with the texture of meat more then anything else. You might want to pay attention and see if textures of some other foods are an issue. My oldest daughter cannot eat coconut for the same reason of not being able to swallow it. I was not aware when she was little about sensory issues and the fact some children do have strange eating issues due to textures of foods. If I had known these could be issues I would have contacted the Early Intervention program provided through the public school system and had her checked for sensory issues.
    My little boy who is four now could not eat mashed potatoes or whip cream for a very long time. He did have sensory issues and in the Early Intervention program we were able to help him overcome some of it slowly. While he is still not crazy about mashed potatoes he has found whip cream to be tasty as long as it is from one of those cans he can squirt right into his mouth!

    #206457

    creativeangel

    Thanks everyone for your advice, it really has helped to see that there are a lot of children who go through this phase and that it will pass. As for protein intake I guess she’s doing ok, my daughter loves cheese and yogurts and will drink milk if it’s flavoured so I guess she’s getting what she needs. Thanks again for the advice it really has helped to put my mind at ease.

    #207714

    lpelham

    This describes my sweetpea too, but extends to veggie and fruits as well. He is very fussy about what he will eat. He likes “nachos” – corn chips with refried beans and cheese. I usually end up grating a little carrot in there and he never notices the difference.

    A friend told me to try something like honey mustard with chicken – that works with her boy, but I haven’t tried it yet.

    Libby

    #363143

    keri

    My mother made an interesting comment when I told her my just under 2 year old son didn’t really like meat. She said “there’s to much work involved”. I never really thought about it, but they don’t have all there molars yet and that is what you use to chew meat. I find now that my son is a little older and his molars are more established he eats more meat. Who knows if what she says had anything to do with it, but she’s been right enough, and long enough for me to listen.

    #363147

    cocotbo

    I think your mom has the right idea. My (nearly) two-year-old has developed a love of Pepperoni and Canadian Bacon. They are small, thin and easily chewed with his tiny teeth. OK, so pepperoni every day isn’t the best idea, but Canadian Bacon is a great source of lean protein.

    #363148

    NikkiLDS

    peanut butter! ‘nuf said. :nods:

    #884786

    CassBH

    [quote=NikkiLDS]peanut butter! ‘nuf said. :nods:[/quote]
    Wish my 18 month old twins could have that, but my ped wants to wait until they are 2. Bummer!
    In the meantime, they do eat turkey, ham, tofu & chicken. I would love to get them to eat eggs, but everytime I try to serve them scrambled eggs, they spit them out! Even when I try to mix them up in something they like.
    Does anyone have any tips for getting kids to eat eggs?????
    Thanks…Looking forward to being a part of this forum! :)
    Cass

    #893574

    amaree

    I read that unless your family has a history of food allergies that Peanut butter, and other potential food allergens are OK to introduce. My 11 month old meat hater has been eating peaut butter sandwiches for almost 5 months now without any problems (aside from occationally not wanting to eat it). It’s been nice, knowing that he is at least getting SOME protein!

    #893576

    CassBH

    [quote=amaree]I read that unless your family has a history of food allergies that Peanut butter, and other potential food allergens are OK to introduce. My 11 month old meat hater has been eating peaut butter sandwiches for almost 5 months now without any problems (aside from occationally not wanting to eat it). It’s been nice, knowing that he is at least getting SOME protein![/quote]
    Well, maybe i willl give it a shot. they do eat chicken tenders, tofu, cheese, yogurt, so I am not too worried about the protein part. I would like them to eat red meat for the iron content, though.

    #903332

    ShortMom

    I’m afraid my 3 year old is going to sprout feathers. All she eats is chicken. She hates beef. Her dad on the other hand says when she is with him she eats great. I have trouble getting her to eat anything other than noodles, chicken, ham, and raviolis.

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