If your child refuses to eat meats, don’t worry you are not alone! Many toddlers may refuse to eat meats for a number of reasons. Either they are exerting their control over foods or maybe they just don’t like the texture. Either way, as a concerned parent it can be very frustrating since you know that protein is an important nutrient in their diet and essential for growth.
A little bit about protein…
There are basically two types of proteins
- Complete proteins – These proteins come from animal products and include: fish poultry, beef, pork, dairy foods, eggs, etc. These proteins contain all the amino acids that your body needs to build new proteins.
- Incomplete proteins – These proteins come from fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Although these are healthy proteins they lack one or more of the essential amino acids. However when combined together in different ways you can create a meal that does contain all amino acids (which creates a complete protein mix)
Beans and legumes
This includes peas, beans, lentils and peanuts.
Sometimes when I mention whole grains as a great source of protein, people are very surprised. Whole grains are usually a great source of protein and other important nutrients such as iron. Amaranth, barley, buckwheat, flaxseed, millet, oats, quinoa, rye, sorghum, spelt, wheat are all examples of whole grains.
Protein: The Breakdown
Here is a list of foods with their protein content. I love this list as it helps me to pick new foods for my son that are rich in proteins. Additional nutrient information.
|Food||Amount of protein||Other great nutrients (these foods contain more that just these nutrients mentioned)|
|Greek yogurt||8g per 1/2 cup||Calcium|
|Black beans||8g per ½ cup cooked||Iron, calcium, fiber|
|Peanut butter||8g per 2 tablespoons||Manganese|
|Almonds||8g per ¼ cup||Calcium, vitamin E, magnesium|
|Peanuts||9g per ¼ cup||Iron, copper, manganese|
|Pumpkin seeds||8g per ¼ cup||Magnesium, zinc|
|Soy beans||14g per ½ cooked|
|Amaranth||7g per ¼ cup uncooked||Calcium, iron and zinc|
|Barley||5.75g per ¼ uncooked||Soluble fiber, iron and niacin|
|Buckwheat||5.75g per ¼ cup uncooked||Calcium, magnesium, B vitamins and iron.|
|Flaxseed||7.75g per ¼ cup uncooked||Omega 3-fatty acids, fiber|
|Millet||5.5 g per ¼ cup uncooked||Iron and Magnesium|
|Oats||6.5g per ¼ cup uncooked||Fiber, B vitamins, iron|
|Quinoa||5.5g per ¼ cup uncooked||Highest quality of protein—more than any other grain|
|Brown rice||3.75g per ¼ cup uncooked||Iron, niacin|
|Rye||6.25g per ¼ cup uncooked||Fiber, vitamin E, calcium|
|Spelt||6g per ¼ cup uncooked||B vitamins and fiber|
|Wheat||7.5g per ¼ cup uncooked||Fiber, iron, B vitamins|
Protein packed recipe ideas:
- Apricot Wild Rice
- Cheesy Spinach Quinoa
- No-Bake Apricot Bites
- Pear Mini-Muffins
- Pumpkin Banana Brekkie Bars
- Black Bean and Portabella Sliders
What is your child’s favorite non-meat source of protein? ***ENTER TO WIN*** Leave a comment below and you will be entered for a chance to Designed to Nourish™ WIN Puree & Simple™ Immersion Blender & Snack-A-Pillar™ Stackable Snack and Dipping cups! TEN winners will be randomly selected from all comments (U.S. residents only). Check back on Tuesday, November 13th when we will post the winners!
What is your child’s favorite non-meat source of protein? ***GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED*** Leave a comment below and you will be entered for a chance to Designed to Nourish™ WIN Puree & Simple™ Immersion Blender & Snack-A-Pillar™ Stackable Snack and Dipping cups! TEN winners will be randomly selected from all comments (U.S. residents only). Check back on Tuesday, November 13th when we will post the winners!
Here are the WINNERS: Lisa J., Jessica N., Marybel R., Dana M., Lindsay S., Alicia, Michelle, Lisa, Amy and Tanya W. If you are one of the winners, you will be contacted by e-mail. Thanks to everyone for commenting!
Lisa Johnson says:
November 1, 2012 at 10:40 pm
We love eggs, beans and greek yogurt!!
Jessica Nunez says:
November 1, 2012 at 10:48 pm
My little guys loves garbanzos and black bean soup, as well as almonds and peanuts!
Marybel R. says:
November 1, 2012 at 10:45 pm
My twins love beans & broccoli
Dana McGowen says:
November 2, 2012 at 12:06 am
Brown rice and peanut butter are two of our favorites!
Lindsay Swab says:
November 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm
My little man LOVES his peanut butter with whole grain waffles.
November 2, 2012 at 12:41 am
Frozen greek yogurt as a treat.
November 2, 2012 at 12:53 am
My son loves yogurt!
November 2, 2012 at 1:22 am
My 2yo son loves beans and yogurt. My 4yo son is loving the pb&j.
November 2, 2012 at 3:22 am
My daughter enjoys yogurt,cheese,and goat’s milk…
Tanya White says:
November 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm
My childrens favorite source of protein is peanut butter