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Protein suggestions for meat-hating toddler?


NatalieBA

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Well I am doing the Whole 30, my 20 month old son is not but I would like to move him toward a more paleo diet. Then maybe next time he can do the Whole 30 with me.

 

My biggest concern with him is that he does not eat meat or fish and only eats eggs occasionally.

We can get him to eat tuna or chicken if it is in Jolof rice and small (hard to notice).  If the pieces of protein are too big he spits them out says "chicken!" and stops eating.  He doesn't even eat this consistently.

 

Otherwise he sometimes eats black eyed peas, sometimes eats hummus, sometimes eats eggs with tomato sauce, drinks lots of milk, sometimes eats yogurt. And that's about it for protien. So I would love to move to more meat/fish/eggs and get away from legume/rice based protien dishes.

 

I have tried meat loaf muffins, hard boiled eggs.  I offer him stuff from my plate all the time.  (chicken, salmon, eggs, chicken liver, ribs, etc)

 

I'm just hoping for suggestions. Part is the texture I think he doesn't like, but often he won't even try new things. Like I think he might like the texture of chicken liver better but have not been able to get him to even taste it. 

 

Things he does like are fruit, coconut (fresh meat or water, oil, butter), some veggies fried or roasted in coconut oil and paleo muffins or banana bread made using coconut flour (notice a coconut theme?).  Maybe there is some way I could do meat with fruit or coconut in some form to get him to give it a try? 

 

Any suggestions for picky toddlers?

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try sneaking some bone broth into meals, especially mashed veggies or the rice/legumes.  my 15 month old daughter loves bacon and gnawing on bones more than actually eating more meats though she's not as bad as your son....hope things even out!

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We were in the same boat about a year ago. My son lived off grains, beans and occasional eggs...then stopped eating beans. We started to make a shift and although it hasn't been easy (and we still have a long way to go!), There is forward progress. Some suggestions would be; deli meat, it a softer texture and you can find some that dont have too many filers, Hotdogs with the skins peeled off (again look for better quality ingredients), puréed meat into soup, I can get him to eat ground beef on occasion if is very small pieces and they are well caramelized in coconut oil (seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic). Try not to get frustrated, it's a long road but worth the effort. Best of luck to you.

Also, on a side note. I noticed my son was using milk to replace food. We cut down his milk to one cup/day and water with meals. Also, I try stick with breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner so he isn't grazing all day and has more hunger at mealtimes.

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Thank you for the ideas. I just made some bone broth over night so maybe I can make something up for him with that.  Great idea.

I will try some of your ideas too Mom2A&M.  The frying ground beef in coconut oil might work.  I still feel reservations about deli meat and hot dogs...where I live it is hard to find any without bad ingredients.  A soup with pureed meat might work too. He eats soup sometimes but usually we make it with big chunks of meat so he doesn't eat the meat part. 

I think you are right on the milk thing.  I am going to try at least offering water before milk at each meal.  We are trying not to give it between meals either.

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I know the deli meat is processed but it was a gateway for us. I found some without gluten or sulfites but did contain sugar. Also, Applegate pork/beef hotdogs are W30 compliant and are minimally processed (the pork/beef combo ones are more tender than the all beef ones). Look through the forum here too, there are lots of threads about feeding children and picky eaters. Seems I had to try things sooooo many times just so the food didn't "look" new until he would taste it. I always think about the definition of insanity....trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results! But with kids, it will eventually happen (mom just might go insane first). :)

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  • 5 months later...

My son was like this when he was a toddler.  I don't think I actually got him to eat meat regularly until about age 6 and then all he would eat was steak.  As a toddler I couldn't even get him to drink cow's milk, he would spit it out because he hated the taste.  I tried the pureed chicken in sauce and more but he would notice the taste of meat right away.

 

As a toddler I would give him tofu as a meat replacement and he loved it.  I know it's unusual but I think the bland taste and the smooth, easy to eat texture really appealed to him.  I don't know the rules about tofu and trying to get your child to eat paleo but I do believe it's important they get sources of protein.  

 

Now he is 9 and still won't drink cow's milk but he will drink those yogurt drinks and eat yogurt.  My son is still very picky about meat although he will eat baked chicken breast, grilled steak, and baked salmon.  I don't flavor the meat with anything but olive oil and sea salt before cooking.  I also make sure to cook it to just done so the meat is cooked through but tender and juicy.  Then I serve it with a scoop of rice and some spinach leaves drizzled with balsamic vinegar.  It's amazing how he will pick up the spinach leaves and eat them like they are a tasty treat.

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Does he like red meat at all? 

 

I'd try beef and lamb if you haven't, some kids are crazy for steak.

 

Marinating something in pineapple might be more appealling?

I'd try different blended soups, see if it's just a texture thing. Pate might be a possibility there too.

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