Help my 2yr old doesnt eat meat?

Kim - posted on 04/25/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Hi my 2yr old daughter is so fussy its not funny no matter how many times i try she wont eat meat,she wont even try it just looks at it and says no way,same with pasta,pumpkin and potato.She loved broccoli,snow peas,carrots,noodles, rice,chicken nuggets from mcdonalds and sometimes fish fingers,loves all fruit,peanut butter,vegemite,honey,saladas,cuskits,any cereal,but dinner time is just m erely impossible ive tried everything to get her to eat,any advice would be appreciated as shes not sleeping well at night because of it!!

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Bethany - posted on 04/25/2011

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hmm, that's tricky. Have you tried moving dinner time earlier? Do you all sit at the table together and chat and ignore her, let her pace herself? Not too much on the plate, just a taste of each thing, then if she finishes she gets to have more? umm. will she eat sausage, or chicken patties or hamburger patties. Meat can be put through the blender with some veges and LSA mix and egg and breadcrumbs and cooked as patties or logs and are a little meal in every little bite. My daughter likes dipping things in sauce or dijonaise. She gets really overwhelmed with a full plate but eats up well if only give a tiny bit at a time. She also sits on the bench, or stands on the stepstool when I'm preparing dinner now, and eats a bit of her dinner raw as I'm making it, like carrot, and cheese and bits of cooked meat, etc. It's more exciting in a fun place like up on the bench. These are things that have worked for us.

We also give her 50 or 100mls of Toddler formula after bath and jammies, before teeth and bed, just to cover our bases. We shake some full fat , no sugar pot-set yoghurt through it too, to fill her up and give her more tummy goodies.
Good luck. This, too, shall pass.

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Kristine - posted on 06/15/2011

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I found giving my girl dipping sauce for her meat made it fun and she would eat it more often. Ranch dressing was a big hit with her.

Jj - posted on 05/20/2011

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So I had a nephew that wouldn't eat meat since he was about two also. He just grew out of it a little over a year ago. He's seven now, so it took him like 4 years or so until he decided he wanted to eat meat. He'd eat chicken and hot dogs but no actual meat. So they got a baby food grinder and ground whatever meat they made that night and would hide it in his food, whatever they thought hid it best from their dinner that night, like in mashed potatoes or noodles. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. He has finally grown out of it. I would also try getting her involved in dinner when you arent trying to hide the meat but on other nights. I like to use cookie cutters to make dinner more fun for my kids, like little themes for the night. Hope this gave you some ideas and good luck!

Brandy - posted on 05/08/2011

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try things that dont look like meat like spagetti with meat sauce, if you if its shredded or minced fine enough she wont even know its there

Kim - posted on 05/06/2011

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Thanks for all your advise but its not that she doesnt like the taste of certain things its that she looks at it and says yuk and wont even try it,how do i make her eat it without getting more frustrated than i already am???

Aleks - posted on 05/03/2011

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Look... a lot of kids don't like meat. To be honest, it smells and tastes (to the untrained palate) grose. Not tomention is very hard work to chew - even the "soft" meats, mince meat is usually easier, but still way harder than plenty of other stuff.
I have been off red meat now for about 18yrs and I really smell and taste the "blood" in the meat. Beef is worse than pork, while lamb never been a favourite. I don't have a huge issue regarding meat and "animal cruelty" or such, that many vegetarians and vegans believe (though I did to some extent but it is no longer my driving factor in avoiding red meats). So it is not my mind that makes me believe I taste this. So, I can sympathise with little kids who are introduced to this food. I understand that they may (probably don't) know where this food comes from or how it gets there (ie, they may not know it was a cow/pig/chicket, etc) but these flavours are so strong that they can be off putting. My son, for example, doesn't really like beef for this reason (yes, he handles the beef patties and sausages a little bit but prefers fish and chicken a whole lot more as I cook with it more often - my fiance will usually eat red meat and share and give the kids to sample it occassionally).
I wouldn't fuss about it too much. To be honest, as a child I hated to eat meat (way too chewy and too hard to swallow) yet I ended up a huge meat eater ( I was second after my dad in the amounts I would eat) ....lol...only to go through changes in ideology at uni and cut out red meat all together in my diet LOL Now, that sometimes I think it would be easier to go back to eating meat, I cannot handle the taste! How ironic...LOL
Look, if she sees you eating it, eventually her curiosity will get the better of her and she will want to sample.

Oh and as a tip, I find that bolognese sause is a wonderful way in which to get "meat" hidden in, not to mention a whole lot of other veggies that kids normaly wouldn't like to eat generally (as long as you grate them or chop them into small pieces). You can always try the bolognese sause over her rice (instead of pasta) if she likes it :-)

Good luck :-)

OhJessie - posted on 04/26/2011

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I think my kids survived pretty much on air at the age of 2, and a lot of people say the same. Don't sweat it too much; she will eat chicken nuggets and fish fingers? Great! You can also try (this always worked for my picky son) little cornish hens; the good thing is that at 2 a single leg and thigh is pretty much enough; they don't need a whole lot of food. And she eats lots of other stuff; keep offering different kinds of meat (my kids used to love the little banquet/freezer queen boil-in bags with small round slices of turkey in gravy; I'd put them over bread or give them bread to dip; but those are hard to find now - but gravy is sometimes the life-saver!) and eventually she'll find something she likes and start trying things. Probably. But most people have been through stages like that, so don't worry too much!

Brandy - posted on 04/26/2011

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a lack of iron can cause anemia which can cause them not to sleep well at night thats what my dr said, that might be why she mentioned that.

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Does she get enough protein from other sources that she doesn't need the meat? Beans, peanut butter, eggs, etc? I have just kept preparing the things my kids don't like. I present it to them, tell them to taste it, and then leave it alone. If we fight about it or I make her eat it, it will have the opposite effect. It can take up to 15 times of the same thing being offered before they'll eat it. Have you thought about adding an iron supplement to her diet in the meantime? Why do you think she's not sleeping at night? Is it because she's not eating meat? Check out a vegetarian cookbook for meals in them meantime to add protein and iron to her diet.

Brandy - posted on 04/26/2011

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my daughter is the same way! we try to hide protein in her food. we hide eggs in cheese and vegtables we eat alot of chili with black beans because those are the beans she likes, i sneak meat in baked potatoes, grilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese, and dips. also my daughter will eat things that look familiar to her so because she likes french fries i cut foods into that shape and give her the same dipping sauces, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt. good luck

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