anyone else have picky kids who won't eat meat???

Melissa - posted on 05/19/2010 ( 28 moms have responded )

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my 3.5 yr old daughter will not touch meat at all. i know thats a good thing she loves fruits and veggies but we eat meat so any suggestions?? anyone else in this boat??? help!

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Anaya - posted on 09/08/2010

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My son is 8yo and it took him until this past summer to start eating meat. He didn't like meat as a baby either. As for meat the only thing he ate that even remotely resembled meat was chicken nuggets and hot dogs. I told him I wasn't going to buy chicken nuggets or hot dogs anymore and that he had to start eating what I made for dinner. I found out that he likes tuna, smoked oysters in the can, canned chicken (like tuna), clams and chicken teriyaki. I started off with very small portions of what I knew he would eat and that I knew he could manage. Little by little he began to try other meats, like pork chops, beef and ground turkey. It wasn't easy, but we had to stand our ground and I'm glad we did.

Brigida - posted on 09/02/2010

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My daughter is the same way! If your little girl has tried peanuts (and you know she isn't allergic) peanut butter has a pretty good amount of protein. I give my daughter crackers or toast with peanut butter to make sure she's still getting protien. We also use wheat bread....

Karen - posted on 08/26/2010

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I found that if I have too large of pieces, my daughter won't eat the meat regardless of what it is. I have to do cut it up into tiny chunks so she hardly has to chew it, otherwise she spits it out. She also like heavily flavored meat like grilled steak and crunchy herbed chicken as opposed to the mild flavored stuff you would normally give kids. I say keep offering it in small pieces and have them try one piece per meal. We do that and after she's eaten her one piece, she gets something she does like, for instance, a strawberry.

Donna - posted on 07/23/2010

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Nobody in my family eats meat. Your child can get more than enough nutrients with a wide variety of fruit, veggies, seeds, nuts,sprouts, etc. Good for her, it's not good for her anyways.

Christine - posted on 07/22/2010

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My daughter eats meat.. but not as often as myself and my husband.

Truth is.. too much meat isn't good for you.. you need the protein.. but protein doens't need to come from meat.

Beans, Eggs, and Milk also have protein.

In our case, our daughter LOVES beans. Loves loves loves beans.. like she has to have them twice a day ..

so my thought is.. if she's getting her protein... then that's what really counts..

You're real issue is the picky eating issue.. my daughter is 3 1/2 too.. and has recently started trying to be picky.. and this is what we did..

We tell her.. You have to try everything.. if you don't like it.. you can spit it out.. we won't make you eat it.. but you may find you like it. So that is our rule.

She tries everything now.. when she says she doesnt' want too.. then we remind her of the rule.... you have to try everything.. I'd say 70% of the time.. she finds she likes the food she initially didn't want to eat.. 30% of the time she doesn't .. she spits it out. we tell her she did good by at least trying it and move on from there.

But at least it gets her eating.

The thing is.. not forcing your kids to eat food they don't like.. it creates eating issues as they get older.. it creates relationship issues too with you as they get older.

There needs to be trust.. forcing a child to eat won't do it..
There needs to be education.. teaching them to try foods but not forcing them to eat it if they don't like it .. is fair to both parties..

But the main thing is respect..

If my daughter feels strongly about not eating something.. then I respect her feelings and don't push it on her.

Encourage your daughters fruits and veggies.. make sure she gets her proteins through beans, or eggs.. beans are better.. and set the rule.. you have to at least try the food.. meat in this case.

That's my thought on it.

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Arla - posted on 09/01/2013

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My middle child who is now 10 yrs old, did not always like meat. With him I have found that every time we had meat I would put alittle on his plate. Most times he would try it and still say he didn't like it. I was persistent and kept doing and now he doesn't eat all meat but its much better. You can also try something to dip it in like ranch dressing. My younger son has to have his ranch. It's not alot but its a staple in our house. If you don't like something try it with ranch!! Lol. I think some kids when they are younger just havent got a love for good food till they are older.

Georgette - posted on 06/22/2013

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My 3 1/2 year old granddaughter is the same way, however I have discovered she will eat fried chicken and deli ham slices if I roll them up, and loves fish and seafood in general. Perhaps the texture is more palatable to them?

Nancy - posted on 09/09/2010

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Why force the meat on her now; there are other ways for her to get her protein...beans, etc. Introduce the meat to her in small portions in a variety of ways and maybe her taste buds will change.

Ginette - posted on 09/07/2010

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My girls love dipping their chicken in honey and they eat their pork with applesauce. My 2 1/2 year old has recently discovered Ranch dip as well and loves to dip everything... sandwiches, veggies, even steak! Just a thought!!

Tatiana - posted on 09/01/2010

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I am with you but my3,5 yr started eating chicken couple monthes ago. I got for myself some vegiterian "chicken" and she was very interested in "pretend chicken". She loved it, so now I sneak the real thing saying it's "pretend"

Corinne - posted on 08/27/2010

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My daughter went through a phase of refusing to eat meat, so I cooked it, blitzed it in the blender, then mixed it into mashed potato or pasta sauce etc. Hopefully it's just a phase and will come round soon enough. :)

Sarah - posted on 08/25/2010

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Hi ladies! As a mom of 4 young boys and a Registered Dietitian I understand the realities of healthy eating when it comes to kids and families. I recently wrote a series of articles on Back to School Nutrition plus other great nutrtion articles that I write for the Examiner. Check it out and if you like my articles, click on the subscribe button which will only alert you when I post a new article. I love Circle of Moms! ~ Sarah Hortman, RD http://www.examiner.com/nutrition-in-oma...
Please let me know what nutrition questions you have and I will be glad to help!
P.S. Let your daughter choose the foods you offer her - there are other non-meat sources of protein like beans/legumes, tofu and even yogurt, cottage cheese and cheese...

Cori - posted on 08/20/2010

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I see this ALL the time in toddlers and pre-schoolers. The most common reason is the time and energy it takes to eat meat. I give my kids VERY small pieces and the softest meat possible. I only cook Filet Mengion (sp) for steak. While its more expensive I figure at least its getting eaten; other steak just ends uo in the garbage. Even things like hamburg and bacon are a lot of chewing to a 3 year old. Offer plenty of fluids and start slow (hot dogs, pulled pork, beans, chili, etc.)

Brooke - posted on 08/20/2010

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Thank goodness my son is not the only one! He absolutely will not touch his meat, he is ok with chicken but nothing else. Unfortunately he is also allergic to egg, so that does not help. However, we have found he will eat baked beans like they are his last meal, so I am happy to use this as an alternative. I think it is just a case of finding her a food which she likes to replace the meat, and give her those nutrients. Good luck, and hope she grows out of it!

Jill - posted on 08/19/2010

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my 6 year old won't touch steak unless i give him bbq sauce with it. then he eats it like it's going out of style. but if your more worried about having a balanced diet, then she can get the same from nuts and eggs.

Kim - posted on 08/18/2010

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I'm in that boat as well, only mine doesn't want most veggies either. She eats fine at breakfast and lunch but no dinner. She has no developmental or learning disabilities yet is still seeing an occupational therapist. It may be a texture aversion. I assume you've tried to cut the meat in different ways and offer dipping sauces?

[deleted account]

Hi Melissa, My little brother never ate meat, it was always left on his plate. There's no need really for a child to eat meat once they have other foods to replace the protein, eggs... Also fish is great for them and most kids love it. Avacado is a great fruit to give them. I know you were looking for advice on how to get her to eat meat but i wouldn't push it. Just keep putting it on her plate and she'll try it some day.

There's also the possibility that meat doesn't suit your daughter. You can get a simple allergy test done and look at what blood group she is.

My daughter spent 6 months in Argentina and will only eat meat if it is cook medium to rare, all children have their quirks and she hates any kind of artificial sauce so everything is home made and natural.

Rhiana - posted on 07/17/2010

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I think its an age thing. I remember thinking of making my daughter a vegetarian around that age, because of the texture, she didn't like it.She's now 9 and doesn't really like it still.
My 11 mo old daughter eats more veggies and fruit than meat, so I am thinking of holding off on meat as well.

Elizabeth - posted on 07/16/2010

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same here my grandchildren only eat chicken so we call everything chicken.....they will grow out of it

Rochelle - posted on 07/01/2010

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Thanx for the advice ladies.. my son is five and will only eat chicken but I can know try these alternatives

Bethanie - posted on 06/02/2010

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Try other alternatives like almond butter (a much healthier protein source then peanut butter), fish, quinoa (keen-wah): this is more of a complete protein then meat, barley, beans and potatoes all work. Just keep offering it and try mixing it in with other things. My son loves many of his meats just a little more when I offer him some Organic Ketchup to dip it in!

Claire - posted on 05/28/2010

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I find boith of my girls - nrly 2 and 5&half have never like normal meat, but will eat mince in pasta bolognaise - mixed together,
wafer thin meats - i roll these because thats the way they like it ... no flat out out!

ELIZABETH - posted on 05/27/2010

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my son would only eat bread milk and cheese if i let him o ya and anything with sugar in it. but the only meat he will and has ever touched is chicken nuggets. but i am just glad he likes penutbutter and hardboild eggs we also give him an iron supplement script by the doc of corse but that is also cuz he is anemic.

Tina - posted on 05/25/2010

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you can give meat alternatives, cheese, eggs, soya. My sons the same way, but he loves scrambled eggs. your lucky you have a child that loves veggies. some children will only eat meat, I have one of those too. they eventually out grow it. My oldest eats everything now and is heathy

[deleted account]

my daughter was the same way when she was younger.but she loved chicken so i would tell her that its chicken with different color.LOL it work for me...try it out it might work for you..good luck..

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