My daughter won't eat meat. Any ideas?

Rachel - posted on 01/11/2010 ( 101 moms have responded )

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My 2 year old daughter refuses to eat meat. She just won't. Is that normal? Any ideas of how I could get her to? She won't eat any kind of meat (chicken, beef, turkey, pork chops) I have tried everything I know to try. Any ideas?

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Melissa - posted on 02/21/2011

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try yogurt, milks, cheeses and maybe look into a vegetarian diet and how they get their proteins. It's not necessary to eat meat, as long as she gets enough protein through dairy, peanut butter, nuts, or other way vegetarians get their protein, oh and eggs

[deleted account]

Also, for most kids it is a phase and they will grow out of it. However, there are some that won't and you will just need to find alternate things for them to eat to get those vitamins and nutrients. good luck and know you are not alone.

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My 4 yr old won't eat meat most of the time either. Relax. She may just not like it or want to eat meat and that should be just fine. You can give her alternate protein sources. i.e. beans, peanuts, humis, eggs (if she will eat those my 4 yr old does sometimes but not always so I just ask)

Talea - posted on 02/13/2011

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it's normal, in fact we have vegetarian days here at our house and one of our kids is a pescatarian - I personally wouldn't sweat it, as long as she's eating healthy otherwise it's not a big deal if you are worried about protein try beans, my kids always loved baked beans (BBQ sauce is always a win), and peanut butter is also a good source. I do know there is a reason they are called terrible two's. She may be going through a control phase where this is one of the few area's that she can control herself. Just go with it. Offer it to her but don't make a big deal out of it or it may become a battle of wills. One of the most common things my mom would do was reverse psychology. She would tell me I shouldn't eat something or do something and that generally got my attention. She may be a little small for that yet, but it worked for me from the earliest ages. (Sometimes still does according to her and I have 4 of my own kids 18-1 yr. and am in my late 30's lol). All kids have phases, my oldest hated veggies until he learned that chicken actually came from chickens like Gramma's - he ate only fruit and veggies for about a year (from 4-5 or so) but now he's one of the few teen boys I know that is willing to eat salads and loves vegetables. My second hated veggies and wouldn't eat them unless I hid them in food until he saw his Daddy owning up and tasting new foods - now his favorite corndog is a vegetarian variety. DS #3 is mildly lactose intolerant but loves yogurt (and it doesn't bother him) we add some wheat germ for a nutty flavor and it doesn't block him up. He doesn't like beef much at all but can kill some seafood and loves chicken. My baby girl (1 year) now refuses and has refused to eat anything that even remotely resembles baby food. It has to be something she can eat on her own and she's been this way for about 4 months now. So all kids are different and go through different stages, eating is one of the earliest things they learn to do and so they experiment with what they can and can't control with it right off the bat sometimes. :) No biggie. Hope this helps.

April - posted on 02/11/2011

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and i would say to give her pediasure if you dont have any luck it gives her the nutrients she would be lacking

Sophiaa - posted on 02/11/2011

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My son hates the sight of chicken but I tried giving him snacky chiken and chicken popcorn..which seemed to work..start by using some crispy recipies....

Kate - posted on 02/05/2011

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my twins HATE meat. but, they LOVE turkey burger. soo much better for them as well:) ((jenny o ground turkey is the best))

Jessica - posted on 01/13/2011

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Both of my boys were the same! I made them chicken nuggets with grated veggies & apples in them & baked them up in the oven. They still are a favourite & a complete meal for them. Very simple to make, ground chicken, i usually grind my own, 4 thighs or 2 thighs & 1 breast, 1 grated zucchini, 1 large grated carrot, 1 shredded apple. grated/shred the veggies into the same bowl & squeeze out the water, then mix in chicken & add some salt (if you like) mix in about 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs to absorb more juices. Now form into small nuggest(i use a golf-ball size chunk of mixture) coat the nugget in flour, dip in egg, then coat in breadcrumbs. I line a baking sheet with aluminum foil & spray with pam (so it is easy clean-up) bake the nuggets 20 minutes on each side at a 425 degree oven. Hope she loves it as much asmy boys do! She can dip them in bbq sauce or honey or ketchup, whatever she likes.

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When i was younger, i didn't want to eat meat either. My mother kept trying to make me eat it. I did sometimes, but it pissed me off and i did have resentment for my mom a bit because of it. I'm a vegan now that I'm older. I would let her be a vegetarian if she wants to be. You can get a complete balanced diet from vegetables and grains alone, you don't need meat.

Traci - posted on 01/10/2011

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My daughter is the same way, and I found the only meat I can get her to eat is in spaghetti... I guess because its "disguised" in the sauce.. but other than that, I dont know what to tell you, I have tried just about everything also, and my daughter is 9!! Good luck

Amy - posted on 01/10/2011

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Like every one else's kids,mine were the same. I didn't try hiding it, Kids aren't silly, they can still taste it! I just hunted down some great vegetarian cook books and made sure they had plenty of cheese & milk. Our family is now healthier because we only have the recommended 3 servings of red meat a day. Plus my kids now like a wide variety of foods, including meat!

Melissa - posted on 01/10/2011

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my two year olds very fussy she wont eat any meat. ive tried hiding it in pies,currys, soups and bolognese and all she does is suck all the sauce off the meat and leave it. i hope she grows out of it but i think its best to keep offering it to them, as people have said before me there tastes change all the time

BILLIE - posted on 01/25/2010

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My son is a picky meat eater ,,, When I want him to eat meat I make Quesadillas and he seems to eat the meat in it without much problems. I guess because it is hidden by the salsa and cheese. Try it, maybe it will work for your daughter too.

Alice - posted on 01/25/2010

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My daughter is just like that i give her lots of beans and dairy because the two together make a complete protine, try chicken nuggets that is what i started my daughter on.

in till you can get her to eat meat the beans and dairy will help with her protine in take.

Louise - posted on 01/25/2010

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my 2 yr old was the same i just kept giving her it and encourging her to eat it but wasnt worried if she didint as she always ate her veg! just be patient! my daughter will eat and try everything now she is havin haggis neeps and tatties tonight lovely!!!

[deleted account]

A born vegetarian! Excellent. It is not difficult to raise a vegetarian child, I think you should try to respect her wishes and not feed her something she does not want to eat. My son has never eaten meat in his 11 years of life and he is smart, strong and tall. There are some great vegetarian cookbooks out there for kids, Check out www.vegetariantimes.com I have been a subscriber for 20 years.

Amanda - posted on 01/23/2010

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I know this probably wont help but my son is good with kids and they really respond to him he says"tell them it's Gremlin Poo & it gives you magic powers" so not sure if you could tryit or not but you could make it a bit of a game if it is especially important for you that she eat meat. Personally no child under 6 i have ever heard of has starved themself. But i do stand corrected. xoxo Blessings

Ashdin - posted on 01/22/2010

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i blened tha cooked meat untill pureed and put it in her veges or watever she is having for dinner and she doesnt even know

Cathy - posted on 01/22/2010

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My son would not eat meat as a toddler either. He is 10 yrs. now & still has never eaten any meat. Thru the years, I spent alot of time worring about that, but his pediatrcian has never been. As long as they get daily protien & iron from other sources, they are just fine. My son was on a liquid vitamin his dr. prescribed that provided him those things when he was younger & now he takes a chewable vitamin. Every year at his annual physical they take a little blood to check his iron levels & he is always just fine. He is the picture of health, very athletic & always has a abundant amount of energy. So, do yourself a favor and don't stress too much, as long as you're communicating with your pediatrician about their eating habits, they should be just fine!

Anette - posted on 01/22/2010

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My little boy used to be exactly like that... I would have the smallest pieces of chicken in with his pasta, and after feeding him for a while, would discover an enormous ball of chicken in his one cheek!! Now he loves any meat.
What I want to tell you, what the pediatrician told me... don't worry. Make sure he gets other forms of protein in, like eggs, cheese, yoghurt or fish. I would say not to push her, as you will only create added stress in your life which, as a mother of a 2 year old, you do not need! Good luck!

Rita - posted on 01/21/2010

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Look online for vegetarian solutions to provide protein. It doesn't really matter where she gets it, as long as she does. Preparing meals can take a few minutes longer, but it is worthwhile, and the whole family will benefit! Good luck!

Heather - posted on 01/20/2010

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my two year old boy wont touch meat , i think its a texture thing . I dont push it i just make sure he has lots of selection when he eats and i always offer it to him. My two daughters went through the same but out grew it .

Anna - posted on 01/20/2010

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I didn't read through all the comments so I don't know if I am repeating anyone but try TVP (textured vegtable protein). You can find it in the organic section of your grocery store or at a health food store. They are little granuals that you soak in water and you can add it many foods such as rice. I give this to my 17 month old son and he loves it. I use it as a meat substitute. I hope this helps you.

Tammy - posted on 01/20/2010

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If you really think it's important to have your 2 year eating meat then you can grind it up into soups. I would make chicken or vegetable soup for my daughter and throw it in the food processor. She always ate it. :) I was determined to get mine eating meat only because I was afraid she would never accept it if she didn't eat it early on. There are very few foods my kids will not eat now. They LOVE veggies too because I always offered them early on.

Carly - posted on 01/19/2010

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Nobody needs meat. In fact, it's not very good for you. I have been a vegetarian since childhood and am raising mine the same. Rather than try to make her eat meat I would embrace this as a chance to broaden your horizons on vegetarian cooking. Not saying the whole family becomes veggie but there is a world of deliciousness out there and it's better for you too!! Just try to get her to eat some other protein rich food like tofu, beans, lentils, eggs or nut butters.

Kathleen - posted on 01/19/2010

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Hi Rachel,



I have a nephew that is like that, in fact he wont eat very much at all, the only thing he eats is noodles, yoghurts, crisps and biscuits. He started this when he was only about 3 and he is 18 now and he is ok, as long as your daughter is eating something and drinking, try and not worry to much, as she gets older she may start trying meat.

Claudia - posted on 01/18/2010

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hola Rachel,

(i hav no nutrishonal train'n, but i'v been work'n n th food businss for well ovr 22 yrs and hav learnd somthngs about nutrition and food value).

i'v been thrgh tht stage w my dghtr @ 1 time, she's nw 7 y.o. =)

i tried ths "lik" o "yuk" game w her and it works.

th wy tht ths game works, is lik ths: hav ur child/rn sit n her/his hghchair o table, tell thm to wearsunglasses o blindfold and to try evry piece of item and to tell u tht if they "lik" o "yuk" of th item tht they tried and u cn write down n a lttl memo pad w th child/rns name on it, cn giv u n idea of wht he/she liks o disliks.

if ur chld/rn still continue not to eat "meat" u may wanna nform ur chld/rns doc. but here's nothr idea, u cn use all kinds of beans n place of "meats" to get th proper amount of nurishments tht ur child/rns need.

good luck. hope this idea helpd =)

write to me here and let me knw hw th game went,k.

claudia

Carrie - posted on 01/18/2010

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Nope,But it won't kill her.Just introduce peanut butter,beans and other hi protein thing's and she'll be fine,My now nine year old when she turned about two stopped all meat intake and only ate peanut butter and bean's and such and she only recently started to eat hamburger,and over the years and number of children I have and each one being different in appetite,food is literally the only thing they can control so don't fuss to much cuz kids will not starve them self's.

Raquel - posted on 01/18/2010

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Well it's better she doesn't eat meat anyway...lsn't it? It takes a long time to digest,my 2 yr old like fish & salad more than anything,oh and lentils &beans,those are good for you anyway:)

Rachel - posted on 01/18/2010

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Thank you for all the comments. It has given me a lot to think about and try. It is nice to know that other people have been through this too. It was foreign to me. We have never had a vegetarian in the family so I was unsure of what to do. But thank you for all the ideas , I am definitely going to try!

Paula - posted on 01/17/2010

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Hello. I have a 5 and 7 yrs old now. But when my daughter was younger she gave me a hard time as well. I would cook the chicken or ground beef and season it well. Then I'd use the grinder until it was very fine. I would then mix with rice and beans, or mashed potato. She had no idea. Little by little, the pieces were a little bigger. Sometimes kids will refuse to eat meat because they have to chew and chew. Hope ti helps!

Pearl - posted on 01/17/2010

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hi rachel, have u try mince meats and cook it with vegestables like pasta sauce. i guess u just have to try all sorts of cooking way.

Lisa - posted on 01/17/2010

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My oldest son was not really fond of meat either. I was told that if they don't like meat to replace the meat with a protein., aka. peanut butter, etc. My son grew out of it, some kids just don't like the texture of meat. She is two though, she may grow out of it soon.

Natalie - posted on 01/17/2010

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The only way I could get my two year old to eat meat was buying Tyson Chicken Fries. He loves french fries and he thought they were the same. Now, he will eat chicken prepared any way. Good luck!! He still won't eat red meat of any kind. I figure that will come in time.

Jean - posted on 01/17/2010

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Two of my 3 children had issues eating meat and it happened to be related to their tonsils. They just naturally had very large tonsils and the texture of meat is such that they had to chew forever to get it to the point they could swallow it...therefore, they didnt like to eat meat. After they had their tonsils removed, problem solved.. I realize this wont be the case for everyone, but something to think about.

Beth - posted on 01/16/2010

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It is normal. Most toddlers won't/don't eat it. Don't push it on her. Don't make a big deal about it. Is there a reason you feel she has to eat meat? Esp at 2? You can always ask for a referral to a nutritionist from you doc..

She gets plenty of iron and protein from other foods. Continue to be a good role model eating and she will eat it when she wants to. My 4 yr old just asked for chicken the other day for the first time.. (But 50% of our meals are vegetarian.)

Good luck!

Heidi - posted on 01/16/2010

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I was the same way as a child. I'd starve before I'd eat meat.My mother would try to force it. The thing is she's fat and I'm healthy. So I've been a vegetarian since childhood. You do not have to eat meat to be healthy. I encourage my children to eat a rainbow,meaning a colorful diet of fresh fruits and veggies. It's not about the food pyramid ,but about nutrients. By the way it is very common for children to not like meat. After all it smells disgusting ,but what would one expect from a poor dead creature? Think of all the spices and sauces it takes to make it appetizing. About pork...ever heard of trichinosis? My daughters both love vegetarian chili. I have 2 ,but only one likes meat. I let them choose.

Shamarra - posted on 01/16/2010

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My eldest son is the same, he's 4. All he ever wants is pasta lol I try making pies with lost of meat & veggies (because he won't eat those either) I think the reason he won't eat meat is because it's too hard for him to chew. Because he does occasionally eat chicken & sometimes pork. But it's a rare occasion.
Another thing is spaghetti bolognaise, again with minced beef & heaps of veggies, because he loves pasta, he would be quite happy having that every night lol And also soups, with shredded chicken or something.

Emma - posted on 01/16/2010

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hi my son is 14months an he was like that wen he was younger so wot i used 2 do is blend what ever meat u r doin and blend it with veg and i used 2 put a bit a bread in it so its like soup he loved it an now he will eat meat any. hope it helps gud luck an take care.x

Laura - posted on 01/16/2010

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It may be that it constipates the child or gives a metal taste in the childs mouth. Not a big deal, usually kids change there diet as they get older, just make sure the child gets his protien elsewhere. Eggs, cheese, high protien foods.

Corrah - posted on 01/15/2010

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You could try adding ground beef to mac n` cheese. It's quick and yummy. Or making stews or soups with shredded meat. If you'd like, I've got some recipes for stews with meat. Just send me a message and I'll be glad to help =D

Melaniya - posted on 01/15/2010

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It is normal. Just give her other food that has protein like fish, eggs, beans, tofu. try to find variety of food that she likes and at the same time healthy. she may change her taste later. Many kids have different taste to different food during their development. My son did not want to eat a lot of food like fruit and veggies. however from his choice I always had variety of food with a good nutrient. I also breastfeed him more than 2 years. even people told me to stop. He is is 17 now and in a great health. :)

Anyway it is up to you just try think what is good for him and do not listen to many advice. every one is different.. Good luck to you

Stephanie - posted on 01/15/2010

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I'm in the same boat.... my 2yr old daughter won't eat no meat, and eggs. its frustrating.

Deborah - posted on 01/14/2010

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i wouldnt worry about it try chicken and fish see if he eats that, there taste changes all the time

Catherine - posted on 01/11/2010

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Most important: do not panic. Meat is not desperately necessary and any vegertarian/vegan will tell you that there are plenty of alternatives for sources of iron. [Have you tried fish or other seafoods? I only ask 'cause you didn't mention it]

Sometimes, it's presentation. At 2, you're better off introducing them to sausages, minced meats or nuggets because it's easier to chew.

Try a risotto.

AJ - posted on 01/11/2010

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well 2 yr old sometimes just decide not to eat certain things and sometimes you just cant convince them other wise until they change their minds, the only thing i can think of until she comes around is to try making casseroles/pot pies things that include the meat and veggies together where they are indistinguishable and if that doesnt work then just give her the protien she needs with different kinds of nuts or peanut butter :) i'm pretty sure she'll come around maybe she's just seeing how far you will go to cater to her its a part of the terrible twos ya know

Deirdre - posted on 01/11/2010

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both of my girls have been thru that. my 3 yr old is going thru that now. i shouldn't say she won't eat ANY meat, she's just really picky. as long as ur daughter gets her protein whether it be from cottage cheese or even cubes of cheese she will be ok. it's just a spell. peanut butter is a good source of protein too. i think it's like 1 tablespoon of peanut butter is equal to a serving of meat. good luck

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