18 month old daughter won't eat meat!

Ann - posted on 04/04/2013 ( 93 moms have responded )

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My daughter just won't eat meat. I'm trying to get some protein into her and she can't just live off fruits and veggies. The only meat she's been eating lately is turkey, but like the meat off a big turkey, and I'm not going to make a turkey every week just so she'll eat. Are there any other options?

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Diane - posted on 04/05/2013

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Actually she's awfully young to be making the decision that meat is the only protein out there. She can live nicely on fruits, veggies, grains, and whole milk. My daughter and I, both adults, have been vegetarians for years, and there's no reason to assume your child is going without. Since you are insistent about this, why not puree some meat and put it in a casserole with veggies? Or, get turkey at the deli, so you don't have to make a turkey. They've already got turkey cooked, you just need to buy a bag of it and chop it up. If she likes that, the next week you could try some chicken. She really doesn't need animal fat from beef and pork.

Michelle - posted on 04/05/2013

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I was raised on a strict vegetarian diet with no meat at all. Today I eat some small bits, but I am very picky because I did not learn to eat it until after I was an adult. And even today it is very uncommon in our diet. Although veggies are not known for the their protein, they all have some protein. Mushrooms are actually one of the highest protein vegetables. I usually mince them really tiny, pre-cook them in a pan with a mock beef seasoning and then use them just like "beef" in my cooking. Alternatively, I used textured vegetable protein and tofu often.

To help put you at ease in regards to protein sources other than meats, here are many below that my kiddos and their friends enjoy. Also, I've been told that it might take 10 or more "tastes" before a child will eat a new item. Our taste buds actually change every seven years (one by one and not all at once, so she might like it in a few months or a year if not today). All kiddos are different, so consider some and try what works for you! Good luck!!

Most dairy items contain some protein as well (such as cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, cheese sticks). Greek yogurt has double the protein of regular yogurt, so perhaps consider the greek variety. I find it thicker and easier for my little ones to keep on the spoon than regular yogurt anyways!

Legumes - aka beans - area a wonderful source of protein (peanuts are also actually a legume and not a nut). Hummus for dipping veggies or making a wrap is another simple and fast way to get a bonus of protein added in. Nuts and seeds also contain protein. Nut spreads are a safer alternative for young ones due to the risk of chocking on a solid nut. My sons first "spreadable" sandwich was tahini and we have made them for years for an allergy safe variety if that's a concern for you. Also "sunbutter" is made from sunflower seeds and is often not a common allergy.

Tofu is a very simple easy protein source for little ones. I still recall when I was dating my husband and we saw our friends take a slice of tofu directly from the pouch and slice into cubes and place on a plate to feed their little one -- no cooking, no work, no fuss, no prep. She loved it!!! Even though as an adult it doesn't sound appealing to me, I've fed it to my little ones and they gobble it up! As they get older they often tend to prefer it in sliced and gently pan fried. Today there are many soy meats that are available in the fridge and freezers at the markets that are quite yummy. My friend's daughters favorite is soy bolany.

Morning star farms makes TVP (textured vegetable protein) in granules in the freezer section. It is designed to be used just like beef. They also have corn dogs and veggie chicken nuggets which my kiddos really enjoy.

The fridge section often have veggie nuggets of some kind. It might be veggie patch and I'm told they have protein in them (could be just the natural protein in the veggies though as I haven't check them out personally). My friends child really likes them alot!

We make fruit and veggie smoothies (yes they almost always have more fruit than veggies) and we add a chunk of soft tofu into them. My mom buys protein powder to add into hers. Veggies that are sweeter tend to be more accepted for the first trys (like cooked carrot, sweet potato, butternut squash, zucchini). If your kiddos like Dr. Seuss Grinch or Shrek, use kiwis and green grapes with spinach and zucchini plus tofu to make a Grinch or Shrek Drink. Sometimes the fun names will help increase the interest. One friend makes a banana, tofu, peanut butter one with cocoa powder (to re-create a jamba drink with less sugar).

Protein powder usually doesn't have a strong flavor (my mom buys vanilla flavor) and could be mixed into oatmeal, mashed potatoes, snuck into a sandwich with a spread (like egg salad, tuna salad, tofu salad, etc), if you feel the need to really boost up the protein.

My son really likes eggs -- in the spring he eats a boiled egg/day after we have dyed them. We actually dye eggs about every other month for fun and he eats almost all of them - one egg/day. However even a diet without dairy and meat can consume sufficient protein on a daily basis. This is a more common allergy alternative though. Side note: if the eggshell is white he's not interested in a boiled egg and prefers a scrambled egg. Your little one is not going to know the difference yet (I'd save they dyed part until she's older).

Suzie - posted on 04/25/2013

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I'm a nutritionist and had the same issues with my daughter. In fact, I was an involuntary vegetarian throughout my entire pregnancy with her because I threw up anything that had meat or fish in it. So... I joke even in vitro, she hated meat.

Honestly, as a nutritionist I say offer her a varitety of protein options including meats she isn't fond of, throughout the day, every day. Some children have to be offered a certain food over 15 times before they appreciate it. When my daughter was 18 months, I gave her whatever we were having for dinner. If she ate, I would be VERY encouraging... lots of positive reinforcement. But I never forced it. Let it come with her own time.

As for other protein sources, I would stear clear of soy due to the hormonal precursors but all of China lives on soy protein so... to each its own. I would stick to nuts (peanut butter), eggs, beans (my daughter loves black bean and cheese in a whole wheat tortilla), a little whey protein in her milk or oatmeal, egg whties in oatmeal, yogurt, cheese sticks, etc. A lot of foods at the grocery store that are naturally lacking in protein are now fortified with added protein so keep your eye out for that.

And one thing I noticed with my daughter, she started eating salmon before chicken and I think it was because it is so soft and practically melts in your mouth. A lot of people overlook fish since it often times gets associated with "grown up" foods, but its a great source of protein and omega-3.

I think the most important thing is to keep things positive and offer her a lot of everything. When she's older, you can instill a "thank you bite rule". We have a rule that you have to at least eat one bite of everything on the plate to try it. The thank you bite comes in as a manner thing- you should be thankful to the person who cooked and at least eat one bite of everything as a thank you. One bite wont kill anyone! haha But this has really helped us. She even eats asparagus- it only took a year of thank you bites! haha

JPatrick - posted on 04/09/2013

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@April:
"Most of the most up themselves pretentious arrogant blowhards that I've run into have been veggies."

So you are saying that if OP lets her daughter become a veggie, she is likely to become an an arrogant jerk? That in itself is pretentious. Many veg/vegans don't even make their diet an issue unless someone is curious and ask them their reasons, which can vary widely (e.g. personal health, compassion for animals, don't like the taste, etc.). You don't have to agree with their reasons for choosing their diet any more than they have to agree with yours. In fact, I was veggie for 4 years and it was ALWAYS the non-veggie that made my diet an issue if it came up, forcing me to explain my personal choices to (sometimes) complete strangers upon demand. I'd hate to see a child discouraged from a healthy lifestyle choice b/c 'other people' that have chosen that path are "blowhards."

Also, IQ has gone of up from eating meat -- do you have a source for that? People can get the same nutrients from non-meat sources, avoiding fats and cholesterol along the way. I'll agree that it can be trickier to maintain an adequate veg diet and there are all kinds of variations (some people strictly vegan, some eat fish, etc.), but you can't ignore the health benefits when it is done right, as others have pointed out in this thread.

Obviously, a parent has to monitor their child's food intake, regardless. Eating nothing but fruits and veggies with no iron or protein is harmful, as is eating nothing but meat w/no vitamins and minerals. The bottom line is that meat-eating isn't a *requirement* of a healthy, balanced diet and parents shouldn't be led to believe otherwise.

Pamela - posted on 04/05/2013

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PLEASE do not force your daughter to eat meat! If she is showing you that she does not want it that should be a CLUE!!! Human bodies were not made to digest meat and though most people do not know it, meat doesn't fully digest and what you pass away through elimination is most of it. The remainder often stays attached to the walls of the intestines and colon where it remains as a MAJOR PLAYGROUND for germs and bacteria while it putrifies.

There is plenty of protein in eggs (1 egg = 100% of daily protein). Most athletes in training know this and eat eggs as a major source of protein. Legumes (beans) are the second highest protein food. I do not eat meat and haven't for many years. I became a vegetarian in 1970. I enjoy excellent health, especially at my age (67). I attribute a great deal of that to my diet.

DO NOT FORCE meat on your child. Consider this: When the animal is killed the energy of FEAR goes throughout it's system, so when you eat meat you not only eat DEATH you eat FEAR as well. Your daughter is smart enough to know this intuitively.

FYI...the majority of the babies being born now are of a much higher level of intelligence than past generations of children. It is absolutely necessary as a means of raising the energy of this planet so that it can transcend as divinely planned!

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Tea - posted on 01/07/2014

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its such a great thing that you daughter does not like meat you can get tons of protein from other sources beans seeds nuts veggies fruits she is showing you the way.

Jackie - posted on 06/11/2013

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i have a 4 year old that still won't eat meat. She tells me it comes from animals and you can't kill animals its mean. Then she starts crying.

Jamie - posted on 05/07/2013

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Same thing with my 18 month old daughter. She will eat meat if she can dip it in ketchup. Sad, but true. Salmon cakes with ketchup, steak with ketchup and so on... It is so embarrassing at restaurants, but oh well.

She also loves hummus, so we give her individual-sized pots of hummus with breadsticks and at least that is something..

She refuses to eat fruit or veggies, so it could be worse. :-) I just tell myself it is a phase and someday she'll be a normal eater...

Yaz - posted on 04/27/2013

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People get more energy with veggies than meat. lemme explain. So without plants, nothing would exist according to the food chain. Therefore plants have the highest amount of energy in the food web. Meat comes from an animal that ate the plant or an animal that ate an animal that ate the plant. Therefore that animal *meat* would only be recieving .1 to .01% of energy. When your daughter consumes meat, shes only recieving .001 percent of energy. That will keep her hungry all the time which would probably mean she'd be raidin' those bags of potato chips. Veggies are better that meat. I'm not a mom. I'm a teen but I learned this in science. God bless you! *I do think meat is very delicious though lol!* :-)

Evangelyna - posted on 04/27/2013

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She might just not like the taste of meat. I don't like the taste of meat on its own but can eat it with something. You could try sauces or feeding a little chicken or something with a bit of pasta or something else to help tone down the taste. That's how I have to eat meat when I do, sauces and seasonings and taking bites with other foods that I really enjoy.

Jo - posted on 04/23/2013

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Make a turkey breast, dice it, make baggies, freeze them, take out one a day. Perdue makes turkey, buy it cooked. Buy sliced turkey. Turkey, fruit and veggies are fine. Do not force a child to eat. They will develop tastes and likes and dislikes. She's 18 months old? Give her a healthy vitamin. She's a baby. Give her time.

Lucy - posted on 04/23/2013

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Soy is not good for children. It has estrogen precursors that can cause hormonal problems as the child grows. You can Google problems with soy in children or go here; http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/Soy... . There are scores of studies that link thyroid issues with consumption of soy. Be educated.

Jessica - posted on 04/22/2013

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It's a big fat lie that protein is only found in meat. Where do you think all those huge herbivores get this essential nutrient? Protein is in plants too, especially seeds (legumes, beans, etc.).

Cecilia - posted on 04/21/2013

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If there is an issue with iron, fig newtons are a good helper with that but if they eat beans or nuts it will also fix it.

Dr Leonaura - posted on 04/21/2013

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I agree with what many people have said kids are resilient and they can survive and thrive without meat. In many cultures children never eat meat. My son now 14 has not eaten a piece of meat for 12 years, he's 14. It started out as a texture problem. He's had anaemia, so I feel he probably needs some meat. One dinner in 3 he has pasta sauce, with beef and veggies blended so there are no bits. If you child likes pasta and sauce it's a great way to hide a multitude of healthy food ;) good luck!

Ana - posted on 04/20/2013

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Since you're worried about her protein intake give her beans. I made black beans for my little boy but he didn't like them, so I added a little garlic and olive oil and by the time you turn your back after you feel the plate they're gone! Also, try fish. My ds loves fish over chicken any day!

Ahlmann - posted on 04/19/2013

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There are plenty of options if you allow yourself to see them, but you make it hard on your self by believing humans NEED meat. It's simply not true, as you can see in the not-dying of vegetarians ( I am not a vegetarian btw). I don't know what's the truth, but I'm not limiting my options by choosing. Consider this article:
http :// michaelbluejay.com/veg/natural . html

So first of all your child will do fine without meat, stop worrying.

Ahlmann - posted on 04/19/2013

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There are plenty of options if you allow yourself to see them, but you make it hard on your self by believing humans NEED meat. It's simply not true, as you can see in the not-dying of vegetarians ( I am not a vegetarian btw). I don't know what's the truth, but I'm not limiting my options by choosing. Consider this article:
http :// michaelbluejay.com/veg/natural . html

So first of all your child will do fine without meat, stop worrying.

Susan Bernadette - posted on 04/17/2013

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Hi troubled Mom, relax, meat is actually more harmful than good for you. Protein is not what your daughter's diet will lack, she will need to take vitamin B12, which is the only thing that we get from meat that she will lack. So I suggest Vitamin Code Raw B-12. This is the best way to ensure that your daughter gets enough B-12. The meat that we consume in today's world is not as good for you as you might think. I have been a vegetarian for 4 years and I have never felt better. The best protein sources are actually leafy greens, such as spinach and kale and beans. Take care.

Susan Bernadette - posted on 04/17/2013

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Hi troubled Mom, relax, meat is actually more harmful than good for you. Protein is not what your daughter's diet will lack, she will need to take vitamin B12, which is the only thing that we get from meat that she will lack. So I suggest Vitamin Code Raw B-12. This is the best way to ensure that your daughter gets enough B-12. The meat that we consume in today's world is not as good for you as you might think. I have been a vegetarian for 4 years and I have never felt better. The best protein sources are actually leafy greens, such as spinach and kale and beans. Take care.

Julie - posted on 04/16/2013

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Relax Mama, I can tell you that there is hidden protein in EVERYTHING we eat. Whole wheat pastas, buckwheat pancakes, cereals, beans, dairy products and eggs, soybeans are all full of protein. Meat is only one of many alternative protein choices, and unless it's lean meats you want only moderate amounts. Unless she is vitamin or mineral deficient, anemic or under weight, I would not worry or force feed her. She will only dislike it more, I guarantee it :)

Julie - posted on 04/16/2013

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Relax Mama, I can tell you that there is hidden protein in EVERYTHING we eat. Whole wheat pastas, buckwheat pancakes, cereals, beans, dairy products and eggs, soybeans are all full of protein. Meat is only one of many alternative protein choices, and unless it's lean meats you want only moderate amounts. Unless she is vitamin or mineral deficient, anemic or under weight, I would not worry or force feed her. She will only dislike it more, I guarantee it :)

Susan - posted on 04/16/2013

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Other sources of protein

Eggs
Fish
Salmon
Avocado
Peas
chick peas
brown rice
oats
Peanut butter

Susan - posted on 04/16/2013

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Other sources of protein

Eggs
Fish
Salmon
Avocado
Peas
chick peas
brown rice
oats
Peanut butter

Susan - posted on 04/16/2013

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Just chop it really finely (this is what I did with my son cause he was the same and still is a little fussy he is 3 now) I just hid it in with mash potato or mashed veges - if there are at least 3 different veges in there and the meat is chopped finely they cant see it and probably wont taste it much. Easy done!

Bellie - posted on 04/15/2013

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my son was the same way. only ate turkey for about a year.
kids are resilient though... their bodies tell them what they need and that's shown thru their cravings.

NancyJane - posted on 04/14/2013

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Have you tried tofu? It is high in protein and a great substitute for meat. Also, if your child is not allergic to peanut butter, that is also a good source of protein. She would only need a tablespoon at her age. Chic peas are also good.

Ann - posted on 04/14/2013

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I've been giving her a lot of soy lately, and she loves it :) She also has been taken with the vegetarian chicken nuggets/tenders, and chicken burgers. I was just afraid that she wasn't getting enough protein in her diet which is what they need. I told my pediatrician about this but she didn't give me any advice on it really.

Cecilia - posted on 04/14/2013

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Judy, my post wasn't going after you, sorry if you felt it was. I was agreeing that the daughter can't state why she doesn't like it. Although, I really doubt she is turning down the food because she watched a documentary about how it's processed. It is simply her taste buds. Or she is listening to her body and it is saying it just doesn't need as much of the Amino Acids.

Kristin - posted on 04/13/2013

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You don't need to worry about it. She is getting plenty of protein from what she is eating. To eat or not eat meat, will come in time.

Remember elephants are vegetarians and they get plenty big and strong.

Colleen - posted on 04/13/2013

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I take it your daughter eats cheese and eggs, in which case you really don't need to worry about her protein intake. However your daughter can actually live off veggies :) Most foods contain protein, with vegetable sources the trick is just to get the right combinations. Does she have any allergies? If not then pasta, oats, nuts, peanuts, wholewheat bread, beans, peas,chickpeas, quinoa and buckwheat are all excellent sources (the last two are full proteins so do not need to be combined with anything). Combine grains with pulses for the right combination of amino acids, e.g. rice and peas or baked beans on toast.

At any rate, you really don't need to worry about her meat intake as long as her total protein intake is good. Also remember these things come and go, at her age I would only eat mushrooms and this lasted for months :D and I survived :)

Good luck from a healthy vegan mom with a meat-loving child

Biljana - posted on 04/13/2013

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After reading all the other posts, I see that they have said all that I would. But I would accent the fact that children change, so don;t stop offering. My 3 and a half old son didn't eat meat until a couple of months ago. Now he eats minced meat, poultry and fish, and still doesn't like red meat. But I am persistent. Since DH and I eat meat on a daily basis, I use every opportunity to offer it. Sometimes it's successful, sometimes not. But since he drinks plenty of milk and gets proteins from other sources also, I am not worried about his health. Don't give up. Good luck.

Judy - posted on 04/13/2013

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Cecilia--at 18 months the child is not able to vocalize 'why' she doesn't like meat. I'm 65, and it wasn't until just a few years ago that I realized 'why' I don't like game or fish. What I was trying to do was give options. I am not SDA, but when our middle daughter was having issues with her eating, and the Dr. suggested she eat less meat I called the local SDA church. It turns out that they had regular cooking classes.

When anyone thinks that they are better than anyone else because of their choices, there will always be issues. Our daughter is 34 & lives with a meat-eater; her friends are meat eaters, and when we spent Christmas with her she was accommodating.

Again, I posted options/suggestions for dealing with a child that doesn't like meat for whatever reason. The poster can take them or leave them...they are, afterall, free.

Cecilia - posted on 04/13/2013

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And sorta off topic. I think the different forms of vegetarianism might sometimes looks obnoxious the same way some religious people come off obnoxious. If/ when you try to tell someone their life style and their way of eating is wrong, you'll look rude. Sorry but it's true.

The difference here is that the people who were just born not liking meat- they don't tell others how to eat usually. When you think that you're better than someone because of how you eat, you will come off as unlikable. Those are the people mentioned.

As far as the topic goes, her daughter isn't refusing meat because of how it was processed, how it was killed or any other belief system that prevents some from eating meat. Her daughter has not acquired a taste for it. The mother did not ask which is the best food to feed her daughter in general. She asked how does she get protein into her.

Cecilia - posted on 04/13/2013

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My oldest daughter was 8 before she ate meat. To this day she doesn't like red meat.My 2 and a half yr old is picky about when she will eat it. Look up other sources of protein for her. If she is a good chewer, nuts are a great option.(given there is no history of nut allergies) Greek yogurt, eggs, bean soup are all good options for her.

I think one big misconception is that we know what they need to eat. The truth is at that age they actually listen to their bodies to determine what to eat and what not to. (given all healthier options- who wouldn't choose a cookie over broccoli?)

If all else fails, cook a turkey every two months, tear it apart and put it into the freezer in storage containers. After awhile she will get sick of it and move on.

Judy - posted on 04/13/2013

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She may not like the texture of the meat, and/or the smell. Fish and Wild Game are 2 meats that I cannot eat because of the texture.

There are several wonderful Vegan/Vegetarian cookbooks & blogs that will help you get complete protein into her. One of our children is a 'strict Vegan' (no by-products at all) & she is a very healthy person. A book I recommend is Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann. She also has a blog: http://veganlunchbox.blogspot.com/ However, she isn't very active on it.

Another blog I love is: http://vegandad.blogspot.com/ he is no longer blogging, but you can go back and see some of his wonderful creations. He also has a book out.

There are Vegan Lists, Vegetarian Lists...the Seventh Day Adventist members hold regular cooking classes--or at least they did in CA. Since they are mostly vegetarians they may be a great resource for you. Don't worry about them trying to convert you to their beliefs; I've found they really friendly and respectful, besides being helpful.

You can make your own nut butters in a food processor--my granddaughter doesn't like peanut butter, but loves almond butter. I just buy the almonds and grind them up in the food processor.

Hope this is helpful.

Christina - posted on 04/12/2013

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Peanut butter is a great alternative for protein intake. I have had many pediatricians and pediatric doctors tell me, if your child is not wanting to eat meats for the protein to try peanut butter and some apples or peanut butter and bananas or just peanut butter and bread. She might just like it more than meat but at least it is protein.

Nicki - posted on 04/12/2013

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I think that is great. I go through fazes where I can eat a little meat but most of the time it makes me sick. I was not raised that way. We always had to eat the meat along with a vegetable. I never had any problems until I got older. It is actually better for her. Does she like peanut butter or any kind of nuts? Try making protein shakes at home. Did you talk to her doctor about it? My niece is very picky about what she eats come to find out she has an anxiety problem, not saying that is what is wrong with your child by any means. She is so young I would just ask her doctor and do research about kids not eating meat. Good luck!!

April - posted on 04/12/2013

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I did the same thing when I was pregnant. There are a lot of protein powders that you can mix into your smoothies...but in general you have to determine if it's sudden or ongoing..., which for an 18 month old isn't probably the case. i LOVE banana/chocolate and peanut butter smoothies.

Christine - posted on 04/12/2013

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have you tried a tin of meatballs mashed up with pasta my little one loves that as a occasional meal :-) good luck christine

Martine - posted on 04/12/2013

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Hi Ann, we are a (peaceful and tolerant) vegetarian household - respecting other ways of life; my one toddler is almost vegan due to milk intolerance, the other one eats cheese . As it goes with anything in life, the secret is to educate yourself and not listen to heated opinions from any side of the spectrum.
There are lots of things that are not natural about the way humans live so the fact that we tolerate being omnivore does not mean you have to be one; we are not supposed to fly in the sky and swim under oceans yet we do. A vegetarian diet is most of the time a choice, like many other things in life and can be perfectly healthy as long as you eat balanced - it hence requires learning about different sources of protein and how to put it together. Unfortunately, many people that do not come from a culturally vegetarian place such as India, think that it is ok to drop meat from the menu and live of starchy foods and sugar.
If your child does not want to eat meat, you will have to learn about other sources anyway. I do give my children a good multivitamin supplement that includes higher levels of iron and B12, the latter being the two that are the most tricky to get from a vegetarian diet, and I check those levels once a year.
I have found the Indian recipes for beans the best because they have lots of flavor and when I make tofu I buy the very firm one, cut it in thick slices, marinate it and fry it with onions to give something a little more dense to chew. Brown rice cooked with a few mung beans is a balanced dish and this is my kid's staple food. When I make butternut soup I throw in a can of chickpeas and blend it all together, this way it gets increased protein. Sprinkling salba seeds and sesame seeds over food all help add protein.
Your daughter will probably still change her mind a few times over the next few years..Sounds like she will make you expand your culinary skills!

Elizabeth - posted on 04/12/2013

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My little ones did not like to eat meats for a long time. I simply offered it until they decided to eat it. My son still does not like red meat. As long as they are healthy and getting what they need I would not worry. Some peopleare perfectly healthy without eating meat. It really depends on the other items included in their diet. As far as the few comments regarding IQ and things like that, it is really dependent upon the nutrition, not where it comes from. We are naturally omnivores, but that was before we had developed supplements and knew how to get the same nutition from other places. Our understanding of our needs has increased, and our dietary options have in turn increased as well.

April - posted on 04/12/2013

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Gee, Elizabeth,
Offensive? Why? Most of my posts were offering suggestions and advise.
Like I said, it wasn't personal, but I find it interesting at the testy responses. I've been around a lot of people and never said i know every vegetarian on the planet. I only know that the ones I ran into were consistently like I described.
I've had friends that had developed serious aversions to meats, cheeses and breads and couldn't stand being in a normal restaurant that served meat. It seemed a tad over the top and was annoying to try to find a common ground to have a meal together.
My brother in law's sister would eat only veg, legumes, fruit, dry popcorn, ...no fat at all and had BP and cholesterol through the roof.

I also find it interesting that people are quoting me as saying things I never said. I never said people with Celiac's are snobs. Do you think they're snobs? Just as I never called anyone here on this forum a 'blowhard'. So lets get our quotes correct, shall we?
Being in the food industry for years, I know all about the need for dietary restrictions. I'm guessing that not many of the offended people here have ever had to scrub and sanitize an entire baking area for an order for someone with a serious peanut allergy. I have.
Try working in a vegetarian/vegan bakery and an order comes in for a carrot cake with NO gluten, eggs, dairy, sugar, nuts, citrus, salt, soy, ... well, I had one. The only thing that was left was carrots and rice flour in a cup.

I also know that gluten free is only healthy for someone with gluten sensitivity.

I grew up 2 blocks from the original Mrs. Gooch's in WLA. For those of you who don't know, it was the core of what is now Whole Foods. I've been through just about every type of diet on the planet. We would go to Mrs. Gooch's several times a week, and yeah, I've done the vegetarian/vegan/macro/micro things too. It is time consuming and expensive.

As I said before, a wide variety of foods is what is necessary to be healthy.
My personal objection is when someone jumps on the veggie train and automatically starts preaching about how others should be a veggie like they are and essentially pushing it. I object to the 'principle preaching' types that collect dietary restrictions like Brownie Badges. Of course they would be like preaching to the choir so someone who's a vegetarian/vegan wouldn't notice.

But no, veggie stories are ok but my experiences with veggies in passing are not?
I do know that I'm not going to censor what I write just because someone might take offense at my life experiences. They're just as valuable as anyone else's and does offer a different point of view.

It's also important to differentiate between GM food and selective modification. For some it's confusing.
Selective management for the purpose of obtaining certain desirable traits in foods and animals is very different from "genetic modification" but some people don't know the difference.
For instance wheat started as a grass, corn, rice, bananas all were modified over time to achieve a specific end product.

You could just as easily blame the obesity epidemic on media. Whereas back when I was a kid there was no cable, cell phones, internet. You went outside and played. There was no push to sell McD's or Burger King, or Snickers every other ad on TV.

A lot of it too is genetic. Lucky genes that don't predispose you to certain things. Most of my family lived close to 90 and they were Iowa farmers. My Uncle owned a horse farm and ate 4 eggs and steak every morning of his long life. Yes, you can eat healthier to try to offset some of the genetic tendencies, but in the long run you can never say that a certain person added 5 or 10 years to their life by doing such and such. You have no clue when they were going to die to be able to add any numbers onto it.

Bottom line, no matter what you eat, you're gonna die someday anyway.

Jamie - posted on 04/12/2013

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You can get the cold cuts at the store that she might eat. They have the cuts that look like the big chunks you get off the actual bird. Just keep offering her different things. Eventually she will find something she likes. Don't give in to serving her a different meal.

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Please don't do what I did. Kepp offering what you eat. Put it on her plate and let her look at it. I gave her special food other than what we ate and now at 6 she has a fear of food (veggies and most meats) On the other hand, her 2yr old brother eats anything if it's not frozen. Life in resturants and on vacations are a battle. Hang in there, have pediatrition check blood for vitamin intake and stick with your expectations. They will eat when hungry and she will get protien from peanut butter, cheese, milk,... Fix the big turkey, cut it up, bag it in portions and freeze it if you want but please don't start carring a seperate lunchbox with you where ever you go, like we do. Food theropy is next for us~ Good Luck!!!

Stacie - posted on 04/11/2013

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My 18mo son won't eat hardly anything including meat. I make shakes for him with lots of peanut butter, frozen vanilla greek yogurt(loads of protien) ,2 tbsp wheat germ, a banana or 2 and flax milk. Super healthy shake and he devours them all day long. Fruit smoothies are another option you can also put the yogurt in those. My son prefers the banana shake

Kathryn - posted on 04/11/2013

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Keep offering whatever you are eating. She'll go through phases. Just don't cook foods for her other than what the family is eating. She will eat if she is hungry. There are lots of proteins out there besides meat. If she is drinking milk, eating cheese, she's probably getting enough protein. Beans & rice make a complete protein, and there are lots of good ways to cook those. Kids at 18 months know what their body is telling them. If the doc says she is healthy, just keep offering. And hang in there! She will grow out of it!

I know! My daughter is 27, went through every phase there was (only potatoes, only mac & chez, no meat, only "mystery meat from school", no greens, only McD's fries--ugh, etc.) She is now a healthy 27 yo, officer in the USAF, has a baby of her own who is driving her crazy! LOL!!

Viv - posted on 04/10/2013

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Hi Ann, when my daughter was two she would only eat eggs, no meat , no veggies , no fruit. Eggs have everything you need to survive except vitamin c , so if she likes eggs she will get all the protein she needs. I wouldn't stress too much the body has an amazing ability to tell us what it needs in order to survive and as long as your daughter is getting protein from other sources its ok.

Trina - posted on 04/10/2013

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Hi Ann - I know a lot has been posted about this issue here, but I wanted to offer some personal experience. My 12-y-o son has been vegetarian from Day 1. He tried all foods with interest *until* I offered him meat for the first time around the time he turned one. He made a funny face at me, opened his mouth and let the meat roll down his chin. It's possible that the problem was texture for him, but he has never eaten meat and shows no interest in it. Both his dad and I eat meat, but we respect his decision not to.

He has three primary protein sources: cow milk, soy milk and beans. Lots and lots of beans - red, black and pinto. These three sources seem to be sufficient as he is exceptionally healthy and an excellent athlete. He's about 5'6" and weighs about 105 lbs.

FYI, he has two younger sisters - one eats everything, including beef, turkey and fish - and the other eats chicken maybe once a week, with the rest of her proteins coming from dairy products like yogurt and cheese. Interestingly, my omnivore is always the first of my kids to catch a cold.

Bottom line - don't worry - your little one does not need to eat meat to thrive!

JPatrick - posted on 04/10/2013

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@April, Elizabeth pretty much already replied with what I would say to your post (thanks, Elizabeth)! I don't know about your personal experience or care about anecdotes of what other veggies you meet are like, nor apparently do you care about mine and then fact that people have various reasons for their beliefs (not just dietary) and express them in certain ways (sometimes only in response to being interrogated by those that don't espouse the beliefs).

That said, sure, OP can and probably will integrate meats and her daughter can make her own choices as an older child or adult. I'm not sure how 'forcing' a meat diet is any better or worse than 'forcing' a non-meat diet, because either way there is coercision involved, but that is OP's right as a parent. My point was that meat is not required to be perfectly healthy and allow for normal brain development, in today's world where suitable foods of all variety are readily available from a grocer (which is actually the same point the article you posted made, if you read it carefully).

Not sure why you mentioned my 'making it personal' -- is that a passive-aggressive way of calling me a 'blowhard'? As I mentioned, I'm no longer a veggie, so I'm not preaching a lifestyle that I adhere to. Also, you admittedly 'made it personal' yourself by anecdotally addressing individuals that YOU have interracted with (although your personal experiences w/others is frankly irrelevant to the broader discussion). I suppose my personal experiences also inform my choices -- but this is true for everybody. And I will continue to protest where I see fit, as I'm sure you will! Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Shirley - posted on 04/10/2013

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my daughter used to eat meat all the time when she was a baby now shes 7 years old and only meats she will eat is chicken and sometimes roast meat.

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