Help im at my wits end with my daughter

Karen - posted on 02/22/2010 ( 63 moms have responded )

11

18

0

Help calling on all mothers out there can anyone please tell me how to get my daughter to eat meat. I can count on one hand the amount of times in my daughters 4 and half years in this world she has eaten meat. I have tried everything i can possibly think of. I have mashed it into food but she finds it and refuses to eat anymore of the food. I have made funny faces with her dinner and she eats all the veg but leaves the meat behind and any veg that has touched the meat. I got her a hamburger from mc donalds and she ate that like it was food from the holy grail. But i refuse to get it for her more then once every two months and that was 3 months ago. She eats the ham in a funny face in sandwiches, you know the clown face processed stuff but will not eat chicken or anything. What can i do please help.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

They say that children are responsible for what they eat and how much. I don't think it's worth it to get into this struggle. If she's eating the other stuff on her plate, like fruits and veggies, she's healthier than probably the majority of this culture that eats way too much meat.

Jessica - posted on 02/23/2010

405

20

59

puree some meats then make her spaghetti and add it to the tomato sauce.... my mom used to do that with everything to force me to eat. and it worked. i had no idea she did that until i asked her .. How can i trick julia into eating more veggies and meats..

63 Comments

View replies by

Donna - posted on 04/26/2011

657

16

39

patience. if she wont eat it, well then i guess she just wont eat it. half the time my daughters will only eat the meat in the meal and nothing else haha

Tammy - posted on 04/26/2011

9

0

1

relax, some children just don't want meat . My oldest son wouldn't eat meat until he was 12 ! He is now 25, 6 foot 2 and healthy as a horse. Turns out some kids have trouble digesting meat until their system is better developed, which is why they aren't interested in it. Other kids have problems chewing it, which is why they prefer more tender meat. As long as your daughter is getting enough protein from other sources, she'll be fine. ( eggs, beans, unsweetened peanut butter, )

Penelope - posted on 03/08/2011

2

3

0

Many children just don't like the texture. Find other foods and just don't force the issue.

Tiffany - posted on 03/17/2010

26

8

2

First you can buy any sandwhich meat you like and cut it into a funny face for her, even show her how to do it. Tell her you want one too and you need help making it. Chicken nuggets are a good thing if you can find them in shapes or cut them into shapes ofr her that may even help. If you can't get her to tolerate the meat however don't worry you can find other ways to get her to get the nutritional values shes missing from her diet without meat. She maybe a vegetarian by heart and will change that when she is ready to. Your doing the best you can by continueing to offer meats to her is the right thing to do if your house hold is full of meat eatters as mine is. Until she grows into her meat eatting skills I would say talk to her pediatristionist about this problem and that you have simply tried everything. You need some suggestions from him.Good Luck, and don't feel bad my son is a picky eatter at times too.

Jody - posted on 03/13/2010

2

20

0

You know - it's not a critical thing to force her to eat meat. It also depends on the types of meat.
My babies pediatritian have told me outright that you should avoid red meats until the age of 5 because a baby's body can not process the meat properly nor can it kill off the bacteria remaining in it properly which means they can get sick from meat that you or I might not get sick from.
As far as chicken, fish...etc - it's perfectly safe for them to eat at a young age - however just give it to her in small bites with other things as well.
When it comes down to it - meat is not essential for a young child to consume to stay healthy.
Also - my nephew didn't like chicken at all - until he saw my kids (his cousins) eating popcorn chicken... maybe she'll try it if she sees someone else she adores on her level eating it and liking it.

Paula - posted on 03/06/2010

32

15

0

Hi Karen! I had the same problem with my son(now 21months).I found that whatever meat we were having for dinner that night if i put a little ketchup for him to dip it in he would eat most of it,if not all.You said she likes mcdonalds hamburgers?what about making her a burger with turkey hamburg?after making her the turkey burger let her put it together on the bun with what she'd like to have on it.Maybe let her help you prepare meals.Sometimes when kids help(even the smallest thing)they are more likely to eat it.Hope this helps.Good Luck!

Sarah - posted on 03/01/2010

1

6

0

My 2 year old daughter is the same way and has been this way since she started eating solid food. She refuses to eat meat and most dairy products including milk! Still, she is always in the 95 percentile on her growth charts and she's an extremely healthy bright little girl. Her father (the "smoothie samurai" we like to call him) began making her smoothies using foods she wouldn't normally eat on a plate but loves when it's placed in a cup with a straw and called ice cream. =) He puts in one organic whole milk baby yogurt, a handful of fresh or frozen fruit, a Tbsp of wheatgerm (found in the grocery store next to the oatmeal), a splash of some sort of organic juice (like pomegranate or carrot depending on the flavor of the smoothie), a sprig or two of fresh spinach or cabbage, and even a few kidney beans. These actually taste wonderful and you would never know that it was made with healthy ingredients. You can really make up for the iron/protein/ and calcium these little ones sometime lack by being picky eaters. Also, try searching out recipe books that offer "creative" approaches on how to sneak in super foods to your little ones diet! (like spinach in the their cheese quesadilla or shredded carrots in their oatmeal raisin cookies, etc) Their palates will adjust just keep offering things to them.

Betina - posted on 03/01/2010

9

14

0

Well, she's eating meat...so that's a plus. You can give her options and try it with other sauces. Just ask her to try it, ....just one bite! Does she try everything else u put in front of her, or is she picky on everything?

Koreyett - posted on 03/01/2010

4

17

0

my 4 1/2 year daughter loves to eat her steak with A1 sauce.. and now she wont touch steak with out it..try different sauces...?

Betina - posted on 03/01/2010

9

14

0

It's a faze, don't panic. My 6 yr old ate everything til age 3yr. Then he hated cheese, meat, eggs, and everything that wasn't corndogs. So I just fed him corndogs and hot dogs for a while, so he was at least eating. I spoke to his pediatrician and she said make supper like you always do for the family and put it in front of them. They will eat when their hungry. My son is still stubborn. But I tell him he has to have at least one bite of everything on his plate. I know you can't do that with a 4 your old who only wants their favorites.But it doesn't hurt to start trying now. I also know from experience that if you make everyone different supper's you wear yourself out.My son still doesn't like hamburger meat. I use to not when I was a kid either. Hamburger meat didn't settle right. How about fish sticks? Scrambled eggs, boiled, or dipped? I just recently started making one big supper for the family and if they dont like it, they will eat when their hungry./ I was making my 2 yr old one thing, and my 6 yr old, something else, and then my husband and I had nice supper too. It got exausting. And it's getting easier each day, but I never should have made it a habit to give them what they each wanted for meals.

Stephanie - posted on 03/01/2010

4

38

0

Hi there! My son is extremely picky and won't eat much of anything. We have had discussions with our pediatrician about his food preferences. The doctor has told that the bottom line is - if the kid is not losing weight, you have nothing to worry about. Continue to offer the foods that you want your child to eat, don't pressure them to eat it and just keep doing it over and over again. One day they will choose the eat the stuff you want them to. Consider yourself lucky that your daughter will actually eat vegetables. I have to sneak pureed cauliflower into my sons mac & cheese to get him to have a veggie. Anyway, good luck and don't stress. It will come but it could be years. Doc says the most important thing is not to make a big deal out of it. (I know that is easier said than done sometimes.) Good luck!

Stephanie - posted on 02/28/2010

4

15

0

She probably doesn't need to eat meat at this stage. As long as she is getting the proteins she needs she will be fine. I was a veggie for a long time, as long as she gets her protein in other ways, beans and such she will be fine. If you are worried try multivitamins.

Manda - posted on 02/28/2010

8

27

0

My Daughter is the same way. She is 5yrs old and only eats chicken nuggets from mcdonlads. She has neva eaten beef at all, and will not touch meat. The doctor told me to just keep introducing it to her and eventually she will eat it.

Vin - posted on 02/28/2010

13

17

0

he eats honey ok and hes been ok with it i,m also tryin him on jam to see if he likes that.

Emily - posted on 02/28/2010

16

10

0

If peanut allergy doesn't run in your family, I wouldn't worry about it. See if she likes eggs too. I had to cook eggs 10 different ways before I found how she liked them cooked, and then she wouldn't stop eating them. (scrambled with cheese on top is her favorite)

Emily - posted on 02/28/2010

16

10

0

oh man, I gave it to both my kids right after they turned 1. I ate it while I was breastfeeding so I knew they didn't have an allergy to it. The American Pediatric Society recommends you wait until 1year of age for strawberries, honey, and peanut butter due to risk of developing an allergy. Honey, due to risk of botchalism (totally spelled that wrong).

Vin - posted on 02/28/2010

13

17

0

wat age did u start giving ur daugther peanut butter coz i,ve been told not to give my son it until hes at least 5

Emily - posted on 02/28/2010

16

10

0

My daughter hated meat too (still does). As long as she's getting enough protein from other sources she'll be fine. Milk, peanut butter, beans, cheese, yogurt, ect. She will be perfectly fine. :)

Vin - posted on 02/28/2010

13

17

0

u cud try blending it in a blender and mix it that way with veg and a bit of gravy coz i have to do that with my son to get him to eat meat karen

Talitha - posted on 02/28/2010

14

14

0

dont push her she will eat it when she is ready my daughter never ate meat untill almost 4 years old babys and kids dont like the texture of the meat.. my son is 5 months and dont like any baby foods at all but i just keep trying is all you can do soon they will eat

Abbey - posted on 02/28/2010

3

19

0

Probably sounds crazy and the last thing you'd be wanting to do now is try new recepies but I'd like to suggest, if you haven't tried it yet, introducing some recepies that tend to be more complicated in taste, typically more what us adults eat.

My daughter is a lot younger than yours at 18 months so I can't relate to where your at now, though I have had a fussy eatter for a baby until I started experimenting.

My daughter is not interested in chicken nuggets, most definitely not chicken fillet or roast chicken, no fish or fish fingers, no meat that is served "separate" to the vege's. She does however love, love, love, Chili Con Carne for one, especially with the kidney beans in it (one of her fav things) I don't think she's has even worked out theres meat in it.
If you'd like to give it ago, let me know, I'm more than happy to email you the receipie I use, very easy, very healthy, great with the whole fam.
If it works, I could send you some others too.
The joys of motherhood!!!
Good luck!!

Mary - posted on 02/27/2010

18

17

1

I say just get her viatmens,and try other sources of protein, i wouldnt force her to eat it...she just may not like it...just as my little girl dont like peaches and spaggetti sauce,bbq sauce,but i dont force her ..... maybe try eggs,beans,peanut butter,peanuts,things of that sort.She just may not have the taste for it.Every one has certain things they dont like.and by the way,,,,mcdonalds cheeseburgers arent made from cows......you dont wanna know.

Maria - posted on 02/27/2010

127

2

12

Like many people, she may not like meat very much. My oldest sister was/is like that. My daughter is the same way. Kids don't have to eat meat. Rice and beans make an excellent protein, for starters. Combine that with a tasty creamy garlic sauce, and there ya' go! There are lots of alternatives to meat protein out there.

Magna - posted on 02/27/2010

6

11

0

karen I feel your frustration as I am going thru the same with my 2 1/2 yo. I agree with Sara H. just let your darling choose what she wants especially now that she fully understands the power of her 'no'. On occasion my daughter will eat fish if it's soft & full of flavor. Fried tilapia is the only thing she'll eat. Keep at it and good luck. Feel comfort knowing you're not alone.

Julie - posted on 02/27/2010

2

3

0

My daughter's both love the frozen meatballs, and anything covered in spaghetti sauce. I have a 5 year old who does not like meat, and we find other proteins to give her such as rice and beans, peanut butter, and hotdogs/tofu dogs. She will also eat chicken in soup. In any case, don't stress out about it so much- just make sure that she gets protein in other foods- tofu, rice and beans, peanut butter, cheese, eggs etc

Melissa - posted on 02/27/2010

65

26

3

Right now, I wouldn't force the issue! She is eating and she is eating other things that are healthy for her. Just try to give her other things with protein so that she is getting some. Keep offering her meat on occasion and maybe eventually she will eat it.

Sian - posted on 02/27/2010

4

3

0

Don't make her eat meat.. Its not necessary and there are alternatives. I love the smell of meat cooking but eating it well lets just say I do it but I don't really enjoy it.

Crystal - posted on 02/27/2010

13

13

0

i would honestly try putting ketchup on it...or ranch dressing or we. what did thte doc say?

Crystal - posted on 02/26/2010

128

19

16

I have gone through this with my children. I was trying everything to get my children to eat meat. I didn't really want to force the issue either cause I know there are vegetarians that don't touch the stuff. Me personally would rather be a chicken,turkey person. Turns out that my children loved chicken and turkey just not red meat. In which case I offered a vitamin to them to make sure they still get what they need. Oh and surprisingly my children all loved the Mc Donalds hamburger. But if you think about it isn't like real meat anyway and thats probably why.

Michelle - posted on 02/26/2010

48

8

4

If she will eat a ham burger from mcdonalds how about doing your own at home. They will be healthier for her. Try offering some sort oflittle reward see if it helps and make the food look as appealing as u can. Best thing also don't make it seem like a big deal. Thats all i can offer really.

Lynette - posted on 02/26/2010

40

15

2

My son is also a real picky eater oddly enough when I was pregnant he didn't let me eat meat and he does now. There will be times I will give him a hamburger and he will eat the bread and once in a while he will ask for a hamburger and eat it. He prefers meats with sauce ketchup, bbq or ranch. My daughter on the other hand isn't a picky eater but doesn't like over cooked meats to where they are to chewy. My husband always knows when the steak and pork chops are cooked good when she eats it all. you can try telling her to try a bite of meat for a small treat to get her used to it. my kids think vitamins are treats and fruit snacks can last a while it given out slowly. Good luck!

Jodelle - posted on 02/26/2010

11

3

2

Hmm. I would say if she is able to get enough protein from other foods that it should be no big deal. It's better than a kid that won't eat veggies, as it's hard to get those important nutrients elsewhere.
There are certain foods that my 20 month old turns her nose up to and I've been told not to make a big deal of it. I keep introducing new things all the time, some she eats, some she doesn't. If she wont eat a certain veggie or meat in one meal, I try to make sure her next meal has that missing nutrient in what I know she will eat.
Good luck. :)

Katie - posted on 02/26/2010

63

47

6

As long as your child is getting enough protien in other ways, her not eating meat shouldn't be a huge deal. Make sure she gets lots of peanut butter, beans and eggs, and ask your doctor about a suppliment that will make sure that she's getting enough of what she needs. You could try tofu, too...though it's kind of gross. A good way of tricking her into eating meat is to puree it and add it to something like spaghetti sauce, or add it to a little gravy...something thick enough that it'll hide it.



My daughter loves meat...in fact she'll eat it before she eats anything else. My problem is the amount of food my daughter now eats. It's definately less than she used to eat, because all of a sudden she's decided that she doesn't want to sit at the table for more than 5 minutes at a time...she wants to get down and play, and freaks out and throws her food on the floor if I tell her no. It stresses me out because she was a preemie (30 wks.) and has already had enough problems gaining weight.

Lea - posted on 02/26/2010

540

11

21

My son is the same way and it scared me until I asked his doctor about it. She said that its really common. She told me to give him other proteins - yogurt, cheese, beans, edamame, tofu, and peanut butter. He will even eat fish if it is breaded, fried, and covered with tartar sauce. He will also eat chicken parmesean, when the chicken is breaded, fried, and covered with tomato sauce and cheese. Hes also a little dude so he does need the fat. Sometimes I can sneak in one thin slice of ham or turkey in a cheese sandwich. Once in a while he will eat a few pieces of steak if it has been marinaded or covered in steak sauce, or meatloaf if it is covered in ketchup.

Liza - posted on 02/26/2010

11

21

0

Don't worry too much about it. If you make a big issue of it, it will put her at risk for having eating problems later in life. Children will never starve themselves if there is healthy food available and they are not put under any pressure to eat or not eat. If she is eating cheese, eggs, milk and yoghurt she is getting protein. You could try giving her sprouts and humus (my son loves both!), which are also packed with protein and other good things.
Just think of it from her perspective: If you didn't feel like eating something, and someone kept trying to feed it to you, you would end up really hating it!! So keep offering it to her, but don't make an issue of it if she doesn't eat it.

Angie - posted on 02/26/2010

112

52

26

it could just be a terxture thing. My little guy eats chicken (off the bone, we use thighs) and All beef kosher "natural" hot dogs and some sausages. I would talk to the doctor and see what they say. If you have the time try maiking some beef or chicken stock and cook rice or pasta in it to see if it isnt just a flavor thing. You can get some good ones at the store but watch the salt content and added ingredients.

Melissa - posted on 02/25/2010

46

6

1

I wouldn't worry about it, we don't do meat and my daughter is the picture of health. Give her a supplement if your doctor thinks she's lacking something.

Cristina - posted on 02/25/2010

4

18

1

From my experience, the more you try to entice them, the more suspicious they get. So my strategy has been to always put everything on their plate, and then let them eat what they want. Just make sure, since she does not touch the meat for now, that you provide plenty of protein from other sources. She will be fine. And my guess is that one day, out of the blue, she will just eat it. And when she does, maybe you should just pretend it's always been that way :-) If she doesn't ever eat meat, that is not the end of the world either, as long as you keep her diet balanced with all the nutrients coming from one place or another.

Pamela - posted on 02/25/2010

12

9

1

most kids seem to go through this phase. take a passive approach find good protein foods that she will eat and give her that but keep introducing the meats to her she'll come around in her own time.

Katy - posted on 02/25/2010

55

44

2

Honestly I wouldn't push the issue. Maybe she's just one of those people who is a born to be vegitarian. Give her nuts and beans to make up for the protein but don't push it or you may end up giving her a negative feeling about food and causing an eating disorder. If she will eat some meat then just stick to those when you give her meat, otherwise substitute other proteins and maybe she'll grow out of it and maybe she won't. AS long as she's healthy and is not becoming protein deficant then let it go.

[deleted account]

My daughter eats brats (gross) and McDonald's chicken nuggets only. No other meat. My daughter is 2 1/2, so this doesn't work with her, but could you explain to your daughter that if she won't eat meat, she needs to eat other protein, and explain what that is? If she has her choice of veggie burgers/beans/peanut butter maybe she will feel in control. And if she eats those - healthy!

I just make sure my daughter gets a multi with iron. Other than that, I don't sweat it. Aside from making sure she gets vitamin B6, which is only found in meat (which the multivitamin should cover), I think vegetarian sources of protein are more healthy anyway - less fat, more fiber, etc.

One last thing - I'm not sure what the clown face thing is - but Hormel has a "natural choice" brand of lunch meat that doesn't have nitrites in it, and is widely available. I buy that kind of ham for my husband, and would give it to my daughter if she ate meat, lol! It's probably as healthy as lunch meat can get.

Rachel - posted on 02/25/2010

7

32

0

why is it important that your daughter eats meat? at least she eats her veg, most kids wont eat them! there is some really nice meat substitutes out there, perhaps she might like them instead.

Rebecca - posted on 02/25/2010

3

13

0

I think this is normal, my daughter doesn't eat meat either. She gets enough protein from her dairy and other items that she eats. I just make sure there are fruits and veggies at every meal. I just keep putting it on her plate until she is ready to try it.

Michelle - posted on 02/25/2010

90

8

13

My one son ,8yrs don't eat meat either, he's healthy takes multi vitamin, DR. says it's ok.

Jessica - posted on 02/25/2010

17

31

2

My Mother in law always tells me how my husband would only eat hotdogs and mac n cheese as a kid. She took him to the doctor, freaking out that he wasn't eating other things, and the doctor's response? "At least he is eating."
So keep this in mind. You can find protein in things other than chicken, and iron in things other than red meats. Until she's ready and willing, substitute with what she WILL eat.

My son (11months) refuses food all the time now, I am hoping it's a phase, but he loves yogurt and whole grain gerber puff things that look like cheese curls. Am I happy these are his favorite foods, heck no, but I know he will eat them if he refuses fresh veggies or cut up meats...
It's rough, but i'm sure soon enough she'll have a wide array of foods she loves, and the list of hates will dwindle some.

Good luck until then :)

Emily - posted on 02/24/2010

2

20

1

As long as she's healthy and getting a daily multi-vitamin for her age. I wouldn't worry. Like some of the other replies, try mixing it with other things like tomatoe sauce. I added some veggies to a smoothy once for my son (they were frozen so the taste did not come out hardly at all). If you are worried about her getting protein...cheeses, yogurt, eggs and peanut butter are good sources. This might be a long shot, but have you tried tofu? Its my understanding you can flavor it to just about anything! When you cook with it it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. I've never tried cooking it, I've only had it in a restaurant. It doesn't have much flavor by itself, and has a nice texture, so she may like it. If you are really worried there are great sources on-line for picky eating kids (my son is one of them!) and you can always ask you pediatrician. Good Luck

Heather - posted on 02/24/2010

1

2

0

My daughter loves eating whatever I am eating including a tuna fish sandwich. Try fresh sliced deli turkey not the packaged kind. Take her to the grogery store and let her try it there so you are not wasting money. Second - get the 100% Tyson Chicken nuggets from the freezer section - bake them - do not microwave them - let her try them if she does not eat them - try dipping them in ketchup or ranch - I know not the healthiest but it should work. Also try the precooked ham steaks. Put them it in a frying pan sear both sides with honey on them and give her applesauce right beside it on the plate. Good Luck!

Denise - posted on 02/24/2010

4

15

1

With my nephew, we diced up a tiny little bit of meat super tiny and mixed it with mac and cheese, and little by little added more meat as he adjusted to the taste and texture.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms