My twin grandbabies are 18 months old now, and one of them refuses to eat meat. I don't mean just beef, but also pork, seafood of any kind and poultry. We've rolled it in bread crumbs, dipped it in all kinds of sauces, chopped it up so it's almost invisible and hidden it all types of dishes and nada.
Anyone else ever have this issue with their kids? Any tried and true solutions?
Meat is indeed a good source of proteins but there are other options. If the child doesn't want to eat meat, try making rich in protein substitutions, anyway the meat is way overrated..
Babies should not be eating meat, especially of the hot dog and fish stick variety! Meat is very hard to digest, and unless it is organic, has antibiotics, steroids, and growth hormones in it. The sauces to dip it in aren't much better and loaded with sugar and probably hugh fructose corn syrup. Make sure baby is eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Lots of greens should be offered.
What about hot dogs or corn dogs? Every kid likes hot dogs right? Fish sticks? Maybe try putting a little ketchup or ranch with the meat for dip.
...my step daughter is a vegetarian from birth...after almost six years of trying to trick her into eating meat etc...(not me - I wasn't around then) her mom and dad finally gave up....she remembers too from a very young age...tucking meat (etc.) away in the side of her mouth and removing it when they weren't looking.
@somewayouttahere - Seriously? Wow... I thought my granddaughter would eventually outgrow it. Hoo boy. I'd better brush up on my vegetarian cooking skills.
Why force the child to eat what she doesn't want to ? Meat is not an essential part of a diet and so cannot come under 'for her own good'. If I came to your house would you force me to eat meat, or disguise it, flavour it to trick me into eating it ?
I understand the urge to get the kid to eat it, but I would say that there is a respect issue here - and by disrespecting her clearly expressed wishes yo are behaving incorrectly - and as role model you are teaching the child that it ok to impose your will on others, lie and cheat.
I did not mean it to sound harsh or critical - it is just difficult to explain the concept without putting it a bit in yer face, as it were
Well, nobody is forcing her. We offer it to her, but she chooses whether or not she's going to eat it. We also offer her many types of new foods that span all of the food groups. Again -- she's only 18 months old. I wonder, though, if you would be singing the same tune if she refused to eat any vegetables?
Yes I would - I am not a veggie - my point was only about the respect we build in our kids, or lack of it. They really notice these things and they form part of how a kid looks at the wrold, and I don't think we are half thoughtful enough about it. This pops into mind evertime a neighbours kid does something really bad and the parents start with the 'didn't get it from us, we taught him . . . ' But of course he did get it from them, and this food issue is just one of the simple and almost trivial ways that it happens. Sorry, this high horse just rode through and I just naturally climbed up and . . . .
Hi Irohner, haven't had exactly the same situation as you but just thought I would say that I brought up both my children as vegetarian from birth and they have always been very healthy and well with tonnes of energy. It's very easy to live without meat and there are many sources of protein that can be added instead. You can easily make base dishes and then add meat or an alternative source of protein at the end.
My oldest son is 10 now and in the last year has been choosing to eat meat sometimes, he never wanted to try before but now he does. I do know children from families where both parents are meat eaters (I am vegetarian but my hubby is not) where the child has decided at age 3 that they are vegetarian and so refuse to eat meat. If it was me I would go along with her wishes, as I am having too now that my son wants to eat meat.
Referring to what China man said, I would always try to get my children to eat vegetables, because life without vegetables is not healthy, whereas life without meat does not have to (and should not) compromise on nutrition.
Please do not be alarmed if your babies are not yet ready to appreciate any type of meats. Maybe it does not appeal to their taste buds as yet. Children do things in their own timing. I would believe that your children are quite healthy - so give them time, they may come around. My grandson really does not like meat and he is five years old. I have another friend whose son is 11 months old and he does not even want to eat solid food. He was taken to the doctor - who said, "Not to worry, you have a healthy child, he will take solids in his own time". We tend to rush our children into things because we believe that is the norm, but we are all different, even children. So for now, you can just coax them but if they do not really want it, do not get upset. They are already getting enough nourishment from their fruits and veggies and remember meats take a longer time to digest so it can make them feel uncomfortable. Take care.
My kids used to eat so weirdly when they were small. One meal they would eat one item, the next another, etc. My doctor told us that if they managed to eat a basically balanced meal over a week's time, we were okay.
I think it's normal for babies & toddlers to dislike meat due to the tough texture and lack of flavor. Not to mention the fact that it is a choking hazard. My toddler is the same way. I've found beans to be a wonderful alternative protein for her -- surprised no one mentioned this. She loves burritos, beans & rice, bean burgers, and even just black beans or garbanzo beans eaten on their own with a side of shredded cheese. She also loves peanut butter. Experiment with some vegetarian bean-based recipes and forget about the meat if she seems disinterested. We eat way too much meat in our diets anyway...I think babies know better than we do!
@Hub Freelancer - Thanks! You know, I don't think we're offering beans as much as we could. Great idea.
@ Dr Wendy - My daughter's menu for the family is very healthy and loaded with chicken, fish, veggies, fruits and whole grains, with the occasional red meat here and there -- and 100% of it is organic. If it's not organic, she does not buy it or serve it. It ups the food bill, but she believes it is well worth it.
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