They Just Don’t Like The Taste
Meat has a distinctive taste that toddlers either love or hate. If your little one is turning their nose up at meat, try serving with a sauce such as Greek yoghurt (makes a nice dip!), tomato sauce, hommus or avocado dip. This provides a bridging flavour, as well as some lubrication to swallow. Be careful not to fall into the trap of staying with a smooth blended texture as it is important to expose children to hard to chew textures to build up the chewing muscles.
If your toddler is still proving to be a challenge when it comes to eating meat, try a few of the following tips:
- Mix with bolognese sauce
- Sprinkle with grated cheese
- Use mince in bite-sized meat balls
- Blend meat with vegetables and use as a spread on toast under a slice of cheese
- Use softer meats that have been cooked for a while such as corned beef, lamb shanks or meats cooked into a meat loaf
- Make small rissoles for baby-sized hamburgers (many toddlers become defiant because they want to feed themselves so finger foods sometimes work a treat!).
They Absolutely Refuse To Eat Any Meat
At this stage, it is more important to balance the diet than to see who can win this battle of the wills. You can always negotiate this point as they get older (it is very difficult trying to reason with a one year old!). The key is to find appropriate replacements for red and white meat in the diet.
Other foods that supply a good source of protein, iron and zinc are:
- Eggs made into French toast
- Fish (white, tuna or salmon) made into fish patties
- Chicken chopped into crunchy fritters
- Chicken minced with cheese and vegetables and made into nuggets
- Hommus spread on a pizza base
- Red lentils pureed into vegetable dishes or pasta
- Baked beans mixed into Mexican sauces.