Protein comes in many forms, and toddlers can get the 13 grams they need each day from beans (1/4 cup chickpeas = 3 grams), eggs (1 hardboiled egg = 7 grams) and dairy (1 cup milk = 8 grams). But if you want to make meat more appealing to your child, try one of these tricks from Natalia Stasenko, R.D., who specializes in family nutrition.
Think mini schnitzels, says Stasenko. “Use a meat mallet to make small pieces of chicken or pork very thin and easy to chew, then let the crunch of wholewheat breadcrumbs work its magic.”
When making homemade burgers or meatballs, first blitz ground beef, turkey, or chicken in a food processor with a little water or milk. “The result will be a much smoother, more tender consistency that kids love,” she says.
“Offer some ketchup, mayo, low-sodium soy sauce, ranch dressing, or any other dip your child likes,” she says. It will help him learn to tolerate challenging foods.