It is a love, hate relationship. I love that Violet (V) is an independent eater and I hate it all in the same sentence. Yay! I can do other mom things while she eats or even “eat” with her. Boo! The mess. The mom struggle you guys.
I love that she aodres her fruits and vegetables. She is a rockstar when it comes to spinach, tomato, onion, olives, tangerines, grapes, apples, strawberries, kiwi and more! However, I’m not the biggest fan that she can be in a mood and all of a sudden not like her eggs or chicken. Major boo to that.
One picky meal? It isn’t too much of a big deal and I don’t fuss. It is normal, and I don’t usually sweat it too much. However, when it seems to become a trend, that is when I start to go into #supermom mode. When I put my professional background to use and get creative in the kitchen so that I know she is getting the nutrients she needs.
If you have a hard time with getting protein into your picky eater, I’m here to help. I have three tips to get more protein into your toddler’s diet. PS: These methods completely work for elderly loved ones that either doesn’t have a big appetite or has difficulties with chewing or swallowing.
PUREE THE MEAT
This works best for spaghetti style dishes. One day I was really craving Italian sausage tomato-based pasta but I knew my daughter wouldn’t go for the sausage. So I took her portion of the sausage marinara and blended it until it was smooth. Then I poured it over her pasta one night and quinoa the next night. It went over so smoothly I was completely impressed with myself and completely tooted my own horn! And just a side tidbit, quinoa has protein in it as well, so if your children are introduced to quinoa and likes it at an early age; that’s another great way to get protein in your children.
USE COTTAGE CHEESE
Yo! Cottage cheese isn’t just “diet” food. If you do feed your children dairy (milk, ice cream, yogurt, cheese); this is a great textured, soft food to introduce to your tyke when developing their chewing and swallowing skills! It also is a different flavor profile than fruits and veggies. I love cottage cheese because it is super easy to add to “wet” dishes like sauces, stews and soups for added protein. Remember that sausage marinara from the tip above? Yes, I also added in some cottage cheese - because why not!
If you’re looking for a plant-based option, here you go! Tofu is a soy protein that you can use similarly to cottage cheese. If you want to blend the tofu into another dish, make sure to purchase a soft textured tofu. My daughter loves to eat tofu plain and cut into cubes, and so when I purchase tofu for that purpose I like to get a firm textured tofu. A quick google search will provide you with multiple ideas on how to incorporate tofu, or to create things like tofu pudding! It’s a thing! And honestly, I’ve had it and LOVE IT.
I hope these three tips gives you some ideas on how to incorporate protein into your mini’s diet. And - try the food. Textures may look a little weird. Cottage cheese might make something look a little creamier than normal; but I promise you, it’s just as good. Remember now, monkey see, monkey do!