Sneaking in Protein When They Don’t Like Meat
Trying to get your kids to eat certain foods is hard and anybody that says otherwise is lying! I know most parents have the trouble of getting vegetables into their kids diet, but my mini is not a big meat eater. As a family of big meat eaters it can be hard because so many of our meals or focused around a protein. This results with sneaking protein in other ways.
Protein is a absolutely vital part of a healthy diet for children. Though important for everybody of all ages, it is especially necessary for developing and growing little bodies. Protein is used as a source of energy, especially when carbs and fats are at insufficient levels in their diet. The proteins are used in strength maintenance, development of muscles and connective tissues, transportation of oxygen to all areas of the body and antibody production to fight infections.
You can figure out how much protein your child needs if you know how much they weigh. Each day, kids need to eat about 0.5 grams of protein for every pound they weigh. That’s a gram for every 2 pounds (1 kg) they weigh. Their protein needs will grow as they get bigger based on this.
I thought I would share a list of things that I do to try and get some more protein into her diet.
Kodiak cakes – These are sold in most grocery stores with the pancake mix. They are a “just add water” mix but 1/2 cup of the mix has 14 grams of protein in it! Mini’s favorite is the chocolate flavor. It has little chocolate chips in it, but it is not overly sugary sweet.
Greek Yogurt – Some people forget how much protein is in greek yogurt. Mini could eat entire jug of Greek Gods Honey Vanilla. Not kidding… Just remember that a lot of yogurt or dairy means you need to compensate with some fiber filled foods. Good thing she loves prunes. Make sure that it is actual greek yogurt and make sure to look at the protein per serving, since there are so many “greek yogurts” coming out.
Smoothies – I know that right now smoothies are a bit of a fad, but there is reason behind this. It is an easy way to get your fill of veggies or fiber without making it taste like butt. Mini really likes to have smoothies with fruit, yogurt, and we always add some protein powder (we like Nature’s Bounty) or some green powder with extra vitamins (BetterBody LIVfit Superfood Blend).
Oatmeal – Mini loves oatmeal. She really loves oatmeal. She could eat oatmeal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Oatmeal has a lot of protein as well as fiber, which is always a great combination to have together. Her favorite is something you might remember from your childhood. Quaker Dinosaur Eggs Oatmeal is her favorite. It also comes in a strawberry flavor.
Almonds – This is a newly discovered source of protein for mini. Roasted Salted Almonds are her favorite. She doesn’t eat a whole lot of them, but it is just another little source of protein for her throughout the day that can easily be packed as a snack or brought on a trip.
Chia seeds – Although the amount of protein is much smaller since usually only a tablespoon is used at a time, but if your child doesn’t mind texture then these are a really creative way to add some protein.
Eggs – Mini does not eat eggs either, but for those lucky parents who have kids that eat eggs I am jealous. We love eggs and we want to share the amazingness that is eggs.
Overnight Oatmeal – This includes multiple protein-filled foods. Oats, chia seeds, yogurt, and peanut butter. The base if oats, milk, chia seeds, and yogurt and then depending on what the flavor will be you will add more ingredients. These are a big hit in our house for both my husband and mini.
What are some ways that you try to incorporate more protein into their diet?