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DD won't swallow meat

(20 Posts)
LindsayS79 Tue 10-Nov-15 07:51:29

DD is almost 2.5 and has always been a fussy eater with meat. She just chews and chews forever. I blitz Spag Bol sauce and she eats that fine. She'll also eat sausage but that's about it. She won't touch chicken now, even in a processed form (I resorted to nuggets in the past to get protein down her).
She's great with fruit and veg (although it's got to be raw!)
Her dad dies this with meat too, it's completely behavioural imo. DH was given bad associations with food as a child so I'm conscious of not making it an issue.
Has anyone experienced this and how did you get past it? does anyone have any tips to get iron and protein in her without me resorting to spag bol and sausages every night?

DorothyDove Tue 10-Nov-15 08:01:22

No advice but 2yo DS is like this too! Although in our case he definitely hasn't got it from DH or me, we're both rampant carnivores. I've just about built him up to eating a bit of mince or ham from time to time now, mince is often mixed with baked beans to make it more palatable. I've not worried too much about his diet, I'm sure it's probably more healthy to be veggie! As long as you're offering beans and pulses, dairy and leafy greens her diet will be fine (we give a multivitamin too). I reckon they'll just grow into it slowly over the next couple of years!

MeeWhoo Tue 10-Nov-15 08:20:28

Ds also wasn't keen on meat and took forever to chew, although at 4 he is much better now. As DorothyDove says, I think it's not unusual for toddlers to be like this and gradually grow out of it, but in my case Ds ate very little amounts anyway and I wanted him to have more iron and protein.

What I did (and sometimes still do) is use sauces to help him with the texture. Can you try giving your DD a bit of mayo or sugar free tomato sauce to dip the bits of meat in? I wouldn't want to get her used to sugar, so no ketchup or very industrial sauces but anything dippy and not too thick (i.e. not something like hummus) that she likes and is not unhealthy might help. Even things like guacamole, yoghurt sauce, etc. Also, of course, cut the meat in very small pieces, you can use your kitchen scissors to make this easier.

Another strategy is to marinate the meat first as this tenderises it and makes it easier to chew and swallow. A few nights ago I made my own very loose version of marinated tempura beef strips and DS gobbled it up. Even I couldn't believe how much more tender the beef was just after marinating a couple of hours. Apparently pineapple is really good for marinating as it has some enzymes that break down the meat, so if your DD likes it you can try that as well.

poocatcherchampion Tue 10-Nov-15 08:23:42

My 3.5 yo often struggles with meat, while her 2yo sister just gobbles it up. We cut it into small pieces and she clearly likes the taste as she always puts it in but can't always swallow easily.

I don't worry about it or do anything special

CoteDAzur Tue 10-Nov-15 08:26:09

Have you tried meat balls? An egg + ground meat + blendered mix of onion, persil, and bread crumbs. More the bread crumbs, softer the meat ball.

CoteDAzur Tue 10-Nov-15 08:27:26

Alternatively, cut any meat in pieces & roll it in a bit of pastry, then cook in the oven. Looks like sausage rolls. DD was a fussy eater at that age but would eat anything I rolled up in pastry.

Helenluvsrob Tue 10-Nov-15 08:37:24

Honestly, no one " needs" meat in their diet. Eat mostly fish, beans, tinned butter beans /chick peas ( the latter stir nicely into rice with small chopped veg). Don't tell me that her dad wont eat " that stuff" though-....Cheesy things sometimes too ( yum! )

Sausage occasionally as an easy alternative when you are eating a roast dinner. Not too often and not the awful over processed " richmond" type sausages.

i'm not suggesting you eat veggie all the time but make your meat a really nice but when you have it and she is going to eventually want to try a bit and will be back into omnivore mode soon.

Arfarfanarf Tue 10-Nov-15 08:44:06

My eldest didn't like meat. I just gave him other sources of protein. It was fine. If he doesn't like it, then give him other stuff. Don't get hung up on this idea that he needs meat for protein. There are lots of alternatives.

I think he just hated the texture even now at 16 he is not a fan.

My youngest otoh - if it's meat he loves it!

Don't worry about it. His diet will be fine with or without meat.

BertrandRussell Tue 10-Nov-15 08:48:09

Fish is your friend!

BrendaFlange Tue 10-Nov-15 08:52:04

Pulses plus wholemeal bread contain the complete range of proteins.
Omelette, felafel, rice and dhal, cheese on toast, beans on toast, lots of lovely things to eat. Fish pie, fish fingers (home make as fish go unions if you like), sardines on toast, avocado on toast. Broccoli.

bishboschone Tue 10-Nov-15 09:05:21

My son still struggles with meat. I just cut it up small and don't worry about it . Sometimes he eats a bit sometimes he doesn't. At 2.5 he wasn't great , now at 4.5 he is much better . Just keep doing what you are doing and don't make a fuss .

Mundelfall Tue 10-Nov-15 10:43:31

I didn't like taste or texture of meat and turned into a vegetarian aged 3 when my parents decided to stop forcing me. Doesn't seem to have done me any harm. The best thing you can do is not to make an issue of it. Just serve as usual and if she doesn't eat it, fine. Just use other foods to supplement her iron intake (pp have already listed quite a few ideas).

LindsayS79 Tue 10-Nov-15 17:03:28

Wow I didn't realise this was quite as common!!! Obviously my in laws forced DH to eat and this is what caused his food issues. These are all great ideas!! She's not too bad with fish, although it's hit and miss. She's a nightmare with meatballs though.. I'll keep trying and cutting it up smaller and marinating is a great idea. Im actually a veggie so I've no qualms about her being one either. I initially got her into meaty textures by giving her quorn sausage so I might try her with quorn things again. Does anyone know if that's ok for young kids?

LindsayS79 Tue 10-Nov-15 17:05:18

Oh and a funny thing is, she doesn't like the texture of beans!! I have to mash them up so they're not slimy!!! Think I'll try her with chopped up butter beans. I loved them as a kid!!

BrendaFlange Tue 10-Nov-15 19:10:38

Chick peas not in sauce? To eat individually as a snack?
might she like a dry crunchy dry falafel?
Roasted courgette strips with parmesan (no pulses - just delicious1)http://damndelicious.net/2014/06/21/baked-parmesan-zucchini/
Butter bean an parsnip mash
A bean burger? (a nice one)

BrendaFlange Tue 10-Nov-15 19:11:37

Peanut butter on wholemeal toast
Baked beans with cheese or tuna
etc.

Honestly, if you yourself are veggie, just give her what you eat as far as possible.

CoteDAzur Wed 11-Nov-15 14:18:10

Peanut butter on toast as an alternative to meat?

Only on MN grin

MERLYPUSSEDOFF Wed 11-Nov-15 19:19:43

One of my twins was fussy with meat. I used to get things like sausages, corned beef and white fish and lazy meat like pate and liver sausage. We progressed onto minced beef and then stewing steak which was diced small and cooked in a pressure cooker. Also things like chicken thighs cooked the same way. One day we had sticky ribs (soft meat) and he got the connection,he enjoyed eating meat that needed picking up.

At 7 (nearly 8) he will eat anything so fret not. I think it's a lazyness thing. There is loads of food that your child will become accustomed to and enjoy. It's no biggie if they don't eat meat. (I dont like the texture of eggs, my boys would live off them)

BrendaFlange Wed 11-Nov-15 19:20:03

Peanut butter, as part of a meat free diet, rather than as a 'substitute for meat' can contribute protein as it is 25% protein. 2 spoons of Peanut butter give 8g of protein within a recommended daily protein intake of about 50-60g for small children. The fats within it are mostly unsaturated, and good peanut butter contains only ground peanuts, no sugar, salt etc.

What's the matter with that?

Don't be so snotty, CoteD.

MERLYPUSSEDOFF Thu 12-Nov-15 12:30:13

Certainly better than the above crap my youngest would eat at first.

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