Easy (Non-Meat) Protein For Toddlers


Since Leah hardly ever eats meat (unless it’s dunked in maple syrup…but that’s a different story) we’ve gotten creative with protein alternatives.  Texture seems to be part of the issue, and I concede that it must be hard to chew chicken breast with only 6 teeth.  So here are our 5 go-to, toddler approved proteins, in order of preference.

  1. Cottage Cheese – Or “keees!!!!!” as it’s most commonly referred to in our house.  Although I am weary of her diet being a little dairy heavy, it has a ton of protein.  In a half cup of 4% cottage cheese there are 14 grams of protein!  This is Leah’s #1 favorite food, and she can eat it (messily) by herself so hey, I’m sold.
  2. Hummus – Eaten with a spoon.  Or off of chips, if we’re trying to impress in public, but mostly with a spoon.  The pediatrician recommended hummus, or chick peas, but hummus was the winner and it makes me feel like my kid has a sophisticated palate so I like that she likes it.  There’s 4 grams of protein in a 1/4 cup, which seems to be about a serving size for Leah.
  3. Eggs – This is a recent addition to our menu, Leah wasn’t always fond of eggs, but now she loves a good over-medium egg with a piece of toast, or all by itself.  One egg has 6 grams of protein, not to mention plenty of other important vitamins.
  4. Whole Wheat Pasta – I was pleased with myself when I realized that 1/2 cup cooked whole wheat pasta had 4 grams of protein.  Rotini was the first variety that we had success with, followed with elbow noodles.  Pasta is great because you can make it a million ways, add veggies (pasta sauce, pesto with hidden spinach, cheese covered broccoli, etc), and always have it on hand.
  5. Peanut Butter – Leah is always up for peanut butter and jelly toast.  This may not be the best source of…well, anything, but it works in a pinch, she eats it always, and I know there is some protein in peanut butter.  Just looked it up…8 grams!  In 2 Tbs., so if she eats half that…4 grams!  Better than I thought.  See, I do know what I’m doing.

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