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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.