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Q:

How can I make sure my child is getting enough protein if they don't like eating meat or dairy?

Hi everyone,

I am a mom of a picky eater who does not like eating meat or dairy. My child seems to be intaking very little protein, and as a mother, I am worried about their health and growth. I have tried incorporating fruits and vegetables that are high in protein, but I am not sure if it is enough.

Can anyone suggest some non-meat and dairy sources of protein that I can include in my child's diet? It would be great if you can provide some tasty and kid-friendly recipe ideas as well. I am open to trying anything that will meet my child's nutritional needs. Thank you in advance for your help and suggestions.

All Replies

alberta97

Hello,

My daughter is a vegan, so getting enough protein in her diet is a top priority for me. I have found that there are many plant-based protein sources that she loves and are both delicious and nutritious.

One of the best sources of protein and a great meat substitute is tempeh. It comes from fermented soybeans and has a nutty flavor and firm texture that can be used in stir-fries, sandwiches, or even as a breakfast protein.

Chia seeds and hemp seeds are other favorites in our household and can be added to smoothies, yogurts, or even used as a binder for homemade energy balls. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, which makes them a great addition to a vegan diet.

Beans are also an excellent source of protein, and we love incorporating chickpeas, kidney beans, and black beans into our meals. I make chili, burritos, salads, and soups with these beans, which not only add protein but also fiber and other essential vitamins.

Quinoa is another favorite in our household. It is a complete protein and can be used in many dishes such as salads, soups, and Buddha bowls. I often mix quinoa with black beans, roasted vegetables, and a flavorful sauce to create a filling and delicious meal.

These are some of the ways that I ensure my daughter is getting enough protein in her vegan diet. I hope this helps!

dubuque.heaven

Hello there,

My child is lactose intolerant, which restricts their consumption of dairy products, a significant source of protein. So, I have come up with some creative ways to include protein in their diet without the use of dairy products or meat.

One of my favorite sources of protein is quorn, which is a protein alternative made from mycoprotein. It can be used in a variety of dishes and provides the same amount of protein as meat. I use quorn to make spaghetti bolognese, shepherd's pie or add it to curries.

Another great source of protein is nutritional yeast. It is an inactive yeast that has a cheesy flavor, making it an excellent substitute for cheese in dishes. Nutritional yeast is also high in amino acids and protein. I sprinkle it over roasted vegetables or use it as a seasoning for popcorn.

I also use protein powder in my child's diet, which can be added to smoothies, homemade granola bars, or baked goods. Pea protein is a good choice as it is easily digestible and hypoallergenic.

Nuts and seeds like almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are other great sources of protein. I roast them and use them in homemade trail mix, sprinkle them over oatmeal, or even use them as a coating for chicken alternatives or fish substitutes.

So, these were some ways in which I include enough protein in my child's diet without the use of meat or dairy. Hope this helps!

kuhlman.lexie

Hi,

I can totally relate to your concern as I also have a child who is a picky eater and does not like meat or dairy. One protein-rich food that my child loves is tofu. It is a great source of plant-based protein and can be used in various dishes such as stir-fries, salads, and smoothies. I usually make tofu nuggets by slicing tofu into bite-size pieces, dipping them in egg and breadcrumbs, and then baking them in the oven until crispy.

Another good source of protein is lentils, which are packed with essential nutrients and fiber. I often make lentil soup, lentil tacos, or lentil meatballs. Chickpeas are also a great option and can be used in hummus, falafel, or chickpea salad.

For breakfast options, you can try Greek yogurt alternatives made from almond milk or soy milk, which provide the same amount of protein as regular Greek yogurt. You can also try making protein pancakes using oat flour and egg whites.

Lastly, I make protein-rich smoothies using almond milk as a base, along with frozen fruits and a scoop of plant-based protein powder. This is a great way to sneak in some extra protein and nutrients into my child's diet.

Hope this helps!

laurie.dibbert

Hey there,

I have a child who is a vegetarian, and I always try to make sure her meals are well-balanced, including enough protein sources. One of my favorite sources of vegetarian protein is paneer, which is a kind of cheese that is widely used in Indian cuisine. It is also rich in calcium, which is beneficial for bone health.

Lentils are another excellent protein source, and I often make lentil soup, lentil burgers, or lentil salad for my child. They are also high in fiber and iron, which are necessary for their overall health.

For breakfast, we usually have oatmeal with nut butter, dried fruits, and nuts. This meal is a good source of protein, and the combination of low-glycemic carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fiber is great for your kids' energy levels.

Nuts, seeds, and their spreads are also an easy way to add more protein to your child's diet. My child loves almond butter, which I use for making sandwiches, spread on toast, or added to smoothies.

Another source of protein that we often use in our meals is tofu. It is a soy-based protein that has a neutral taste, but takes on flavors well. We use it in stir-fries, curries, and even in desserts.

These protein sources ensure that my vegetarian child gets enough protein without relying on traditional meat sources. I hope this helps!

pruecker

Hi everyone,

I have two children, one of whom is a vegetarian, so making sure they are getting enough protein is always a concern. One food they love and is an excellent source of protein is edamame. I usually prepare this as an appetizer or snack, but it can be added to salads and other dishes as well. You can find frozen edamame in most grocery stores, and it only takes a few minutes to steam or boil them.

Another protein source that we love is seitan. It is made from wheat gluten and has a meaty texture and flavor, making it a great substitute for meat. You can use seitan in stir-fries, stews, or even as a sandwich filling. I always make sure to season it well to enhance the flavor.

Mushrooms are also a great source of plant-based protein, and they can be added to almost any dish to provide a meaty texture. I often use mushrooms in stews, soups, and pasta dishes.

When it comes to snacking, roasted chickpeas are one of my kids' favorite foods. Simply toss chickpeas with olive oil and spices of your choice, then roast them in the oven until crispy. They provide a healthy and satisfying snack that is high in protein and fiber.

These are some of the ways I ensure my vegetarian child is getting enough protein, while also enjoying delicious and nutritious meals. Hope this helps!

jacobson.elyse

Hey there,

Being a mother of two, I can understand the struggle of ensuring your child is meeting their protein needs without consuming meat or dairy. One of my go-to sources of protein for my kids is quinoa. It is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids. I cook quinoa and mix it with different vegetables, herbs, and spices to make a delicious quinoa salad or simply a stir-fry.

Another great source of protein that is easily attainable and yummy for kids is nut butter. I choose almond or peanut butter, which makes a great topping for whole-grain toast or even oatmeal in the morning.

Beans, such as kidney beans or black beans, are another fantastic source of protein that has the added benefit of also containing fiber and other vitamins. I make a bean chili or toss them in a salad drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.

Hemp seeds or chia seeds are also options that can offer up to 6 grams of protein. I sprinkle them on top of smoothie bowls, oatmeal, or yogurt.

Adding these protein sources to your child's meals and snacks will help ensure that they receive sufficient protein, while also maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.

Hope this helps, and best of luck!

murazik.viva

Hello,

I have two kids, and one of them is allergic to both dairy and soy, which can restrict their protein intake. After some research and experimentation, I have found some alternative protein sources that work well for us.

One of these sources is quorn, which is a mycoprotein-based protein alternative that is soy-free and dairy-free. It has a meaty texture and flavor, making it a great substitute for meat in meals such as casseroles, stews, and even tacos.

Nutritional yeast is another protein source that works well for my family because it is dairy-free and high in protein. It has a cheesy flavor and can be used to add richness to soups, stews, and sauces. I also make a vegan version of mac and cheese with nutritional yeast and chickpea flour as the base.

We also rely on seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds, which provide a healthy dose of protein and fiber. I usually roast them and sprinkle them over salads, yogurt, or smoothie bowls, or even make them into homemade energy bars.

Finally, I use different protein powders that are non-dairy and non-soy based. I prefer pea protein powder as it is high in protein and easily digestible. We use it in smoothies, homemade granola bars, and even to make a vegan protein pudding.

These are some of the sources of protein that we use for my child who is allergic to both dairy and soy. I hope this helps!

mandy29

Hi there,

My child is a fussy eater, and getting her to eat enough protein is a challenge. However, I have come up with a few tricks that helped me ensure her protein intake is sufficient.

One of the best ways to make sure my child is getting enough protein is to offer her eggs regularly. Eggs are a versatile and delicious source of protein that can be prepared in many ways. I usually make her boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, or add eggs to her fried rice or noodle dishes.

Another source of protein that my child enjoys is chickpea flour. I use this to make pancakes, crepes, or even pizza crust. Chickpea flour is rich in protein, fiber, and vitamins, making it a nutritious addition to any meal.

My child also loves tofu, which is another excellent source of protein. I use it in stir-fries, soups, or even to make desserts like pudding. Tofu is a versatile ingredient that soaks up flavors well and can be transformed into a variety of dishes.

Nuts and nut butter are also favorites in my house, and they are loaded with protein. I usually opt for almond milk or cashew milk as a dairy alternative, and I use nut butter to spread on toast, or add to smoothies for a quick and easy protein boost.

These are some of the ways that I ensure my child receives enough protein in her diet, even though she is a fussy eater. I hope this helps!

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