Does anyone know - how much protein does my 18 mth old need? He's always been tall and thin and only weighs 23lb and I really want to make sure he's getting enough protein. He nurses twice a day and eats a lot of solids (quantity and variety) and he really loves his food ...except meat and eggs! I have tried about a million different ways of preparing meat and usually the only way he'll eat it these days is if I cook it, blend it and hide it, using it as 'sauce' or as 'spread' on toast! Even then, sometimes he'll pick all the tiny bits out or just refuse to eat it.
I don't want to get into the bribing and persuading that I've seen some parents of toddlers do, because I don't want to create a power struggle over food. He's a great eater, it's just the meat. He doesn't get protein through dairy, because his system doesn't tolerate cow milk products, so we use soy and rice milk. So what I'm thinking of doing is learning how to cook vegetarian meals, creating complete protein from grains and pulses, etc. But I don't want to guess and get the proportions wrong. Does anyone have any tips or any recommendations for websites or recipe books for cooking vegetarian meals for toddlers?
While I have your attention, I'd love to know - do a lot of you have trouble getting your little ones to eat meat? Seems like every toddler I know is more keen on fruit,veg and bread products than meat. I've even been wondering if it's instinctive - isn't it supposed to be hard for their little tummies to cope with? I don't want to trick him (by hiding meat in his food) into eating something that his body doesn't cope well with if I can give him protein another way.
Thanks for reading! I'd love to hear about your experiences.