Sources of Protein

My 15-month-old is boycotting meat! I have tried everything. I have pureed it and tried slipping it into mashed potatoes–you name it, I’ve tried it. It has been about three weeks. She eats everything else just fine. What can I do?

Dr. Greene’s Answer:

Kids can certainly grow well without meat. They do need protein, but there are plenty of non-meat sources. If kids get 12 to 16 ounces of milk per day, then about 2 ounces more of high-protein food should be plenty Yogurt is one good, high-protein alternative. Eggs, nuts, beans, and soy products are also high-protein sources. Many vegetables and whole grains don’t have enough protein to count as high-protein foods, but they do have enough protein to make a difference.

I also like a multivitamin with iron as a safety net for toddlers. Pure vegetarians usually get more vitamins from their diets than do other kids, but it is still common for them to become B12 deficient.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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