Baby Food With High Protein is a blog that allows parents to feed their children fruits and vegetables in different healthy forms. Whether it’s pureed or mashed form, parents can ensure that their children are receiving the nutrients they need in various ways.
Baby Food With High Protein
If your little one loves carbs, but turns up her nose when it comes to meat, you may worry that she’s not getting enough body-building protein.
Need a fast fix for your worrying woes? Serve up some of these fun and easy-to-make foods to make sure your toddler gets all the protein she needs.
Some of the best protein-packed foods for young eaters include:
- Nut butters
- Whole grains
- Cow’s milk
- Soy milk
Make sure to always offer these protein-filled foods in tot-safe preparations, such as by cutting protein or cheese into bite-sized pieces, avoiding thick chunks of peanut butter (which can be a choking hazard) and carefully removing any bones from fish like salmon.
Tips to pack more protein into your toddler’s diet
- Get creative with milk. Milk is a good source of protein, but not all kids are fans. So get creative and disguise milk by mixing it into other foods. Soak whole grain bread in milk and a beaten egg, then fry it in a little butter to make French toast. Whip up a smoothie for an easy breakfast; to sweeten the drink, add a little fresh fruit (frozen bananas work great and give an extra boost of nutrition) and a drizzle of maple syrup. You can also serve your little puddin’ some homemade pudding (with milk). Another easy option: Make a can of tomato soup with milk and serve it with whole grain crackers for a hearty lunch. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends whole milk for children ages 1 to 2, and while older kids can switch to 2 percent or 1 percent, some recent research shows that whole milk might be the healthiest kind for all ages.
- Get cultured. Introduce your child to yogurt by making a sweet and colorful parfait. Layer Greek yogurt (which contains twice as much protein as regular yogurt) with cut-up fresh fruit in a parfait dish and top it off with your little one’s favorite cereal. You could also serve dip (vanilla yogurt or another low-sugar fruit-flavored yogurt) with some sliced apples, pears, peaches or plums. If your small fry likes baked potatoes, use plain Greek yogurt and grated cheddar cheese as a topping. You can also use yogurt in place of milk when you make pancake batter — as well as in any recipe that calls for sour cream.
- Shape up. Kids love all kinds of shapes — so present cheese and meat in all different ways. Alternate cubes of cheese and fruit on kid-friendly kebab skewers and your child just may ask for seconds. (Just make sure the skewer ends are blunted and your child only eats from them when securely in her high chair, as skewers can be hazardous.) Cut string cheese, baby meatballs and oven-fried chicken breast into quarters and spear the cheese and meat on her little toddler fork so she can feed herself. Instead of cooking the typical burger, prep some tiny sliders and pop them into slider buns. Serve with dipping ketchup and watch your child’s appetite wake up. Make quesadillas by melting cheddar between two flour tortillas, then cutting them into small wedges for Mexican pizza.
- Play the name game. If you give a cute name to your dish, your cutie-pie may be willing to give it a try. If he doesn’t like eggs, try making a Toad in the Hole: Let him punch out a small circle from a slice of bread using a two and one-half-inch cookie cutter. Then melt a teaspoon of butter over medium heat in a small skillet and place the slice in the pan. Break an egg in the middle and cook until the egg is set. Then flip it over until the egg has finished cooking and the bread is golden. You can also make Scrambled Pizza by scrambling eggs and adding some grated mozzarella cheese, then sliding it onto a plate and topping off with tomato sauce. Or take a page from Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, and let your child help you make it (eggs scrambled with pesto and Parmesan, with ham diced into tiny pieces).
- Spread it on. Peanut butter is a good protein source, but make sure to spread it thinly — as it can be a choking hazard. Introduce your little one to some of the other nut butters, such as almond and cashew, by spreading some thinly onto a whole-grain cracker or piece of toast and topping it with a fruit spread or some mashed-up fresh berries. Nut butters are also good on apple and pear slices or raw vegetables. If your child has a peanut allergy, ask your pediatrician if she can eat other types of nuts or seeds.
- Add more fish to her plate. Smaller fish usually have a lower risk of mercury contamination; choose mild, flaky varieties like sole, flounder, tilapia, salmon and pollack. Make fish fingers by coating small chunks of fish with a mix of bread crumbs, a little grated Parmesan and salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees F for at least 10 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork and the coating is crisp. Canned chunk-light tuna from a can or pouch is fine in moderation, but it’s important to keep track of your child’s mercury intake. Make tuna salad with light mayo and finely chopped carrot and celery, spread on whole wheat bread, and cut into quarters.
- Choose carbs carefully. Even if your little one refuses to mangia meatballs, whole wheat spaghetti alone is a great source of protein — just an ounce of uncooked whole wheat pasta is the equivalent of a toddler-sized protein serving. Top some whole wheat macaroni with cheese or add some broccoli or peas for an easy main course, or boost the protein content of pasta by making an Asian peanut sauce. Mix cooked linguine with pesto and either sprinkle with grated Parmesan or serve with a side of tomato sauce. Make vegetable fried rice with brown rice (one-third of a cup of cooked brown rice is a good toddler serving size and contains nearly 2 g protein) or rice pudding with brown rice.