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Toddler Eating

Janel F.
Registered Dietitian
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Wondering what to feed your picky eater? Need suggestions on new snacks to try? Or has snacking become an issue at meal time? Ask Registered Dietitian, Janel F, questions about healthy food options that your toddler will actually eat.

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Ideas welcome for how to get a toddler (18months) to eat meat. I feel like I’ve tried everything but won’t touch, chicken, turkey, beef, fish or pork other than occasional deli meat slice. If it’s visible, won’t touch. If I hide it, immediately spit it out ones it’s discovered. Eggs are a no-go too :/ is this one of those things just keep offering and one day it’ll magically happen?? I try to do protein in dairy and hemp seeds on oatmeal in morning as he’s not a big fan of beans either - anything else I can do for protein instead? Thanks!


Hi Anna,

It is not uncommon for kids to shun meat/eggs for some time, and then express interest in them. The best thing to do is to continue providing your toddler with family meals (including the meat component!) without forcing, bribing, encouraging, coaxing him to eat them. Just the exposure is important, as there may be a day he decides to take a bite! In the meantime, there are plenty of other sources of protein in a wide variety of foods, including lentils, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, kefir, beans (I know you said he's not a fan but there's such a wide variety of beans to try!), nut butters, tofu, etc. You can try different forms of eggs (like hard boiled vs scrambled, or even mixed into a batter to make french toast). Don't forget, there's protein in foods such as whole grains! So barley, quinoa, oats, whole grain breads, etc. all have some protein as well. Keep providing a wide variety of whole foods and let your toddler choose what satisfies him - you may find over time his taste buds change, but in the meantime, he's been enjoying a varied menu with lots of other protein-containing options.