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Beefing up the protein in your child's diet
Q: My 16-month-old daughter won't eat any kind of meat. We have tried everything to get her to eat it. How can I make sure she's getting enough protein?
Bonnie Riverside
A: We cover most of the information you're looking for in our toddler feeding series on this website, Bonnie, but I understand your concern about adequate protein. Protein requirements for children ages 1 to 2 are only slightly higher than those for infants, and they're usually met through foods like dairy products (milk, cheese) and eggs. One egg will provide about 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance for protein for a young toddler. A single cup of yogurt can provide the other 50 percent.

We rarely see American children at risk for protein insufficiency, so relax and enjoy watching your daughter experiment with new foods and textures, knowing that she is meeting her nutrient needs easily. By the way, she'll get to that meat when she's a little older!
Susan M. Leisner RD, IBCLC, RLC Nutritionist & Lactation Consultant