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  1. #1
    Registered User monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    Default Sneaking meat into kids

    Please do not start a debate about picky eaters.


    Does anyone have any ideas for adding protein to food. I have hundreds of recipes to sneak in vegetables, but have no use for them as my kids love vegetables.

    I need to increase my son's protein intake. He has a history of low iron, and his fingernails concern me. He will not eat meat at all. He won't eat sauce on spaghetti, picks everything off of pizza, and likes most things plain. He won't eat any casseroles besides mac & cheese. He likes peanut butter, but is eating it less than he used to.

    He will eat Macaroni & cheese, and I am thinking about adding ground up white beans or chick peas. I don't think he would notice. The only other thing I have is a recipe for chick pea chocolate chip cookies.

    Is there anything I could add to our bread, noodles, treats, yogurt?
    What about gelatin? Would homemade jello help (gelatin and fruit juice)? Or is that the wrong kind of protein?
    Is there anywhere else I could hide beans, or maybe flaked chicken?
    Would cooking rice or noodles in chicken stock(homemade, no salt) have any benefit?
    Anything with alot of eggs in it, that doesn't look like eggs? He loves ice cream, would making it at home help since he's eating it anyway (lots of egg yolks in real ice cream)?


    I have no problem making a separate dish for him, my kids have to eat before us any way (too exhausted to eat by the time dh gets home from work).

    Thanks for any ideas.

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    Registered User baxjul's Avatar
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    I'm interested in seeing the ideas for this. My dd has a hard time with meat. I feed her lots of peanut butter, grilled cheese sandwiches.

    Will he eat deli turkey? My dd will eat that, not on a sandwich, just for her meat at dinner and lunch. Also, my dd will eat summer sausage.

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    Long time ago when my mother was in Alaska with the 5 small ones she was broke. She was waitressing and had a doctor for a regular. She asked him what she could feed them cheap and keep them healthy as meat wasn't an option. He told her to leave a container of peanut butter out on the table, a loaf of bread and spoons.
    Does he like peanut butter cookies?
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    Registered User monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    He likes all cookies.

    I haven't tried deli turkey. He doesn't like real turkey, but the sliced stuff is a different texture so he might eat it. I'll get him to try it.

    We've never had summer sausage, but he won't eat hotdogs or pepperoni.

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    Registered User baxjul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeywrangler71 View Post
    He likes all cookies.

    I haven't tried deli turkey. He doesn't like real turkey, but the sliced stuff is a different texture so he might eat it. I'll get him to try it.

    We've never had summer sausage, but he won't eat hotdogs or pepperoni.
    He might not like the summer sausage, then. Also try deli ham. I make a BBQ sauce, and put the deli ham sliced really thin, into it. Dd seems to like that. Hugs to you! I know exactly what you are going through. PM me if you ever need to talk!

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    wheat germ to breads/muffins, sauces.
    perhaps make a "fried" eggplant w/wheat germ, corn flakes (or whatever you use as "breadcrumbs" to fry in). won't even notice!
    or use as a crust w/crackers on mac&cheese

    tahini for hummous?? good for crackers or sandwiches.
    a tahini sauce for topping polenta (high in protein), noodles/pasta, even salads or steamed veggies (w/nuts added).

    grains have a decent amount of protein too. so combine w/other things. brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat/wheat berries, oatmeal... you get the idea.

    toasted nuts - pine nuts, almonds are great for topping foods, even mac & cheese. gives an extra taste and a "crunch" that sometimes is enjoyable.

    peanutbutter sauce for stir fry & rice.

    is he really strong about animal rights & not wanting to eat?
    Or just going thru a phase?
    If it's the former, what about introducing soy products? (cheeses are better today than they used to be. as well as soy hotdogs, burgers, sausage, bacon... and many other things as well!)
    Definitely talk to him & see where he's coming from.

    Otherwise, pork tends to have a strong flavor and isn't easily hidden. Things like chicken or turkey are easier to disguise.
    Beef only if in a really strong sauce that can help cover its taste.

    What about shredding chicken and put into homemade enchiladas or burritos with beans & cheese.

    definitely bean soups, rice/beans and the many mexican recipes to be adapted.

    here's the thing about getting "complete" proteins if he's not eating meat. (dont mean to insult if you already know this.)
    complete proteins can be gotten w/out meat.
    classic example is black beans & corn "complete" each other.

    Your questions:
    Is there anything I could add to our bread, noodles, treats, yogurt?
    cereal, toasted nuts, wheat germ.
    sometimes i used toasted & pureed (to flour) oatmeal as a crust for things.

    What about gelatin? Would homemade jello help (gelatin and fruit juice)? Or is that the wrong kind of protein?
    wrong kinda protein... but good thinking

    Is there anywhere else I could hide beans, or maybe flaked chicken?
    definitely... what about a mexican pizza. if you can puree chicken into a fine dust and add to the refried beans it'll expand the beans add a little flavor (just add some salsa to the beans to cover). use as a dip, or put between 2 flour or corn (crispy or soft) tortillas & top w/other things you like.

    Would cooking rice or noodles in chicken stock(homemade, no salt) have any benefit?
    Not as much as you'd think. the noodles/rice being mostly starch absorb the water & salt mostly... and the taste of the chicken. so if the noodles would be plain, he'd taste the difference. the starch won't absorb protein - they're not chemically compatible. sorry.

    Anything with alot of eggs in it, that doesn't look like eggs? He loves ice cream, would making it at home help since he's eating it anyway (lots of egg yolks in real ice cream)?
    other than quiche?... can't think of anything off-hand.
    But I'll keep looking & thinking for ya.

    HTH what little I've got.

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    Registered User monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    It's not a morality issue for him, he's only five. I think it is more about texture than taste. And about mixing foods together I think, he won't eat dip (if I put out veggies and dip, he just eats the veggies), or sauce.

    I'll look into the wheat germ. I've never really thought about nuts because I worry about choking, but he could eat them broken up. We'll try some.

    I have to see how fine I can grind cooked chicken. If I can really get it to dust I could add it to anything

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    Protein powders may be a good resource for you, especially whey protein powder. The Biological Value of protein is a measure of a protein's ability to be used by the body, so the higher the number, the more protein you can absorb from the source.

    Whey protein - 100-159
    Eggs (fresh or powdered eggs, egg white protein powder) - 100
    Milk - 91
    Beef - 80
    Chicken - 79
    Beans - 49

    So you see from the list, you'll get more absorbable protein from whey and eggs than beans.

    I mill my own flour and make all our baked goods and often add bean flour to increase protein. I use milled bean flour for "instant" soup mixes, "instant" refried beans (also used in bean dip). Helpful hint: use small white beans, if you are milling it into bean flour, to add to baked goods. They have the least amount of "bean" flavor.

    You can also add whey protein powder to quick breads (muffins, biscuits, pancakes, etc.) for a portion of the flour, easier than adding it to yeast breads. Too much dairy, and especially whey, can have an adverse effect on bread. It affects the volume, symmetry, cellular structure, and texture of bread. I found this out while trying to develop a high-protein yeast bread, and then read the science behind it.

    Here's a recipes I developed years ago that may help you out:

    Protein Peanut Butter Balls

    1/2 c. whey protein powder (vanilla flavored)
    1/2 c. peanut butter
    2 T. Agave Nectar (or honey)
    1 t. vanilla or almond flavoring

    Mix thoroughly, by hand, with a fork. If desired, add 1/2 -3/4 c. crisp whole grain rice cereal to the dough. Form the dough into small balls. I place them in small candy papers (look like small muffin papers).

    Toppings:
    -Melt 1/4 c. chocolate chips and drizzle over the top.
    -Dip into a little agave nectar and then dip into chopped, blanched, roasted almonds, or toasted, unsweetened coconut.
    -------------------------------------------------------

    I've made high-protein pancakes by mixing whey protein powder and an egg, some agave nectar, baking powder.... Just be careful to make these pancakes small and keep the heat lower than regular pancakes because they tend to burn easily. I have a recipe someplace, but couldn't find it.... I'll post it when I do.

    I also have a fudge recipe made with refried beans that is tasty I'll have to look for.

    For a good source of iron, include molasses in the diet. You can use molasses in milk like you would use chocolate syrup.

    I use gluten (aka seitan - the protein found in wheat flour) as a
    source for protein in our diet.

    Example:
    4 cups raw gluten bakes into 9 cups of ground gluten - which is equivalent to 3-pounds hamburger (288 grams protein).

    We use "Gluten Crunch" as a high-protein cereal (similar to granola - without the grain and nuts), the crunchy topping on fruit, pudding, or ice cream. I use it as a pie crust, similar to graham cracker crust. You can even make a "candy bar" using it.

    Gluten Crunch
    (source: The Amazing Wheat Book by LeArta Moulton)

    2 c. ground gluten (I make mine with vital wheat gluten, much easier than making it from whole wheat flour)
    1 c. coconut, unsweetened
    3 T. melted butter
    4 T. honey or raw sugar (I use agave nectar.)

    Combine ground gluten and coconut. Melt butter and honey together. Mix all together. Spread on cookie sheet and bake 25-40 minutes at 350°-375°F. (Cookie time and temperature depends on how much of the mixture you place on a sheet.) Stir occasionally in order to roast more evenly. Watch carefully so it won't burn. This mixture will take on a dry and roasted effect when done. Let cool. The end product should be crispy. Store in an airtight container either on a shelf or in the freezer.

    recipes using Gluten Crunch:

    Peanut Butter Crunch
    Mix together:
    1/4 c. peanut butter
    1/4 c. honey
    4 T. whole wheat flour
    1/2 t. vanilla
    ADD:
    1 c. Gluten Crunch
    Mix all together. Form into a roll or press into a pan and cut into squares. Cool until firm.

    Variations: Add dried fruit bits, raisins, dates, nuts, seeds or toasted coconut, etc.....

    Mock Graham Cracker Pie Crust

    2 c. Gluten Crunch
    3 T. butter
    2 T. flour
    1/2 t. cinnamon (optional)

    Mix ingredients and press down in pie tin. Bake in pre-heated oven 350°F oven for 8 minutes. Cool and fill with favorite pie filling.
    -------------------------------------------

    Homemade protein bars...
    Protein supplements added to smoothies and fruit juice.
    -----------------------------------------

    If your son likes breads and baked goods, you might try baking with coconut flour. The recipes tend to use LOTS of eggs and it's naturally high in non-gluten protein:

    Recipes using coconut flour: http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/or...onut_flour.htm
    -----------------------------------------------

    Unflavored Gelatin -
    http://www.bulkfoods.com/unflavored_gelatin.htm
    Typical usage: 4 teaspoons per day. May be mixed in non- carbonated juices or with foods.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeywrangler71 View Post
    He will not eat meat at all. He won't eat sauce on spaghetti, picks everything off of pizza, and likes most things plain. He won't eat any casseroles besides mac & cheese. He likes peanut butter, but is eating it less than he used to.
    How old is your little boy? The reason I ask is because he sounds exactly like my three and 1/2 year old. Getting Wesley to eat has always been a struggle-he is picky, he is stubborn. I decided one day that I had had enough. Wesley has no significant health issues, food is readily available to him, he won't starve. And I absolutely did not like the stressful mess our dinnertime was becoming.

    This is what I have started doing and let me be the first to say that it's still hit or miss on getting him to eat or to try new things, but it has gotten better little bit by little bit. We celebrate all the small victories in our house too. And I realize that not all of this may apply to our situation, so if it's not helpful, I apologize. Hopefully, there is something you can use that we have learned from our struggles.

    First thing I did was to start having him take a multi-vitamin to help balance out any nutrient he is missing. I started prepackaging snacks into little containers and baggies because I realized I was giving him to big of portions and it was affecting his appetite at dinner-time. I have worked to make mealtimes and snacktimes more consistent. We used to try to wait to see if DH could come off patrol for dinner, but that led to Wesley eating snacks and filling up on milk. So Wesley starts dinner at 6:30ish whether DH is there or not.

    We started with baby-steps and clearly verbalized expectations to Wesley. The first night I think I was making a spicy stir-fry over white rice. I knew he wouldn't eat the spicy stir-fry, so I gave him an option of a pb & J or a grilled cheese, to go with his rice and fruit. He ate the pb & j, the fruit, and balked at the rice. I showed him how many pieces of rice he had to take a bite of to get a snack later in the evening. He ate two tiny little pieces of rice. DH rolled his eyes and thought it was ridiculous, but at the next meal time we had rice, Wesley ate a much bigger portion.

    Some of the things we have gotten him to eat(meat-wise) are pepperoni, ham chunks, pork chops, steaks, etc. The first bite is the hardest for him, so I offer lots of encouragement, lots of ways to eat it (dip it in ketchup! I'll cover it in rice!) Some things are hit and miss. He could care less for steak, but for some reason he loves those smoked hormel pork chops. To get him to eat lunch meat for the first time, I bought a lunchable as a 'super special only big boys can eat this' treat. Now we make homemade lunchables.

    Generally, I don't cook a separate meal for him. If I am making something I know he will not eat, like chili, then yes, I will make him something different, as long as he 'helps' me cook it. Otherwise, I just put a small portion of what we are having on his plate, and make sure we have two healthy sides that he will eat and he will like.

    Do you take him to the grocery store with you? The reason I ask is because that's how I discovered Wesley likes pork chops. They had all those free samples and I had a sample of a pork chip in my hand when he leaned over and ate the whole thing. I think he just liked the thought of 'sneaking' my food, but he ended up loving the pork chop.

    Also, I don't ever force Wesley to eat something. If he doesn't take his 'required bites', then there may be a negative consequence, such as no snack before bedtime, but I won't force him to eat. He learned the hard way that Mommy wasn't playing when he woke up at 4:00 hungry because he had been on a 6 hour hunger strike and I told him he had to wait until breakfast.

    I think the biggest things that worked for us were the multi-vitamin, the consistency of offering him new things at every meal, but also just being as patient as possible with him. For kids Wesley's age, so much of their life is controlled for them, that they usually tend to try to control what they can, such as meals.

    The multi-vitamin made me feel secure enough to stop 'giving in' to him without making me feel like I was depriving him of nutrients. Like I said, this is what has been helpful for us. It's still on on-going battle. Best of luck to you!

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    Soy flour is a nice add-in to any baked goods. No flavor change, just protein rich.

    This is not a picky eater comment, just a mom of four for twenty-nine years comment. Let them get hungry. I've been a nurse and a mom for nearly three decades and I have NEVER seen a child voluntarily starve themselves. If you let them get hungry, they WILL eat. If they seem OK without eating a meal once in a while, no biggie.

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    Grainlady, I hugged you because my 7 yr old son has the same problem as monkeywranglers. I never thought about the protein powders. Thank you.

    M. W. - at first when reading this post I thought you had my son at your house. It is so hard and frustrating. I do cook a different meal for my d.s. He has also been on a medicine to increase appetite recently. It increases appetite, but not the type of things he is eating. He rarely eats meat. Chicken nuggets,pepperoni on a pizza, maybe deli ham sometimes. He is pale, skinny and has dark circles under his eyes. Last month he gained 2 pounds and I was soooo excited. I try to give him alot of milk and instant breakfasts. He loves peanut butter and peanuts, blackstrap molassas has iron and he will take a spoonful every now and then. I am at my wits end. I will be watching this thread. My ds is adhd and A.S. BTW, he eats lots of fruits, some vegies and lots and lots of carbs....
    I give him alot of cheese too. I have been giving him Over the Moon milk because it has more protein in it.

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    Registered User monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    Where would I find whey protein powder? Is that the stuff that they sell for weight lifters? Is it safe for children?

    He likes breads and baked goods (everything except pie), so any high protein flour substitutes would be great. I don't have a mill though. There is a good selection of specialty flours at the bulk store, I will look for bean and coconut flour.

    Is the gluten something I would find in the dry foods as well? I've never heard of it.

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    You can try this as well.
    http://www.ehow.com/how_4809474_home...akes-kids.html

    Also, you can go to your local health food store or vitamin store and ask what's safe.

    What about those Pediasure drinks? Does he like those?

    Here is a link with nutrition info.

    http://www.allegromedical.com/emerge...-p176500.html#

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    Registered User monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsMcDowell View Post
    First thing I did was to start having him take a multi-vitamin to help balance out any nutrient he is missing. I started prepackaging snacks into little containers and baggies because I realized I was giving him to big of portions and it was affecting his appetite at dinner-time. I have worked to make mealtimes and snacktimes more consistent. We used to try to wait to see if DH could come off patrol for dinner, but that led to Wesley eating snacks and filling up on milk. So Wesley starts dinner at 6:30ish whether DH is there or not.
    He is 5, we've been struggling with his eating since he was an infant (used to projectile vomit his baby food at me).

    We no longer wait for Dad to come home for the same reason that you mention. The kids now have supper about 3 hours earlier (Daddy comes home at bedtime ) which is why I don't care about making something different. There isn't much that can sit for 3 hours anyway. We also have a snack schedule now.

    We can get him to try a couple bites of things, and will definitely continue encouraging him. But I'm worried about his health now, and need to supplement. The multi vitamin is a good idea, can't believe I've never thought of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaryCarney View Post
    Soy flour is a nice add-in to any baked goods. No flavor change, just protein rich.

    This is not a picky eater comment, just a mom of four for twenty-nine years comment. Let them get hungry. I've been a nurse and a mom for nearly three decades and I have NEVER seen a child voluntarily starve themselves. If you let them get hungry, they WILL eat. If they seem OK without eating a meal once in a while, no biggie.
    Thank you, I will look for soy flour as well.
    He won't starve, he eats a lot, it's just really unbalanced. Normally I wouldn't worry, but it's been going on too long and he doesn't look healthy.


    Quote Originally Posted by NewLeaf View Post
    He is pale, skinny and has dark circles under his eyes. Last month he gained 2 pounds and I was soooo excited. I try to give him alot of milk and instant breakfasts. He loves peanut butter and peanuts, blackstrap molassas has iron and he will take a spoonful every now and then. I am at my wits end. I will be watching this thread. My ds is adhd and A.S. BTW, he eats lots of fruits, some vegies and lots and lots of carbs....
    That's my kid. I should have named him Casper, he looks like a ghost. He is super sensitive and very high anxiety, so I can't push too hard with him.

    I'll have to try molasses.

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew's mom View Post
    You can try this as well.
    http://www.ehow.com/how_4809474_home...akes-kids.html

    Also, you can go to your local health food store or vitamin store and ask what's safe.

    What about those Pediasure drinks? Does he like those?

    Here is a link with nutrition info.

    http://www.allegromedical.com/emerge...-p176500.html#
    Maybe the fruity drinks, probably not the pediasure he doesn't like milk.

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    Look for whey protein powder that has the least amount of ingredients in it. Some of the "designer" brands are loaded with all kinds of things unnecessary to your needs. A simple vanilla flavored whey protein powder will work just fine. Yes, it's safe to use for children. You are just using it as a supplemental source of protein, not using it to bulk-up muscles. See if you can find small packets to see if your son likes it, rather than investing in the giant "barrels" of the stuff used by the sports crowd. Ask for sample packets. We used to give them away at a health food store I worked at years ago. Personally, I'd avoid soy-based protein powders or soy flour. Both are high on the allergen lists for children and don't have nearly the protein power that whey has.

    If you can't mill your own bean flour, I'd suggest not bothering with it. You won't have any idea how old the bean flour is in the store, nor what the source of bean flour is. Bean flour is a little tricky to work with - you can get a lot of bean flavor in your baked goods if you use more than 15-20% in a recipe.

    If you have a store that carries Bob's Red Mill products you might find Coconut Flour (or have them order it for you, or order it from Bob's Red Mill on-line - check on-line prices from a number of sources if you can't find it locally). Don't pass-out by the cost. Most recipes don't require very much. It's completely different than recipes using wheat flour. For instance, 6 muffins uses 1/4-cup and 3 eggs.

    Vital Wheat Gluten is commonly added in small amounts to yeast breads to make them rise better. It is also the quick way to make raw gluten. When you make it with freshly-milled whole wheat flour you have to add water to the raw flour and then wash the glob of gluten with water to remove the bran and starch portion of the whole wheat flour. You may find Vital Wheat Gluten in the bulk foods, or it's also commonly sold in a small box - Hodgson Mill Vital Wheat Gluten - http://www.hodgsonmill.com/roi/673/B...in-C-00810.htm in the same area as flour and yeast are sold in most grocery stores. I purchase it in bulk amounts from Honeyville Grain: http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/vit...glutencan.aspx

    Raw Gluten

    2 c. Vital Wheat Gluten
    1/3 c. flour (I use whole wheat.)

    Add:
    2-1/4 c. water

    Stir liquid into flours (takes about 10 stirs) and you will have Raw Gluten. Work and squeeze the dough into 4 tight balls and place in a vegetable steamer or rice cooker. Steam the Raw Gluten until it is firm, about 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through.

    Grind the steamed gluten in a food processor or hand food grinder on medium to large disc.

    Cooked gluten is also used sliced for "fake" steaks, chipped beef, strips for stir-fry, cubed for chicken dishes, jerky, or ground for hamburger dishes, including meat balls, and also "fake" ground sausage.....

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