Wednesday: Legumes, nuts, and other proteins.
Kids love choices! It’s healthy for them to think they are in charge of something once in a while. Their chance to flex a little bit of their independent muscles. Bath or shower? Bedtime story or a song? Arthur or Clifford? Stay in bed or get grounded! Their choice!
That’s why I love the “bar”. Salad bar, oatmeal bar, potato bar, breakfast bar. Last night we had Taco Salad bar. It included lettuce, mango salsa, avocados, cheese, tomatoes, and our protein of the day: Lean ground beef mixed with black beans and black eyed peas. The kids actually scooped a little bit of everything. Even more options on the table would be to add hard and soft taco shells.
They are very used to seeing beans with their ground beef. Every time I’ve made something with ground beef in the last few months, there has always been black beans mixed in. It has been a healthy and economical way to increase the nutrients of the meal.
Are you worried about the amount of protein your kids are getting? 1/2 cup of beans have as much protein as one ounce of meat. But even if they aren’t eating beans or meat, you can also get protein from eggs, dairy, peanut butter, and many vegetables and grains! The average toddler needs only about 16 grams of protein per day.