Picky eating is a common issue in up to 50% of today’s children, so there’s no wonder that Pinterest is filled with pins linking to recipes to try to help struggling parents find more foods their kids will eat. But one fact remains for most children with regular dietary needs: Protein is an important part of a healthy eating regiment.
Protein helps with several bodily processes, like making hormones, repairing damaged tissue, and creating energy. Without this necessary building block, your child may be lethargic, have low metabolism, and not recover well from injuries or illnesses.
Meat is a major source of protein, so it’s important that at least some meats get incorporated into your child’s diet. Meat’s tough for picky eaters, though, who may not like the look, flavor, or texture of the steak and pork you can’t live without. Don’t worry – we have a few tips to sneak in healthy meats for even the pickiest of the bunch.
Get Creative with Chicken
Even if your child refuses to try a meatball, a piece of salmon, or a ribeye steak, they might like chicken. Chicken is rather bland in the flavor scheme of things, which may be easier on a picky eater’s palate. Roasted chicken has crisp, brown skin and tender chicken meat that you can give your child on its own, put on a sandwich or salad, or make your own gravy or barbecue sauce for a dip.
You might also want to try Chicago Steak Company’s Marinated Chicken Breast, which come in Honey Dijon and Lemon Herb flavors to give subtle tastes without going overboard. Plus, they’re incredibly tender!
Put a Healthy Spin on Not-So-Healthy Favorites
It’s all about creativity here. There aren’t many kids who will turn down staples like chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and burgers. However, the store-bought frozen varieties you typically buy aren’t usually the healthiest options.
You can squeeze in healthier meat choices by making your own versions. Use our Marinated Chicken Breasts to cut into chunks, coat with whole wheat bread crumbs, and make your own chicken nuggets. Or, try our Premium Angus Steak Burgers, which are made from 100% Midwestern corn-fed beef and are much better options than those you find in the freezer aisle of the grocery store.
If your child refuses anything but hot dogs, search for healthier options like 100% beef or chicken dogs or swap the dog for a turkey or chicken sausage link.
Incorporate Meat in Fun Ways
Another option you have is to find new ways to sneak meat into your meals. One of the best ways to do this is with one of everyone’s favorite fun dishes: Tacos!
Tacos are so versatile (and most kids love even the mere mention of the word!) that you can choose just about any meat, sauce, and topping and still call it a taco. Use the meats your child loves most, add veggies they’ll tolerate (cucumbers and tomatoes are usually safe options), and let them pick out a sauce or dressing that they think will pair well with their taco. Getting kids to help build their own might help them feel more comfortable with trying it.
If you’re going to try steak tacos with your kiddo, try our flat iron steaks, which have just the right flavor and texture for the dish.
Getting Picky Eaters to Love Meat
Using these tips, you might turn a healthy corner with your picky eater. And if not, at least you have a few tricks up your sleeve to continue to try to open up their food horizons. For more inspiration for your steak meals, check out our Steak University, which we’ve filled with recipes, tips, and tricks for steak lovers.
You can also order steak, chicken, pork, and more from Chicago Steak Company online to have shipped to your door (which means less time at the grocery store on your already busy days!).