In the last baby food making post I covered making your child's cereal out of whole grains. Now I'm going to fill you in on the power of protein for your child. Before I get into how to incorporate protein into your child's diet we have to figure out how much protein you kid needs. The easiest way to figure this out is to keep in mind that a child needs 2 grams of protein for each pound they weigh. So The Hulk weighs 27 pounds which means he needs 54 grams of protein. If you have a 15 pound baby then they need 30 grams of protein. Sounds like a lot right. But there are so many easy ways to add protein to your child's diet.
Beans, Beans, BEANS!!!!
Beans are our friend! First they are oh so cheap and so very good for babies. I'm sure your wondering how I get my kid to eat beans but it is so easy. When I grind up the grains for his cereal I also grind up beans and cook the beans with the cereal. I have also ground up and cooked beans and froze them in the ice cube trays to serve with meals. You can use any kind of bean. Some of our favorites are black beans, garbanzo beans, navy beans, and lentils. The Hulk also loves lima beans! Almost every day I dump a couple spoon fulls of lima beans out on his tray and he just eats them as finger food.
I'm sure most of you have heard that you shouldn't give a baby eggs before they are a year old. However, research shows that babies can have egg yolks prior to one year. It is your decision. Since The Hulk has no known food allergies I went ahead and introduced egg yolks to his diet months ago. So I just hardboil eggs on Sunday and he gets an egg yolk mixed into his breakfast every other day for protein. And I get the egg white. Yummy!
Yougert and Cottage Cheese
These are great forms of protein and kids tend to really like them. I try to feed The Hulk some Yougert or Cottage Cheese each day. I actually base his morning meal around cereal and his evening meal around yougert.
Of course meat is a good source of protein. However, we eat very little meat around here. When we do have meat it is fish or chicken. So meat isn't a reliable source of protein for us.
When you combine whole grains with beans/lentils you get a whole protein. This means that it is basically like eating meat. So we aim for complete proteins here and it works for us.
Hope that helps you all. As always if you have any questions please feel free to leave them in comments or email me. If I don't know the answer I'll try to track it down for you!