When baby reaches the 6-month milestone, their growing bodies require more protein. Up until this point, baby has been getting their nutrients from breast milk or formula alone.
I receive many comments and requests from moms asking how to deal with their baby not taking to meat – they are concerned that they are not getting enough protein in their diet.
My first response is that many sources of protein have a different texture, which can be difficult to prepare and difficult for baby to adjust. They can also have strong flavour profiles, which can be overwhelming at first. Puréed chicken can be chalky, beef may have a gritty texture and salmon sometimes has a strong scent. The key is in the preparation and combinations you serve.
Puréed fish, chicken, beef and beans are all good additions to the menu – the tricky part is creating the ideal texture for baby. These puréed items can have a less-than-desirable texture when served on their own. I tried many variations: more liquid, less liquid, the 12-time rule, but it always came back to an obvious dislike, refusal, and most times, a gag!
I chalked it up to a “texture” issue and I set out to resolve it. Over the years, I have received numerous comments from moms who have experienced similar circumstances and wanted solutions on how to introduce meat/protein to their baby’s diet.
I found by mixing proteins with a silky smooth fruit, a vegetable purée or a prepared baby cereal, the success rate was higher. There is an art to finding the right ratio between protein and fruit/veg/cereal. Below I have listed a few great sources of protein along with cooking and preparation methods.