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My 22mth boy absolutely refuses to eat red meat

Hi Leanne, my 22mth boy absolutely refuses to eat red meat. He`ll eat chicken okay and very small amounts of fish but when it comes to any red meat; lamb, beef, etc he won`t eat it. He doesn`t appear to dislike it, he just seems lazy and can`t be bothered with it. He eats plenty of fruit and veg but I`m worried about his health and if you have any suggestions what I can give him instead of red meat but with enough iron etc. Should I look at buying iron supplements??

Any advice would be appreciated,
thanks so much, Susan

Answer: Hi Susan, I am with your toddler to be honest, I don`t mind other meats but red meat to me tastes bla. So with that out of the way :), there are lots of very healthy, iron-rich vegetarian children who of course don`t eat any meat. So, that your toddler prefers the `better meats` is just fine. With a full and varied diet it is highly unlikely he would require a supplement. Iron in fact is the most over-dosed supplement. I am wondering if he is okay with mince, so spaghetti bolognaise etc? It tends to be more palatable to those who don`t like the taste or texture of red meat. There are many ways you can offer mince if it is something he will tolerate. In reality meat is one of those foods that is contentious, the latest anti-cancer diet now recommends limiting red meat, and some suggest avoiding it all together, though this is contentious. See link below for more: http://www.nutritionj.com/content/3/1/19 While white meat and fish have lesser amounts of iron they are still reasonable sources of iron and other nutrients specific to animal foods. If you still feel that your toddler is lacking it can be reassuring to talk to a nutritionist or dietitian who can do a computerised diet diary and show you the results of your little ones nutrient intakes. Then you can also make a more accurate call on the supplements. I hope that is reassuring for you. All the best, Leanne
Answered: 29 Apr 2009