When youngsters are growing faster than bamboo it is important they have good nutrition, especially protein and iron.
Lean red meat is undoubtedly the best sources of both, and chicken, fish and eggs are also great to help little bodies grow into healthy big ones.
Vegetarian children can get protein from legumes such as green peas, grains such as quinoa, as well as tofu and nuts. It can be tricky getting toddlers to eat a lamb chop or a steak and choosing tender cuts that are finely chopped up and mixed with other food can be a good solution.
Lean beef or lamb mince used in dishes with pasta, or even a cottage pie with delicious mashed potato can be easier for little mouths to manage.
Mixing meat with non-haem iron found in green vegetables, bread and cereals improves the iron absorbency.
Meatballs containing chopped spinach are superb and they are fun for children to eat.
Tiny sandwiches with eggs, some green food and finely sliced chicken can appeal to little eaters, especially if they are the independent type and want to do everything by themselves.
Meat that is cooked quickly and served rare is more nutritional but slow-cooked meats are tender and the fall-apart consistency is easier for children.
More than anything, when kids start to learn about the importance of good nutrition they are more likely to eat well.
As soon as possible, get kids into the garden to grow green stuff and then into the kitchen to make their own feast.
Persevere, educate and enjoy.
Check out NZ Beef and Lamb recipes for toddlers here>>>