30+ Ideas for Protein and Iron for Your Self-Feeding Baby or Toddler
I have a confession to make: My dining room floor is disgusting.
Want to know why?
I have a toddler that likes to feed himself.
And honestly, I don’t really mind. It means less work for me during the meal, which means I can actually scarf something down myself. I need that because chasing after three young boys is business that needs energy, so skipping meals, or delaying them too long, is out of the question. But with a child that has decided he wants to eat only what he can actually put in his mouth comes the challenge of finding foods that are easy to handle and good for him. Too often I fall into the carbohydrate trap of giving him bread, crackers, pretzels, and the like. Just like we all do, he needs protein. And iron. Two things that are notoriously hard to feed a kid that wants to feed himself. So I’ve compiled a list for you–one that you can put on your fridge, if you’d like (especially since this one was so popular!). Here’s 30+ Ideas for Protein and Iron for a Self-Feeding Baby or Toddler.
To start off, I just want to point out that many on these lists are good for protein and iron. I simply split it up by what you can get more of.
hard boiled egg
egg muffin cups – load it with spinach for an iron and protein punch
chicken wing or drumstick – whether the meat is eaten or not, the juices and the marrow, if they get it, have protein. Plus it’ll have them liking the flavor of meat for when they are ready
cooked turkey chunks
broth gelatin jigglers – use unflavored gelatin to make savory jello jigglers
hummus on pita – you get extra iron points if the hummus has tahini in it
nut butter sandwiches
boiled peanuts – this southern staple has the consistency of cooked beans
sausage chunks – extra iron points if you make it liverwurst (try not to pass your hang ups about food onto your kids!)
tofu cubes – grilled or fried are great kid-friendly options
kale chips – a crispy version of the leafy veggie
spinach chips – made the same way as kale chips
brussels sprout quarters
tahini on toast – make the bread whole wheat and enriched for more iron
baked potato chunks – leave the skin on for more nutrition
dark chocolate – in moderation of course!
Here’s the printable!
Do you have other things you would add to the list? Comment below!