Everyone needs protein but how much protein do babies need? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies between 7-12 months need 11g of protein and toddlers a little more at about 13g.
The Wall Street Journal recently published their article Do Babies Need to Eat Meat? which highlighted the new recommendations from a federal committee to revise the USDA guidelines which are drawing some criticism. The recommendations reflect a shift in protocols of introducing solids and concerns about food allergies from starting with cereals and fruits to more unrefined grains, fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy...and meats.
We agree, the majority of their protein will come from either breast milk or formula as infants, but as you begin to introduce solids don't immediately think you need to reach for meats to add protein. Trust me...when we were starting solids for our little one, I tried to "'puree" steamed chicken and it was pretty gross. There are a ton of meat-free or vegetarian options to add protein into your little one's diet. Per cup cooked, lima beans (11g), peas (8g) and spinach (5g) serve up a powerful punch of protein. Hemp hearts at a whopping 10g per ounce are an incredibly plant-based protein alternative that also adds healthy fats and omegas... we love to use them in our Shakables smoothies.
We do stand by the process of palatetraining, or introducing fruits & veggies one-by-one with more savory flavors first so your little one knows what they truly like. Bottom line...every family needs to do what is best for them!