If your child rejects any meat that is “chewy,” stick to softer meats and alternatives instead: lean ground beef, meatballs, boneless fish, eggs, tofu, baked beans or other legumes and peanut butter. Note: You can also make a piece of meat more tender and moist by stewing it or cooking it slowly in a covered dish so it retains its natural juices. Of course, you can always moisten up meat after the fact by topping it with broth, natural juices or tomato sauce before serving it to your child.
—Get in the habit of trimming visible fat from meats before cooking and removing skin from poultry before you serve it to your child. It’s a good habit to introduce your child to at an early age.
—If you serve luncheon meats to your child, stick with lower-sodium, lower-fat varieties. Try to find alternatives to frying and deep-frying meat, fish and poultry, like barbecuing or grilling instead.
—Make a point of working lean organ meats (liver and kidney) into your child’s diet occasionally. These foods may not be your all-time favorites, but they may be perfectly palatable to your kid. No matter what her final verdict might be on these two organ meats, it’s certainly worth trying to get her hooked on liver and kidney: Both of these organ meats are rich in iron. Just one word of caution on the liver front: Because the liver is the organ responsible for filtering pollutants and toxins, it’s best to limit your child’s liver intake to no more than one serving every two weeks. This is one of those situations when you can get too much of a good thing.