A lot of parents I speak to are really concerned that their children don't eat meat.
Not eating meat is really common among younger children as the texture can be challenging. It's also a lot of effort for little return - all that chewing!
Eating meat is a great way to get protein but is by no means the only way and it's rare in the Western world to not get enough protein.
Actually what we're after are the amino acids that are the "building blocks of life". They're the basic material of all cells and the human body is approx 25% protein.
We can find these amino acids in all sorts of unexpected places. I read an article that said that many pensioners get much of their daily protein from bread!
And fresh pasta is also an excellent source as it contains grains and eggs.
Aside from the obvious meat, fish, eggs and dairy we can also get protein from soya, quinoa, beans and pulses, rice, peas, oats, polenta, chickpeas, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, almonds, pistaccios, peanut butter (and the list goes on).
If the protein does come from non-animal sources it's good to eat a combination so that all the essential amino acids are present. But this does not have to be at the same meal (or even that same day).
I wouldn't be worrying about our children not eating meat as a starting point but ensuring that a) they are confident eating variety and b) they eat other foods that contain protein.
Judith is passionate about good food and is even more passionate about enabling other people to enjoy the wide variety of fresh food available today.