Before diving into this, I’d like to reiterate that being protein deficient, even for super selective eaters is very unlikely unless circumstances are really extreme.
Although we traditionally think of protein as being in meat, eggs, fish, dairy etc. protein is also found in bread, pasta, and other foods. Protein is not something you need to worry about for your child in 99.99% of cases.
However, boosting nutrients is a good idea for fussy eaters as are sustaining, home-made foods rather than packaged snacks, if you can. Protein is also filling so it’s going to better than a handful of crackers, for example, at getting them through the day.
This recipe contains lots of goodness and is delicious and versatile as it could be a snack, dessert, or even breakfast.
I have included quite a few swaps and ideas to suit differing tastes and requirements.
Recipe – protein bars
(This is a small batch for testing – double for a regular sized bake)
½ can black beans drained
1/8 cup peanut butter (I did half peanut butter and half butter to reduce the peanut-i-ness – you could use any oil or nut/seed butter)
1 dessert sp honey (add more to taste, ours is always low sugar)
1 ½ tbs cocoa powder
1/3 cup oat flour (I blitzed oats in the spice grinder)
¼ cup choc chips (I bashed up a bit of choc bar)
¼ tbs molasses (optional)
1/8 cup sour cream (optional – help make it silky)
1 tbs ground linseeds (optional but additional nutrient boost)
I have a cheap food processor so added a little cream to help it work. If you need more liquid add milk/oil/cream/hot water etc.
Heat oven to 175˚
Make the beans into a paste in the food processor
Add all the liquid ingredients
Add the flour and oats. You may need to add more liquid (go really easy) and/or scrape down the sides.
Fold in the choc chips
Scrape mixture into a greased baking dish and use a spatula to make them 15-20cm thick
Cook for approx. 20-25 mins until starting to set in the middle
Remove from oven, score into bars, and let sit in the dish to cool.
Perfect for snacks, dessert or even breakfast.
Judith, MA Cantab (Cambridge University), Post Grad Dip Psychology (Massey University), is an AOTA accredited picky eating advisor and internationally certified nutritional therapist. She works with 100+ families every year resolving fussy eating and returning pleasure and joy to the meal table.
She is also mum to two boys and the author of Creating Confident Eaters and Winner Winner I Eat Dinner. Her dream is that every child is able to approach food from a place of safety and joy, not fear.
Learn more about Judith here: https://theconfidenteater.com/about/