The Quest for High Protein Snacks

August 9, 2021, Hailey Cain

It kills me to admit it but Delilah is going through a picky eating phase. Things had been really good for a while, but recently I’ve noticed just how much food she wasn’t eating from what she was served. I thought if I ignored it the phase would pass on its own, but as the weeks went on it was just seeming to get worse. There were times when she didn’t eat a single bite of what I served her.

When we went to her last well-baby checkup, the doctor had told us that it looked like Delilah’s weight wasn’t increasing in track with her height. I started to get a little worried when the doctor wanted to see her again in a month rather than in 3 months at her next well-baby checkup.

When we got home, I started keeping a food log to see what Delilah was eating every day and find out what she might be lacking in her diet. I focused really hard on only writing down what she actually ate rather than what I served her. So, I ended up with some entries like ” two bites of scrambled eggs” or “most of a medium banana”.

From the food log, I noticed she really wasn’t eating a good amount of protein or vegetables, but she was consistently eating her fruit and dairy foods. I’m still working on getting her to eat her vegetables. Somehow, she seems to sense when I’m trying to give her something with hidden veggies. So far fruit and veggie Jell-O bites have been the most successful, but we’ve also tried hidden veggies in mac and cheese, cauliflower pizza, veggie fritters, and veggie pancakes with little success.

Since we were already struggling with veggies, I decided to shift my focus to finding ways to get her some more protein in her diet. Delilah has been pretty hit or miss when it comes to proteins and it seems like her tastes are always changing. To find out what proteins she would eat, I started just offering her anything I could think of to see what she would eat. When I ran out of ideas, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. I also tried finding her a few store-bought snacks to get her some good protein when we’re on the go.

I started with eggs because Delilah seemed to like them the most. Out of all the ways I know how to make eggs, I figured out that she will sometimes eat scrambled eggs and that she likes hard-boiled eggs most of the time. The next protein source we found was breakfast sausages. I had noticed a few times when we went out to breakfast that she seemed to like them. When we tried giving them to her again, she devoured them. Other than those two, meat proteins were pretty rare when she’d eat them and never consistent. I also tried giving her different beans to try and I’d say she ate them, “alright at best”, but I still have a few Pinterest recipes left to try so I’m hopeful!

When it comes to store-bought snacks, I had a hard time because I wanted to find some easy protein snacks that she would actually eat but I was worried about the sugar content. I spent a lot of time in the store reading nutrition labels before even bringing them home for Delilah to try. Of course, in a lot of cases, it’s impossible to find packaged snacks without sugar regardless of if it’s added sugar or naturally occurring sugars from fruit. So, I tried to find a good ratio of the bad with the good.

The first snack we found was organic whole milk yogurt pouches that have 5g of protein per pouch. Delilah has always loved yogurt and the pouches are really convenient. I was also really happy to find ones made with whole milk rather than the more common ones made with low-fat milk. The next snack we found is an organic peanut butter snack bar that has 7g of protein per bar. Delilah loves peanut butter and will actually eat the whole serving so it’s a nice feeling knowing she got some solid protein. Also, I wasn’t specifically looking for organic snacks on purpose, it just happened to be the ones we found were.  The last snack we found was protein Graham crackers. I noticed them at the store because they were the same brand as my favorite pancake mix. Graham crackers are a regular snack for Delilah so finding one with 5g of protein per serving was an easy swap.

While it’s still something we’re working on, I’m happy today that Delilah had her one-month weight check a few days ago and her weights are now starting to catch up with her height. She was up almost 2lbs and her doctor said we had no reason to worry!