Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Protein Dilema

It's hard feeding kids. Or at least it's been a challenge lately with The Little Miss. I really try to get her to eat lots of veggies and fruit and offer her a variety of flavors and food options although Mac 'n Cheese reigns supreme in our house and is sadly my go to meal for her. I try and sneak in veggies/protein in there but that doesn't always work. Sometimes I'm just happy that she eats something.

She's great with the fruit, no problem there.

Veggies are another story completely. Sometimes peas are ok, sometimes not. Tomatoes, no. Broccoli, no. Carrots, were in the yes category, now, no. Cucumbers, no. The no list goes on.

And protein. Sheesh... Hamburgers, no. Chicken, sometimes. Steak, no. Hotdogs, no. Beans, sometimes. Tofu, sometimes. Eggs, no. Peanut butter, no.

And when I mean sometimes, I mean maybe a bite, maybe two.. Never a serving size, even a two year old serving size.

She's been getting her main source of protein through her cups of milk.

Bottom line is on a daily basis, she wasn't getting enough protein so I thought I'd try some "protein" bars. She's a happy camper eating them and she gets them occasionally when I feel her diet is really really lacking.

To make a long story even longer, I thought it would be best if I tried the bars to see what they tasted like and oops! I'm kinda in love with them now and I'm a bit confused.

I've been buying ThinkThin bars. I want to believe they're fine to have, but they just taste too good which makes me think they probably fall in the category of "if you think it's too good to be true, then it probably is."

I only have them when I'm super starving or have missed a meal.

Here's the skinny on them. On bar contains:

7 grams of fat
zero grams of sugar
20 grams of protein
27 grams of carbs
2 grams of dietary fiber
140 milligrams of sodium
240 calories

What do you think? Are they ok? What are your thoughts on "protein" bars?


Also, please stop by and say hello to Susie, she could use our good wishes right now.


Missicat said...

Hmmm...I am not a nutrionist but I do like the zero sugar and low fat content. It could be higher in fiber though, and is that a lot of sodium? Not sure (not a professional!) but I would check on that.
Kids are funny about eating! You do sound like you monitor the situation closely - good luck!

Mark Salinas said...

Hmmm...not sure. Here is my protein bar....

1 cup Protein Powder
1 cup Oatmeal
1 cup Krispies
3/4 cup Organic Peanut Butter
1/4 cup honey.

Let me know what you think? :)

new*me said...

I haven't tried them yet but they sound good. I have been giving mine the Fiber one bars and they love them! Does the little one like yogurt? My kids are picky about veggies but they get a lot through my homemade tomato sauce......I throw any veggie into the food processor an pulverize it .....added the sauce, it's not recognizable. Great for pizza, pastas, etc.

Sagan Morrow said...

To be honest, most protein bars/shakes/powders etc I am super wary of. Although those particular bars do seem to be pretty decent, nutrition-wise.

Kids sure are fussy! I think, though, that kids are better at figuring out what it is that they need. After all, small kids need lots more fat than we do (although I can't think off the top of my head about their protein levels...). Anyway, I wouldn't worry TOO too much. Tastes will develop over time.

However, I just read this book by Tosca Reno about feeding kids (will soon do a review of it on my blog) and she had some really good points about how to get kids to eat healthy. Maybe that book could help!

Christine said...

I would be interested in knowing what the 27 grams of carbs are if there's zero sugar. Is it fructose? What about the ingredients - what's the sweetener used?

I think that's an awfully big fat hit for a little protein bar. 7 grams of fat means that 25% of the calories come from fat. That's not too bad, but how much of that is saturates? If there's more than 3 g of saturated fat in these things I'd stop buying them.

Scale Junkie said...

Will she eat pudding?

2 cups of cottage cheese
1 cup of low fat milk
1 box (4 servings) any flavor pudding mix

Put cottage cheese and milk in food processor and blend until smooth, add in pudding mix and blend for an additional minute, scraping down the sides if necessary.

Chill for at least 20 minutes. I make this in chocolate and cheesecake flavor. You can't taste the cottage cheese at all and cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein.

MizFit said...

my 2.5 year old SHOCKED ME today by practically chugging a shake I made for her out of vanilla PEA PROTEIN (!)


Anonymous said...

Sodium does seem too high. I've done new me's suggestion, used the fun pasta shapes, let her pick her fav one and mini-mini meatballs. I'll have to try Scale Junkie's pudding & Mark's Bar's both sound yummy. I have had success with baby carrots & ranch dip, Cherry tomatoes (cut in half) and ground meat mixed with the mac & cheese. Yogurt was alway a favorite with fresh/canned fruit. Depending on the day of the week, it was hit or miss with my little gummy bear!

themarlatts said...

This made me laugh! Your list of eat/won't eat/sometimes eat is just about an exact copy of my little nuggets. Except now instead of mac and cheese that he lived off of for a year straight (which he now deems "yuck"), he will only eat plain buttered noodles. Go figure! And he chugs milk like it's going out of style!

The only protein he eats is beans (only charro beans from our fave mexican rest. I've been trying to avoid) and occasionally a bite or two of grilled chicken. So I'm in the same boat you are!

I don't worry about it too much, though - he seems healthy enough, right? I did buy a few flavors of the clif zbars, but he quickly decided they were "yuck".

I really do believe he'll grow out of it. A year ago he wouldn't eat chicken, so I figure 2 bites is progress, right?

Susie said...

Thank you so much for the support, encouragement and suggestion for others to drop by and lend support. You are such a good person. Thank you.I am caught up to today (8/6) in your blog. Your vacay sounds WONDERFUL. I am very impressed with your will power and control and ZERO McD's trips! I will keep reading & catch up with you. I think it's great that you will be able to work pt. My son is SUPER picky too..and I think this is a great topic to explore. Let's figure it out. I have been thinking about snaking some protien into the mac and cheese, buttered noodles ,yogurt and cheese pizza that he lives on. I am going to try some of the things people wrote about here. :) ((hugs))