Although my daughter likes nothing better than a juicy steak for dinner these days, there was a time when she had zero interest in eating meat. As a new mom, I used to worry that she wasn't consuming enough protein by not eating beef or chicken. Now, though, I know that there are many non-meat sources of protein that can nourish growing bodies, and that many of them contain even more vital nutrients than a steak can ever offer.

1. Nuts and Nut Butters

Peanut butter is, of course, the most popular of the bunch, but don't be afraid to branch out and try almond, cashew, or sunflower seed butter as a source of protein for your little one. Smear a few tablespoons on a slice of whole grain bread for a simple meal or snack, or try one of these 50 Healthier Peanut Butter Recipes You've Never Tried Before.

2. Eggs

From scrambled to poached to hard-boiled, eggs are one of the most versatile foods in your fridge. They are a good source of complete protein, and can be added to everything from frittatas and omelets to soups and even sandwiches.

3. Quinoa

Quinoa provides 8 grams of protein per 1 cup serving, but what it doesn't have is the heartier flavor and chewier texture that sometimes turns kids off of healthier whole grains. And since quinoa resembles pasta in both taste and color, it can easily be served as a side dish or substituted in their favorite kid-friendly foods.

4. Green Vegetables

We don't often think of vegetables when we think of protein sources, but we should. A cup of cooked leafy greens (think spinach or collard) will yield 5 grams of protein, while a cup of cooked broccoli or brussel sprouts has 4. And don't forget the green peas; a single cup of cooked peas has over 8 grams of protein — yet another reason why we need to teach our kids about the importance of eating their veggies.

5. Chickpeas

Legumes like black beans and kidney beans are all excellent sources of protein, and chickpeas are no exception. Don't think your kids will eat chickpeas? Try serving these Roasted Honey Cinnamon Chickpeas and see what they say. Or since little ones love to dip, turn your chickpeas into a creamy hummus you can serve with pita chips and carrot sticks.

6. Ezekiel Bread

Whether you appreciate the Biblical background of this sprouted whole grain bread or not, you will appreciate the fact that it is a complete protein. If you're trying to add a source of high-quality protein to your child's diet, swap their favorite white bread for one of Ezekiel Bread's more nutritious varieties.

7. Dairy Foods

A glass of milk, a cup of yogurt or cottage cheese, or a few slices of cheese all have high levels of protein that can fuel busy little bodies. But if you still aren't convinced that your child is getting enough protein without consuming any meat, be sure to consult with your family doctor or pediatrician.