Protein makes up an important part of a child’s diet; however, not all protein sources are made the same. It is thus essential that, as a parent, you know the proteins that are healthy for your kids. Typically proteins are nutrients that are essential and are building blocks. They are responsible for making enzymes, blood, bones, and supporting our bodies to make new cells constantly. Proteins also offer the energy and fuel that the body needs to be active and move daily. When it comes to children, protein also helps their bodies grow. However, it is important to know the amount of proteins that kids needs and protein sources that are healthy.
What amount of protein is healthy for kids?
Kids typically require 20 to 35 grams of protein equivalent to about 3 to 5 ounces daily, depending on their weight, age, and gender. For rough estimation, a portion of meat the size of the palm is about 20 grams, and a tablespoonful of peanut butter is equivalent to 5 grams of protein. You can always discuss your child’s requirements with a dietitian or pediatrician.
What sources of proteins are healthy for kids?
With the increase in food delivery services, it is very easy to get any kids’ protein foods. Always avoid feeding your kid with fried and processed meat. Instead, opt for healthy protein foods for your kids, including lean meat, plant-based proteins, and seafood. There are always review sites such as ReviewsBird that you can check for reputable platforms that will deliver the appropriate protein-rich food for your kid.
- Vegetarian protein sources are among the proteins that are healthiest for kids. Some of the plant-based protein sources to include in your child’s diet are;
- Nut butter: Go for sugar-free peanut butter and other nut butter types.
- Beans: Mix beans in meals or provide hummus where you dip veggies
- Nut: Almonds, Peanuts, walnuts, and pistachio are great protein sources.
- Whole grain bread: Offer children whole-grain slices.
Sources of lean protein such such as turkey and chicken offer best kids protein. Always go for protein sources with low levels of saturated fats and reduce red meats such as beef. To make the lean meat even more healthy for kids;
- Take out the skin from the chicken.
- Sauté or bake the meat instead of frying.
- Make use of spice and herbs to season in place of butter and salt.
It is true that children may not always like seafood. They are, however, a great source of protein. You can give kids friendly seafood such as;
The soft texture of these fish is appealing to the taste buds of children. For children two years or older. Serve to your child at least 2-ounce of fish weekly
Are protein milkshakes appropriate for kids
Protein prevents muscles from wasting away during strenuous activity. For Kid athletes, protein shakes are a must. For children who are picky eaters, you can offer them delicious types of milkshakes. Typically to get the appropriate amount of protein to suit your child, calculate it based on the children’s gender, age, weight, height, and activity level. However, as a rule, proteins should account for only 15 to 20% of your total daily calories. Also, when given in large amounts, milkshakes can give a child a hard time filtering the excess protein.
What is the best age to have protein shakes for kids?
There are healthy homemade protein shakes for kids. For picky kids, the correct way is to offer protein shakes at breakfast. Children from the age of 5 to 9 years should take about 19 grams of protein daily. Kids 9 to 13 years should have a daily dose of 34 grams of proteins a day. Teenagers should have about 45 to 55 grams daily.
Which protein powders are best for kids?
There are three main protein powder categories
- Soy protein powder: This has great benefits; however, it should be avoided by children allergic to soy.
- Casein protein powder: This protein is hard to digest and should generally be avoided.
- Whey protein powder: This is one of the common protein powders for kids and contains all the essential amino acids for your child. It is very beneficial to kids when given in controlled quantities. You can get them from diet shops such as foodspring
In conclusion, while proteins are important when it comes to repairing the body and building muscles when it comes to kids, they should be served sparingly, and this guide offers how they should be served and the appropriate types to serve kids