A balanced diet is important for everyone, be it adults or kids. Every human requires certain nutrients in a regulated amount that can only be achieved through a balanced diet. For kids, it helps in their optimal growth and development. Protein is one of those nutrients that allows their bones and muscles to grow properly. Even though there are many sources of protein, many children do not consume them. It is a parent’s responsibility to make their kids eat high-quality protein to strengthen their immune system and boost their physical health.
Why is protein important?
This nutrient is the building block of the human body. It performs several crucial bodily functions including building muscle mass, generating and repairing cells, transporting molecules around the body, etc. Here are some of the potential reasons why protein is essential:
- Builds muscles
- Increases energy levels
- Aids faster healing of wounds and injuries
- Optimises growth and development of the human body
How much protein do kids need?
Protein requirements of kids vary as they age. It is also different for boys and girls, and their activity levels. Here is an average guide for your reference:
- One to three years- 13 grams
- Four to eight years- 19-20 grams
- Nine to 13 years- 35 grams
Parents need to ensure that their child gets sufficient protein through their daily diet. In some cases, kids don’t consume protein willingly. For such picky eaters, parents need to find some recipe ideas to trick them into eating protein without them noticing.
5 Protein-Rich Foods For Kids
Yoghurt is one of the richest sources of protein and kids of all ages can be fed yoghurt. Homemade yoghurt is great but you can also give Greek yoghurt to your kid as it has more protein.
NOTE- If your kid doesn’t like eating plain yoghurt, you can mix fruit puree and pieces in it to make flavoured yoghurt. Alternatively, you can also add cereals to make a wholesome breakfast bowl.
Tofu, made with soy milk, is the ultimate protein source for vegetarians. This does taste bland and kids aren’t appreciative of it but you can always tweak the taste. You can mix some herbs to mashed tofu and make stuffing for parathas or sandwiches. Your kid is going to love it if you add their favourite condiments to it.
Eggs and chicken
You can fulfil the daily requirement of protein for your child by giving them one to two eggs a day, depending on their age or as advised by their paediatrician. Give boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, omelette, or whatever your child likes. You can also make egg salad with veggies.
If you are non-vegetarians, you can feed fish to your children. Fishes like cod, salmon, mackerel, and trout are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Yes, peanut butter is also rich in protein. However, you should give only a regulated amount of peanut butter to your child as it is also high in fats and sugar. One teaspoon of peanut butter a day is sufficient.
Image credits- freepik