In this post we are going to discuss the importance of protein and ways to get it in a diet, if your child dislikes meat; the best source.
The importance of protein in children.
I’m pretty sure everybody knows we need protein to sustain and build muscle tissue. But does it do more in younger developing bodies? Yes it does. It helps in the process of building and repairing cells. It also helps with enzymes, hormones, and that much-needed energy to explore and learn.
We first started researching this when our own daughter started disliking meat and we got concerned over the importance of protein in children. We didn’t know everything protein did or how much she needed to nourish the body and keep her healthy.
So we searched and read and cross-referenced. Looking up everyone’s claim just to see if there was someone else out there who shared their point of view with documentation from different sources. We want to share what we discovered hoping to educate and eliminate the need for anyone else to go through this.
Protein guidelines for children.
Above is a table we found in health.gov. 2015-2020 protein guidelines for typical children. Now, we know not all children are in the typical range so we dug a little deeper and found a formula you can use for a non-typical child.
First weigh your child then divide by 2.2. This will give you their weight in kilograms. Next you want to multiply kilograms X .8. This works for all children that are in general good health. If, this doesn’t describe your child then seek dietary advice from a doctor.
Now that we got the protein guidelines for children out of the way, let us start focusing on where we can find good healthy protein.
Peanut Butter, the benefits.
Whether you prefer crunchy or creamy peanut butter, both are healthy for you. Crunchy peanut butter has less saturated fat and 2% more fiber where creamy peanut butter, the benefits we are discussing in this topic has more protein.
As for myself, I prefer the crunchy. The majority of our household prefers creamy. While I was doing the research for peanut butter, the benefits, I found a lot of polls and surveys that concluded with men typically wanting crunchy and women wanting creamy. And with a 4-2 ratio that explains why we typically purchase creamy.
Either way your child prefers, they are still getting a good serving of fiber, potassium, and protein each time they eat a peanut butter sandwich with a glass of milk and some sliced carrots and celery.
Protein in a cereal bowl.
Awe breakfast. My favorite food I can enjoy any time of the day. But morning is the most important I always heard. But hey, what child does not like a bowl of cereal for a snack. I was surprised when I realized the amount of protein in a cereal bowl.
Take Life cereal for instance. When, you add 1/2 cup whole milk to it along with 1 cup in a glass to drink that is 15 grams of protein in a cereal bowl. Add 2 slices of whole wheat toast for your older children and that makes 19 grams total. Over half the daily recommended amount for a 9 – 13 year old child.
Cereal makers are feeling the pressure for a healthier product and they have given parents quite the selection. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed in the cereal aisle. How do you decide, especially if you are on a tight schedule or budget. Read the labels. Watch for sugar and sodium. I typically look for the box front that says grain. I just prefer it over a corn cereal.
Protein in a nut shell.
Bottom line folks. Do not get to worked up if your child does not want to eat meat. Feed them a balance of fruit, vegetables, eggs and dairy along with their grain and they will meet their daily requirements. And that friends is protein in a nut shell.