Protein-Rich Foods for Kids: What you Need to Know.

We know, kinda out of pure intuition, that children need a balanced diet to achieve their growth and development milestones. Yet, as parents, we need to understand certain basic concepts about nutrition and provide our children with a sustainable diet model that helps them develop healthily.

All three macronutrients are important for child development, and protein is no exception to that (and maybe it is even the most important one). Protein is used to build muscle mass. Therefore, including high-quality protein sources in our children’s meal plan is a no-brainer.

So, how can we include protein-rich foods for kids in the daily home routine?

Which are the best sources?

Are there any specific recommendations depending on the age group?

Spimbey does some of the research for you to bring you answers. Let us dive right into them!

What can be considered “great” sources of protein?

So, when it comes to protein intake, certain foods are “better” than others in providing those nutrients our body needs and absorbs from protein. But, what makes them better?

Let us see: there are several classifications for the types of protein that exist, and one of those categories is their essential amino acid content.

You have two types of protein in this particular category:

  • Of high biological value: they contain the 9 essential amino acids and are found in foods of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs, milk).

  • Of low biological value: they lack some essential amino acids and are found in foods of vegetable origin like legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans), cereals (rice, pasta), nuts (walnuts, almonds, peanuts, etc).

According to that classification, the best sources of protein are the ones that contain all essential amino acids on their composition chain. These foods will provide all the nutrients our children’s bodies are craving in those early stages of development.

Now, does this mean that vegetarian or vegan children cannot develop properly? Of course not. According to the latest news from the nutritional field, what matters the most is the overall child’s diet and the right combination of foods.

For example, a balanced meal on a vegetarian or plant-based diet would include different legumes and cereals that, combined, provide all the essential amino acids. Maintaining that consistency in our children’s diet can be challenging but not impossible.

Knowing this information will allow you to include the best protein options in your children’s diet and serve protein-rich food every single meal!

What about the amount of protein?

To be protein deficient is very rare since we do not need that much protein daily to live a healthy lifestyle. Of course, protein needs will always depend on the child’s weight and age group, but the general recommendation is to ingest 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.

As for the timing, nutritional experts agreed that several meals per day are a better approach, especially to avoid constant glucose spikes in the blood. So, if your child needs, let us say, 30 grams of protein per day, the best way to approach that is to serve 3-4 meals with a little bit of protein in each one of them.

You must count the protein in food sources like pasta or oatmeal on the counter of daily protein consumption since the body will synthesize that protein as well. Reaching the daily protein requirements should not be a problem once you have the information about the best sources of protein.

High protein foods are a thing of pure calculation.

You can consult uncle Google every time you have questions about the amount of protein in certain foods.

How to approach the matter?

Some children are more resistant than others when it comes to eating certain foods. We want our children to develop healthy eating habits, so exposing them to different types of foods is important and letting them eat intuitively.

We tend to tag or name food, giving it some sort of moral value. That is why we force our children to eat the greens before dessert or call a food clean versus a dirty one. Indeed, chicken or meat may not be as attractive to our children as a piece of cake, but the truth is that there are ways around the picky eater business.

High-protein pancakes, waffles, or homemade chicken nuggets are a thing, and they are wonderful options for children who resist eating the more traditional presentations of rich-protein foods for kids.

Greek yogurt ice cream, scrambling eggs, and protein ice cream are among the many kid-friendly paths you can take.

Some Spimbey insights.

To live a healthy lifestyle is to eat a balanced diet and do some physical activity on a daily basis. Children need protein-rich foods to grow and achieve all the great things they can. However, it is important to highlight that other macronutrients such as carbohydrates (which provide energy) and fats (which support the absorption of certain vitamins) are also part of a healthy meal plan.

And there should always be room for fun and delicious treats. Taking this approach will expose our children to a much healthy relationship with food nurtured by the home environment.

Nutrient-dense foods and physical activity: the key to a healthy childhood.

And when it comes to moving around and sweating, Spimbey has also a thing or two to say about it. Our modular outdoor playgrounds will provide you with a tool that your children can use to get those key minutes of free play and physical activity each day.

Remember: there is no such thing as just playing. While swinging on one of our Spimbey, your children will learn and acquire essential skills.

Explore our webshop and find the perfect match that you didn’t even know your garden needs it.

Spimbey is lovely times with those who carry the future with them.

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