Protein for Kids

Protein for Kids

Disclosure: I am happy to bring you this sponsored post today, thanks to Alberta Milk. All thoughts are my own.

Are you worried that your child doesn’t get enough protein? If you’re the parent of a young child, this is a common concern. Especially if you have a selective eater with a small appetite (which is most toddlers & preschoolers!).

In this blog, I’ll discuss why your child needs protein, how much they need, where to get it and share a protein-rich breakfast recipe.

Why is protein important?

Protein is the building block of the entire body. Muscles, organs and the immune system all need protein.

It also helps to keep us feeling full, so it’s good to offer protein at each meal and snack.

How much protein does my child need?

To figure out how much protein your child needs, take their weight in pounds and divide by two. For example, a 40 pound child needs about 20 grams of protein per day.

For children of average weight, this works out to about 13 grams of protein per day for 1-3 year olds. And 19 grams per day for a 4-8 year old.

What does this look like in terms of food and meal choices? Read on:

Amount of Protein in Foods

Beef, 1 oz (1/3 of the size of a deck of cards) = 7g

Chicken, 1 oz = 9g

Eggs, 1 = 6g

Cooked Lentils, 1/4 cup = 4.5g

Hemp hearts, 1 Tbsp = 3g

Peanut butter, 2 Tbsp = 7g

Cow’s Milk, 1 cup = 8g

Cottage Cheese, 1/2 cup = 11.5g

Greek Yogurt, 70g (1 individual  container) = 17g

Cheese, 30g/1oz = 7g

Example Day of Food


I’ve broken down a sample day of 3 meals and 2 snacks for a young child, with estimates of protein.

If your kiddo ate all of this food, he’d be getting over 50g of protein. If he chooses to eat half, he’d get 25g. Which is still more than adequate for an up to 8 year old!

As you can see, protein in not all that hard to find. If your child drinks 2 cups of milk, then they’re getting 16g of protein right there. Which more than meets the requirements for a 1-3 year old.

Protein Power Pancakes


So while your little one is likely getting enough protein, there are still benefits of offering it at each meal.  This ensures your child gets the minerals that come along with high protein foods. For example beyond protein, meat also contains zinc and iron. And dairy contains magnesium, calcium, Vitamin A and potassium.

Protein is also great to offer at each meal to keep your child satisfied for longer. If you’re looking for protein-rich recipes, head over to the Alberta Milk website.

I found these Protein Power Pancakes on the Alberta Milk website here. Each pancake contains 9g of protein, and they are whole grain. One batch lasted us for 4 breakfasts, with the leftovers quickly popped in the toaster to warm in the morning!

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