Protein for kids: high protein meal and snack ideas for kids
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 picky selective eater.
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 your 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 daily.
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.
Founder of First Step Nutrition | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Jen believes raising happy, well-nourished eaters who have a healthy relationship with food doesn't have to be a battle! She is an author and speaker with 18 years of experience specializing in family nutrition and helps parents teach their kids to try new foods without yelling, tricking, or bribing.