Your child needs proper nutrition that includes vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates for their growth and development. Children require protein in their daily diet for mental and physical development. Thus it is very important to have a balanced diet for your child and includes protein. Protein is the most important macro nutrients needed for growth, development, and sustenance. It is made up of amino acids, which are of two types –
1) Essential amino acids
Non-essential amino acids are produced by our body and do not require to be obtained from food.
2) Non-essential amino acids
Essential amino acids are termed as essential as the body cannot produce them so have to be obtained through diet.
Thus we need to give our children foods rich in protein.
How much protein do children need?
Here is the daily requirement of protein for a child at different ages:
- 0 to 12 months of age: 9.1 grams of protein every day
- 1 to 3 years of age: 13 grams of protein every day
- 4 to 8 years of age: 19 grams of protein every day
- 9 to 13 years of age: 34 grams of protein every day
Benefits of protein for your child
Protein is one of the most important nutrients required during the growth years of the child. You should know and learn about the foods rich in protein and thereby keep a tab on the protein intake of the kid and ensure that the necessary amount of protein is received by the child daily. Here are some benefits of protein –
1) Built muscles
Proteins are the building blocks for the development of the musculature of your child. Proteins thus help in building muscles of the body and are necessary to be taken during the growth and development of the child.
2) Grow new cells
Proteins aids in the growth of new cells in the body. It helps in the regeneration of tissue, blood replenishment, heals wounds and also regulates the growth of hair and nails.
3) Boost metabolism
Enzymes and hormones in our body are made up of protein and these hormones and enzymes boost the metabolism of your child.
4) Strengthens immunity
Proteins act as antibodies and help in fighting against bacterial and viral infection thus supports the immune system of your child.
5) Good for blood
Proteins help in the production of haemoglobin which is an important component of blood. Haemoglobin helps in carrying oxygen to all parts of the body.
6) Proteins are Calorie mines
Carbohydrates are used to produce energy by the body. Proteins can be used by the body to get calories and provide energy in case of shortage of carbohydrate in the body.
These were some of the benefits of protein for kids.
Now here is a list of foods rich in protein that you should include in the diet for your child.
Foods rich in protein
1) Dairy products
These include milk, milk products, cheese, butter, curd, yogurt and cottage cheese. These are a rich source of protein and are easily available.
Eggs are a good source of protein and can be given to your child. A hard-boiled egg or omelette for breakfast is good for your kid to start a day.
Lean meat items such as skinless chicken are rich in protein. Prepare tasty chicken curry or a chicken starter that will provide ample protein nourishment and good taste to your child.
4) Plant-based proteins
These are good for those who are strictly vegetarian. Plant-based proteins include peanut butter, soy milk, tofu, nuts, legumes, soy yogurt and seeds. You can prepare different tasty items of these foods and can serve them to your child.