Protein is found in the following foods: meat, poultry, fish, legumes, tofu, eggs, nuts, seeds, milk products, grains, and some vegetables and fruit. Protein is made up of amino acids (building blocks for our body).
Like most, my children are picky eaters and a lot of the time may not be getting enough amino acids in their diet. To help this in my household, we supplement our children with whey protein. Protein shakes are a regular staple drink/food for my entire family. Not only do we add whey protein to our shakes, it also gets sprinkled or stirred in our oatmeal, pancakes, yogurt, applesauce, smoothies, and even mashed potatoes.
Our kidneys and livers help in protein filtration and waste removal, so too much protein could harm your child’s kidneys and liver over a period of time. That’s why it’s important to know a child’s recommended daily intake. To help you out, here is a daily recommended protein allowance chart (taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Children ages 1-3: 13 grams
Children ages 4-8: 19 grams
Children ages 9-13: 34 grams
Girls ages 14-18: 46 grams
Boys ages 14-18: 52 grams
Whey protein comes from cow’s milk so if your child is lactose intolerant, you may want to consider a soy protein powder.
Remember, although whey protein is a great way to supplement your children’s diet, it shouldn’t be used as a complete replacement. Protein derived from food is the best you can give your children. As always, consult your doctor before adding whey protein to your child’s diet.