Introducing Protein To Your Toddler
Luke Coutinho

Puneet Kaur
27 May 2020

This article is authored by Puneet Kaur. .

Protein is the body’s principal building block. It is essential to build, maintain as well as repair the cells and tissues in our body. It assists to form muscle, produce hormones, strengthen bones as well as transport nutrients. Parents must make sure that your kid eats a healthy and balanced diet. It is crucial to have a protein-rich diet for your child's growth and development.

Benefits of a protein-rich diet

  • Protein aids the formation of cells
  • Protects the tissues in the body
  • Enhances the immune system
  • Promotes healthy metabolism
  • Produce haemoglobin
  • Provides energy

Daily protein needs for Kids

Protein requirement depends on the kid's weight and age. They need approximately 1-1.5 grams of protein for every two pounds of their body weight. To be more specific it is 1 gram of protein per kilogram. Here is the recommended amount of daily protein requirement for kids. Toddlers, that are from 1 to 3 years, require 13 grams. Kids between the age of 4 to 8 years, 19 grams. Children of age 9 to 13 years need 34 grams. Girls of 14 years to 18 years should have 46 grams whereas boys of the same age need 52 grams of daily protein.

Ways to help your child to have a protein-rich diet

Instead of serving 3 large meals to your child, serve them smaller main meals and snacks all through the day. Try to include the following for your child to have a protein-rich diet. These sources also provide essential nutrients like vitamin E, B complex, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc.

  • Meat/ poultry/ fish.
  • Eggs, in any form, can be boiled/ scrambled/ omelette.
  • A handful of nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios, peanuts and walnuts form a great evening snack.
  • Milk is an easy source of protein that has all the nine essential amino acids along with other vital nutrients.
  • Paneer (cottage cheese), as well as tofu, are other good sources that include all nine essential amino acids.
  • Do give your children their daily bowl of curd.
  • Add a bowl of peas to whatever food they love to eat.
  • Add legumes and beans like rajma, chole, soya, lobia and dals every day so that your child can have a protein-rich diet. Try the Organic Dals from Tata Sampann as they are produced organically, thus retaining their natural taste and nutritional value, helping you to include the right nutrients in your child’s diet.

Always stick with healthy food options as you give protein rich-diet to your child. Combine the legumes and beans with either rice or roti to ensure that all of the essential amino acids required for growth and development are present in your kid’s diet.

While the absence of protein in the diet may lead to weakness, inability to focus and lack of concentration in children, eating surplus protein can make the kidneys work harder. Furthermore, excessive protein leads to water loss and thus dehydration. Hence, make sure that your children stay hydrated throughout the day along with providing just that right amount of protein in their diet.

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