Healthy Protein Sources for Kids

Go beyond chicken nuggets to find the best protein sources for your kids.
By: Frances Largeman-Roth, RD

How Much Protein Do Kids Need?
Photo: Oxmoor House

How Much Protein Do Kids Need?

We know that children need protein for muscle growth and repair, but just how much do they need? The requirements are based on weight and come from the Institute of Medicine. Here’s how they break down. The requirements are the same for girls and boys through age 13.

0-12 months: .45 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day

1 – 3 years: .4 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day

4-13 years: .35 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day

It’s easy to calculate: Just take your child’s weight in pounds and multiply by the appropriate number above to get the grams of protein they need per day. So if your 3-year-old preschooler weighs 30 pounds, that means she needs about 12 grams of protein each day. Very doable! Let’s take a look at some healthy ways to make sure your child is getting enough for their growing body.

 

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