Healthy Protein Sources for Kids
By: Frances Largeman-Roth, RD
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.
This chicken burger is a winner with the whole family. Cook the patties and then let your kids assemble their own burgers. Each one has 29 grams of protein. You can also make them slider size for a fun twist. They go great with our Sweet Potato Shoe String Fries.
Kids will love the tangy apricots and crunchy pistachios in this quinoa salad, which serves up 10 grams of protein and nearly 11 grams of fiber per serving. Because the grains are so small, they can be tough for little hands to pick up. Try wrapping this salad up in a small whole-grain tortilla or filling mini pitas with it.
Our edamame dip serves up 4 grams of protein per 3 tablespoons and encourages your child to eat their veggies. Offer up a colorful assortment of bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, sliced jicama, sugar snap peas, and carrots, and watch them disappear!
This recipe for fish sticks serves up about 18 grams of protein per 3 fish sticks, which is the perfect serving size for kids.
Mini frittatas are easy for parents to make and for kids to pick up and eat. Win-win! This recipe uses a mini muffin pan. The frittatas can be made in advance and reheated before serving. They are perfect for lunches too! Each bite-sized frittata has 4.4 grams of protein.
Our Greek yogurt recipe delivers about 12 grams of protein and 131 mg of bone-building calcium.