If you think that protein is helpful only for building muscles, you are mistaken! Protein does a lot more than build strong muscles. It helps the human body to carry out several other functions, ranging from cellular activity to digestion. Hence, your child needs it in the right amounts on a daily basis. Here are a few questions related to why protein is super important for your child:
Q. How does protein affect the functioning of the human body?
Protein for kids is very important as it ensures that every cellular level activity is carried out smoothly. The haemoglobin in your baby’s blood cells is also a form of protein. Without this protein, the blood will not be able to transport oxygen to the different organs. Similarly, the enzymes in your baby’s saliva and digestive system are a type of protein. They help digest food and absorb the nutrients from them. Protein also acts as a source of energy, if your infant consumes inadequate amounts of cereals and carbohydrates.
Q. How is protein related to bone health?
One of the reasons why protein for kids is advised is because protein helps build stronger bones. If your infant does not get adequate protein, his bones may become weak and may not grow as per the normal growth rate. This may result in stunted height.
Q. How is protein intake associated with immunity?
Immunity is usually associated with vitamin intake but protein too plays a role in protecting your infant from the flu and other infections.
Q. What is the ideal protein intake for toddlers?
According to the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), the amount of protein for children between the age of 1 and 3 years should ideally be around 16-17 grams per day.
Q. What are some protein-rich food items for kids?
Protein-rich foods should be a part of your child’s breakfast, lunch and dinner. Milk and dairy products such as lassi, yogurt, cheese, peanut butter and paneer are good examples of protein-rich food for kids. You can also feed your toddler boiled sprouts.
When your child becomes a little older, you can give him protein-enriched food by adding milk powder or gram flour to chapatti dough and try feeding eggs and meat too. Chicken is usually the best meat to start with, as it is easy to digest and pleasing to a baby’s palate. Also, you should avoid feeding your child junk food as it has low protein content.
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