With winter hibernation over and lively spring upon us, many parents worry that their busy little bees aren’t getting enough protein to sustain all of that buzzing about! Use this helpful tip for calculating your child’s necessary protein intake from our friends at Cooking Light and choose one of their protein packed recipes for the whole family to enjoy!
How much protein?!
Our bodies need protein for muscle growth and repair, but just how much do our bodies need? Well, 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
Protein Packed Recipes
Let ‘Em Get Sloppy
Little ones like hand-held foods, and a sloppy joe is always popular. It’s also a great opportunity to add in vegetables, like carrots, as in this sloppy joe recipe, which is made with lean ground beef. Each serving provides 23 grams of protein, 111mg of calcium, and 4mg of iron. Click here for the recipe.
Main dishes aren’t the only way for kids to get protein. After school snacks are a great opportunity too.
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! Click here for the recipe.
Fish Sticks the Healthy Way
Most kids are not fans of protein with fins, but they’re generally open to fish sticks, which are easy for even 1-year-olds to eat. Most adults know they should be getting more fish in their diets, but they forget it’s important for the whole family. Not only is seafood a lean source of protein that is great for heart health, the omega-3 fats found in fish are essential for a child’s developing brain. Click here for the recipe.
This recipe for fish sticks serves up about 18 grams of protein per 3 fish sticks, which is the perfect serving size for kids.
Don’t Forget About Breakfast
Not only is breakfast the most important meal of the day, it’s a great opportunity to get kid-friendly protein on the table.
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. Click here for the recipe.
The Creative Kitchen™, LLC, teaches children about food and how to cook in a fun, safe, and educational manner. Targeting families with children ages two to teen, the company focuses on teaching, writing creative content and curriculum, special events, recipe development, spokesperson work, webisode production and consulting to present educational and entertaining content through food-related activities. The founder, Cricket Azima, is an expert in cooking for and with children. She inspires kids to express themselves creatively through food and cooking, while complementing lessons with traditional educational material such as social studies, math, arts, science, and more. Visit www.thecreativekitchen.com for more information.