Is your child getting enough protein? Protein is often overlooked in a child’s diet especially when fruits and veggies are so vital. However, it’s important to not leave protein out of any daily meal. Toddlers need protein just as much as they need carbohydrates for energy. Not only does it give them more energy (and can also prevent meltdowns when his or her blood sugar drops), but protein also helps children build strong bones, muscles, and tissues as well as help the body fight infections. Below is a list of great protein options for your child to enjoy on a daily basis – We recommend changing up what your child eats as much as possible to keep it interesting and keep their taste buds dancing!
A protein-packed smoothie. You can easily add a nut butter to the smoothie. If your child is allergic to nuts, you can easily add a sun butter or 3 delicious Tablespoons of raw hemp seeds for a creamy and enjoyable flavor.
Eggs. Scrambled, egg-whites only, over-medium, poached, boiled, in a skillet. There are so many ways to enjoy eggs that you can keep this food interesting and different every day of the week!
Whole-grain or gluten-free waffles/toast with almond butter, peanut butter, or sunflower seed butter. Who doesn’t love one of these options? Yum. Add fruit to the dish to make it more colorful and exciting!
Yogurt (regular or dairy-free). You can also add oats, quinoa, or granola to this and fruit as well!
A lean meat or tuna and cheese sandwich. You can experiment with a variety of sandwiches and lean meats and fish to see what your child likes best. Limit certain fish like tuna to no more than twice a week when they are little.
Hummus with veggies or pita to dip. Simple and so yummy.
Ground turkey tacos. These can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner!
Baked or sautéed salmon (anyway your child likes it) with veggies and quinoa. There is so much good protein in a meal like this!
Chili (vegetarian or with meat). The beans alone in the chili are a great source of protein. Add lean ground beef, turkey, or chicken and get a double dose of great protein.
Any of these meals would be great as a snack during the day too. Spinach and leafy greens are another great source of protein for your child. Remember to keep things interesting and you will definitely help your child find things he or she enjoys eating on a daily basis.