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Are Vegetarian Kids Getting Enough Protein?

Did you know that your child is losing 8 major nutrients if you follow a vegetarian diet? And, the most important among them is protein. The health benefits of a diet rich in protein can’t be overstated. It plays crucial role in physical and mental development, especially for growing kids.

Importance of Protein

Proteins are the building-blocks of our body. All our cells are made up of proteins. Not just cells, it is crucial for the healthy development of our immune system, respiratory system, heart and other organs. And, the right protein intake is particularly important in childhood, when our body and brain are developing rapidly.

The numerous functions of proteins include formation of skin and other organs, ensuring that all body parts receive sufficient oxygen, repairing defective tissues, making enzymes and hormones, development of bone marrow, making genetic material and more. This is why it is important to follow an appropriate food chart for kids that includes sufficient amounts of protein.

Experts recommend that infants aged 0-6 months need at least 0.69 grams of protein per pound of their body mass every day. Mother’s milk and milk formula for infants is sufficient to fulfil this protein requirements. Kids aged 1-3 years need about 0.48 grams per pound of their body mass. You can try a variety of food rich in protein such as milk, cheese, nuts, beans, etc.

Sources of Protein

Animal-rich sources of protein like milk, dairy products, fish, eggs, meat, etc., can provide your kid vital nutrients, such as calcium, protein, iron, vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids which cannot be found in plant-rich protein sources, says an article on Foodinsightorg.com. Moreover, animal proteins can also be absorbed more easily by our body.

However, there are a lot of vegetarian sources rich in protein such as pulses, sprouts, beans, soya, nuts, tofu, quinoa and dry fruits. Green leafy vegetables, such as drumstick leaves, spinach, black nightshade and curry leaves are also rich in proteins. Cereals like whole wheat, rice and oats also contain good amounts of protein in them.

You can also try making sweet delicacies with soya and almond milk for your kid. Even a picky eater won’t say no to a delicious smoothie. You can add flavour to your child’s milk by adding a fortified milk powder, such as Enfagrow A+, rich in DHA, important for both physical and cognitive development in your child.

The best way to ensure that your kid is getting adequate nutrients is to get creative with the food you serve. You can try adding nuts, bananas, berries, dry fruits, such as raisins and almonds, to their morning cereal, says an article on WebMD. This will help them get a healthy and delicious diet.

In addition, it is important that you consult a paediatrician and get a food chart made for your growing kid.

Post Author: Fathiyya Al Shaikh

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