Protein is important for everyone's diet. This is especially true for growing children. All to often children's eating patterns are limited and are primarily composed of sweets, such as fruits, and carbs like crackers, breads and cereals. Protein is an important nutrients that helps build muscles and provides energy for active children. Protein digests slower than other foods creating a sustained energy. At every meal try to balance a protein through the many vegetarian or non vegetarian options. For more info of meal patterns check out MY PLATE
Protein is a key player in healthy growing because:
Provides lasting energy
Essential in growth, maintenance and repair of all cells
Forms hormones and enzymes needed to regulate body transport of nutrients and oxygen in the blood
Helps maintain healthy bones, strong nails, healthy skin and hair
Helps fight infection and disease
There are many great food sources of protein.
Animal protein sources, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy, are similar to the protein found in your body. These are considered to be complete sources of protein because they contain all of the essential amino acids that your body needs to function effectively.
Other good sources are nuts, seeds, and dry peas and beans. These are also less expensive making low cost protein sources available for everyone.
Vegetables and grains contain smaller amounts of protein, but the amount can be significant if they are combined. Fruits contain very little or no protein.
Kid Friendly High Protein recipes
5 hardboiled eggs
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoon of fresh dill
1 carrots shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
Peeled and chopped/mash eggs in bowl. Add carrots and dill and mix in. Add olive oil and seasoning to taste. Serve with celery sticks or on crackers.
12 ounces’ skinless boneless salmon (sold in 6 oz cans or packets)
1⁄2 medium onion, chopped
1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs, seasoned or 1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs, plain
1⁄4 cup chopped parsley (optional)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper
Sauté onions in 1 TBS olive oil until cooked through but not brown. Drain liquid from the salmon.
Combine salmon, sautéed onion, breadcrumbs (parsley if you use plain breadcrumbs), eggs, salt, and pepper. Form mixture into patties. Melt butter and oil in a pan. Brown salmon patties on both sides (about 4-5 minutes per side). Place cooked patties on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Attached are wonderful resources to print up or send out to families you serve!
Protein tips for families in English
Protein tips for families in Spanish