5 Simple Ways to add Protein to your Child’s Diet

I don't know about you, but I find it a struggle to get my boys to eat meat. Fortunately, I've found the following five easy to add products to their meals to pick up the slack without much stress on my part. 

Even if your child isn't eating meat, they are likely still getting their daily fix already through alternative options like these below. Many foods contain protein, but the best sources are beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, milk, nuts, seeds, and legumes like black beans and lentils.

Why does protein matter? Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. 

RD Mitzi Dulan says protein is important to a child’s diet to help them grow, build muscle and keep their immune system strong.

Kids require approximately 1-1.5 grams of protein for every TWO pounds of body weight. Thus, a 40-lb child needs approximately 18 grams of protein per day! 

5 Simple Ways to add Protein to Your Child's Diet5 Easy Ways to add Protein to your Child’s Diet

Mini Babybel Cheese

Perfect for on-the-go, adding to a lunch box or as a mid-day snack. Mild, creamy and delicious, Original Mini Babybel snacks are 100% real cheese. It's also a good source of calcium and protein (5g). If you have a picky cheese eater, try pairing it with crackers or pretzels. Bonus, my boys think it's really fun to peel the outer wax layer, so go ahead and let them unwrap it. I'll often give them a Mini Babybel when they get home from school or while they are watching TV and waiting for dinner to be ready. Plus, mommy likes snacking on these as well!

GoGo squeeZ YogurtZ 

My boys already like their applesauce pouches, but now the 100% natural brand offers the goodness of real yogurt and fruit on the go – no refrigeration needed! Even better? YogurtZ has no preservatives, 4g of protein and is a good source of calcium and vitamin D in each shelf-stable pouch. Plus, gluten and nut free too. So far, my boys have liked all four flavors from Banana to Berry.

GoGo squeeZ YogurtZ

Yummy Spoonfuls Nuggets 

These frozen organic Chicken Broccoli Bites are packed with 17g of protein and great for a quick lunch or dinner item for the under 5 set - with just like homemade ingredients. Simply defrost, warm and serve. Also, use them to create mini chicken-burgers, or add to pasta sauce and salads. A healthy finger food for early eaters too. Available at Target.

Yummy Spoonfuls Chicken Broccoli Bites

Peanut Butter Energy Balls 

Typically, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter equal 8 grams of protein, so slather it on bananas, bread, wherever you can. We use Skippy's Natural Peanut Butter.

Also, PB is a key ingredient in these easy, no-bake energy balls, which I've been on a huge kick making for my boys. Each week, I've tried different flavors and cereals to mix in. My boys now wake-up in the morning and help themselves to these in the freezer.

They are super easy to whip up, believe me, I'm not much of a baker. Although mine may not look as nicely rounded as the ones in the Pinterest recipe below, they still taste good. Plus, oats add even more health benefits. Ben even enjoys making them with me... sometimes.

Peanut Butter, No-Bake Energy Balls for Kids to add Protein to their Diets
Peanut Butter, No-Bake Energy Balls


Healthy Protein Drinks

You can try incorporating protein into your kid’s school lunch or as an after-school snack. RD Mitzi recommends new Juicy Juice + Protein, one of the first juice-protein blends on the market for kids. They have 5 grams of whey protein per pouch and your kid will not detect the difference ;)

I also just discovered fizzique sparkling protein water and my son Ben loves it. Bursting with flavor and protein, no sugar and 20g of whey protein per can. Great for mommy and daddy before or after an exercise too and to keep you feeling full between meals.

Healthy Height is a clinically studied, pediatrician-developed shake mix that contains the nutrients kids need to grow. It’s great for picky eaters, kids in need of a protein boost, those behind on the growth curve, or for everyday use in smoothies and recipes. 

This shake mix can be used in a variety of ways from a simple mix + milk blender bottle shake all the way to adding into baked goods and dinner entrees that may otherwise be lacking in protein. Healthy Height has 12g of high-quality whey protein and only 3g of added sugar in Chocolate and Vanilla and 0g of added sugar in Plain. 

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