For growing kids, who go to school for at least seven hours, or may have tuitions, or are indulged in a plethora of activities like sports, music, dancing or swimming, it is necessary to give them essential nutrients which will support their active lifestyle, aspirations & will make them feel healthy. Protein is one of the most important micronutrient which is beneficial for the growth of a child. It is the building block of a child's muscles, skin, enzymes, and hormones. Amino acids available in the protein-rich food items help in the development of muscles, bones, skin and various organs of the body.
If a child is growing slowly as compared to their age, there are chances that he or she might not be getting ample amount of protein and nutrients needed for a healthy growth and if they don't get enough proteins during their growing age, they become prone to various health issues.
Unfortunately, 68 percent of Indians, including children, are protein deficient. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of the parents to be aware of the daily protein requirement of their child.
Proteins are made up of other building blocks called amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids that human body needs, out of which 9 falls under the 'essential category', which a human body is not capable of making and thus it needs to be consumed in the form of various food items.
The essential amino acids contribute to the mental and physical health of your child. They help in building, maintaining and repairing of tissues in the muscles, skin, organs, blood, hair and nails.
Therefore, consuming the right amount of protein-rich food be it, plant-based protein or animal-based, is essential for a healthy & nutritious diet especially for children.
- Proteins present in various food items are used by the human body to create specialized protein molecules that help in the production of hemoglobin (Hb), an important component of the blood that helps to carry oxygen to all parts of the body.
- Lack of protein may lead to symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, apathy, and poor immunity, resulting in the child falling sick regularly. Therefore, consuming the right amount of protein daily improves the immune system and lets the body function properly.
- It helps promotes healthy metabolism. Proteins, in the form of hormones and enzymes, present in the human body promote metabolism and keeps the body in a healthy shape and at the same time helps in the generation and regeneration of cells in the body.
The amount of protein intake depends on the child's age and weight. According to the dietary guidelines penned down by various nutritionists, it is suggested that children 1-3 years of age should consume 13 g of protein per day. Similarly, children 4-8 years and 9-13 years of age should consume 19 g and 34 g of protein per day. However, the need for protein intake decreases from approximately 1.1 g/kg in early childhood to 0.95 g/kg in late childhood.
Moreover, consuming more than the required amount of protein would store the fats in the body. A study published in 2013 under the Food and Nutrition Research found that too much protein early in life, specifically in the first two years, is associated with an increased risk of being overweight later in life.
Hence, it is important for parents to get familiar with the daily protein recommendations for your child's age. Foods like milk and other milk products such as yogurt, curd etc. eggs, peanut butter, soymilk, tofu, nuts, legumes etc. will provide ample protein nourishment to your kid
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