Protein is extremely important for all of us. We have heard about protein supplements and protein powders that people consume to increase their protein intake. But protein powder for kids? Does it help in the overall growth of a child? Come let’s learn more about this.
Do Kids Require Protein?
The answer is a big YES! Children and adults require a good quantity of protein on a daily basis for better health.
For kids, it is essential to give them a well-balanced diet, so that they get the required quantity of protein, carbs, and all other nutrients from their food itself. But, is it easy? Will your child eat all those healthy meals you dish out from your kitchen? Now the answer is a big NO!
What to do?
So, if the protein is so important, what can you do to ensure your child gets enough of it? The answer is not protein supplements. The answer here is a well-balanced diet. Consult a dietician if necessary and figure out what all foods you need to include in your child’s diet for a well-balanced meal. Next, come up with options and recipes to make your child accept these foods. Yes, it is very difficult, especially if your child is afussy eater, but it is doable.
Why Protein Powder for Kids?
Your next obvious question is, if kids need to be given foods rich in protein and not the protein powder for kids themselves, then why are companies marketing protein powder for kids?
As parents, we are aware of many health conditions various kids suffer from. One of those health conditions which is not largely discussed is protein deficiency. If a child is diagnosed with a protein deficiency or resistance to protein from natural foods, the doctor might prescribe some protein supplements for children to increase their protein intake.
Is Protein Powder Good for Kids?
So, when is protein powder good for kids? What about whey protein for kids?
Many children suffer from health issues like pediatric cancer and cystic fibrosis. These ailments cause a loss of appetite, thereby reducing their nutritional intake. These children will also require extra energy to cope up with all the treatments they are undergoing. In such a situation, the doctor might prescribe or suggest a protein drink or whey protein for the kid. These protein powders will ensure the child gets the required quantity of protein on a regular basis.
Whey Protein powder for kids is considered to be very healthy as it is derived from cow’s milk and is rich in amino acids. Whey protein is easy to digest and can promote muscle growth. However, over-consumption of this protein powder for kids can lead to fatigue, nausea, headaches, and other digestion-related issues.
Soy Protein is another protein powder for children sold in the market. This is considered to be suitable for those children who are allergic to animal milk or have lactose intolerance. Please note that excess consumption of soy protein can lead to Kawasaki disease.
Casein protein is also derived from cow’s milk and is very rich. This is slow digesting and can fuel children for longer if they are physically more active than regular kids (sports training, etc).
Do Vegetarians need Children Protein Powder?
It is a misconception that vegetarians do not get enough protein when compared to meat-eaters. The fact proved by many certified dieticians and researchers shows that plant-based protein is available in abundance for vegetarians. One can opt for nuts, pulses, milk, milk products, and a variety of beans to get their protein requirement.
When parents find it difficult to make their kids eat such protein-rich foods, they might find protein powders for kids an ideal and easy option.
Can too much Protein Harm My Kid?
Of course YES! Too much of anything is not good for even us adults. Kids’ bodies are designed to digest and absorb all the nutrients from the foods they eat. However, if you pump them with too much protein, their bodies won’t be able to digest it. As written above, this overload of protein can result in –
Excess weight gain
Excess strain on the liver causing damage in the long run
Loss of interest in solid foods
Digestion related issues
How do I Know if my Kid is Getting Enough?
This is a very common question among parents, especially if you have a fussy eater. Kids eat a variety of foods. If you are exposing your child to a variety of wholesome foods, you can stop considering protein powder for kids to make up for their protein requirements. Also, if your child is drinking their glass of whole cow’s milk every day, they are getting the required protein and calcium from it.
Do not give your child any kids protein powder, unless it is prescribed by your doctor, no matter how well the product is doing in the market or if the label says “best protein powder for kids”. Even if you find the best protein powder safe for kids, it is safe only when prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will not only be able to guide you in choosing the right protein powder but will also be able to tell how much you can give your child.