Optimising the protein in your child’s diet
The body cannot store proteins as it does fats and carbohydrates, so we must consume adequate quantities every day to meet our dietary requirements. Growing children need energy for their activities and to stay focused – ensure that they get their daily recommended intake of protein (see end of article for daily protein requirement). A protein-rich diet can also help older children maintain a healthy weight as protein-rich foods have highersatiety value. Tables 1 and 2 show different food items and their protein content. Use these as a guide to meet the protein needs of your child.
Give your child a complete protein meal
- Bread and peanut butter or cheese
- Roti or rice with dal
- Macaroni and cheese
- Paratha with curds or paneer
Did you know?
- Soya is a good source of protein for vegetarians as its protein quality is closer to that of animal proteins. Incorporate soya in your child’s diet byusing soya nuggets in gravies or in biryani, using a combination of soya flour and wheat flour to make chapattis, and adding soya milk to pancake batter.
- When whole legumes are sprouted, the protein stored in them is converted into a more digestible form. Sprouts are a wonderful source of proteins and vitamins for growing children. Be creative and liberal in the addition of sprouts to salads, raitas and rolls.