Proteins for your child growth
When we think of protein, we think of muscles. However, proteins are much more than that.
Enzymes in your saliva, stomach and small intestine are proteins that help digest your food. Haemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen in your blood, and antibodies that fight infections are protein in nature.
Proteins are key building blocks of every living cell. Not just that, proteins are also ‘the body’s worker molecules’, as they take part practically in every activity of the cells.
What role does protein play in your toddler’s health?
- Protein is a very important nutrient for growth and development of your toddler’s body, including muscles, organs and immune system.
- Protein is also required for your toddler’s bone development. Low protein intake can damage certain growth factors involved in increasing the length of the bones and strengthening of the bones.
How much protein does your toddler need?
Indian Council for Medical Research recommends that toddlers aged 1–3 years should consume 16.7 g protein in a day.
Here are some tips to boost protein content of your toddler’s diet:
- Make sure you include protein foods in three main meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Include milk and milk products in your toddler’s daily diet, as these provide good-quality proteins.
- Avoid giving junk foods, as these are low in proteins.
- Lassi, flavoured yoghurt, cheese slices, peanut butter sandwich, paneer and soft-boiled sprouts can make great protein snacks.
- Add milk powder/gram flour to your chapatti dough to increase its protein content.
- Include eggs, chicken, as they provide high-quality proteins.
- Include adequate cereals and other grains that provide energy. If energy needs are not fulfilled, proteins will be used for providing energy. This will affect growth and development of your baby.
Give your child power of protein!