Plant- Based Protein
Answering the ever- popular ( and cliche) question, “but, where do you get your protein?”, has become a rite of passage for some vegans, and this is no different for plant- powered children.
Great Sources of Protein for Plant- Powered Kids
There is a societal misconception that in order to obtain enough protein, one must eat animal products when, in fact, protein can be found in nearly all plant foods. When you have the basics down, it is easy to make delicious, kid- friendly vegan meals that are packed with protein!
How much protein do kids need?
Protein is an essential nutrient that is responsible for building and repairing tissues, keeping hair and nails strong, making enzymes and hormones, and maintaining healthy blood, skin and muscles.
The Recommended Dietary Allowances ( RDA) for children are as follows( 1):
0- 6 months: 9 grams/ day
7- 12 months: 11 grams/ day 1- 3 years: 13 grams/ day
4- 8 years: 19 grams/ day
9- 13 years: 34 grams/ day
14- 18 years: 46 grams/ day ( females), 52 grams/ day ( males)
How can my child’s protein needs be met by plants?
It is a myth that vegans need to eat certain protein foods at the same time to obtain all of the essential amino acids( 2). Simply eating enough calories, and a variety of protein- rich plant foods, will ensure a diet adequate in protein and essential amino acids.
Breast milk or formula will provide all of the protein requirements for children under six months old who are not yet eating solid foods. Protein- rich foods can be introduced to most kids around seven months in the form of purees and mashes( 3).
Here are some of the best plant protein sources and ideas for how to serve them to kids( 4).