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.

Raise Vegan - - Contents - Lau­ren Panoff, MPH, RD is a plant- based life­style strate­gist for fam­i­lies and founder of Chronic Planet. www. chron­ic­planet. net @ chron­ic­planet

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).

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