Protein Yogurts & Kids – My Fussy Eater

Do children need foods such as yogurt with added protein?

It’s that time of year where we are bombarded with food and nutrition marketing and there’s one thing in particular which I have been asked about quite a few times recently which I thought I would cover here… protein yogurts and kids.

Our protein obsession has exploded in the past couple of years. It’s become the new buzz word equivalent to the low fat mania of the 90’s.

But The British Nutrition Foundation (where I get all my research for this post) states that as a whole we are eating enough protein in our diets.

How Much Protein Do Children Need

Children’s Daily Protein Requirements:

Age 1-3 need 14.5g per day

Age 4-6 need 19.7g per day

Age 7-10 need 28.3g per day

After age 10 you may want to calculate your child’s protein requirements based on their weight. They will need 0.75g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

So for example a 44kg 12 year old needs 33g of protein per day.

High Protein Foods & Children

If you have a very active child or have been advised by a dietitian to actively seek out these high protein products, then they are ok in moderation but on the whole serving foods like protein yogurts to children is not recommended.

Protein has a recommended daily intake for a reason. Too much can actually be damaging, placing pressure on the kidneys. It is also very filling, meaning children are less likely to eat other foods thereby missing out on a range of other important nutrients.

Rather than one or two portions of something like a high protein yogurt per day, aim to spread your child’s protein requirements out over all their meals and snacks. And include protein sources from a wide variety of foods – dairy is a great source but also look at eggs, meats, fish and plant based sources such as nuts, seeds and pulses.

The point of this post isn’t to scare you (and I hope it didn’t!) Its the opposite – just a reminder that you don’t have to buy into the food marketing hype that’s so prevalent at this time of year, especially when it comes to children.

If they will only eat kid-friendly yogurts, that’s absolutely fine. You may want to focus on the lower sugar ones but when it comes to a good protein source, they are more than enough.

Here are the protein values of some of the more popular yogurts available in the supermarkets:

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