We’re taught at a very young age that protein is an essential part of any diet to build muscle and repair our bodies, Children however need to consume more protein than adults.
Part of the reason comes down to amino acids, which are the building blocks of the body, creating cells and repairing tissue, as well as forming antibodies to fight bacteria and viruses. Amino acids carry oxygen throughout the body and help the development of muscles, nails and hair. Protein from meat is crucial to access many amino acids, including the essential amino acids that must come our diets.
Here’s what we understand about the links between red meat, protein and your child’s diet.
Medical research has shown that children have very precise needs depending on age and gender when it comes to the amount of protein they should eat.
Kids grow fast and so need more protein in proportion to their body weight than grown adults.
The United States Institute of Medicine lists lean meat as a high-protein food. According to the independent research carried out by the institute, babies need 10 grams of protein a day and children aged one to three years need 13 grams of protein daily.
When children hit the next developmental stage, between four and eight years, they become more sophisticated in what they will eat. At this age the recommendation is to serve 19 grams a day.
Once children reach the age of nine, consider serving about 34 grams of protein daily.
Girls aged 14 or above need about 46 grams of protein daily and boys aged 14 to 18 need 52 grams.
There’s more reading about children and protein here.
Great. That’s the numbers taken care of, but what does it mean in terms of portions? Try these on for size.
- A SINGLE mince-meat beef burger that can be made in bulk, frozen and defrosted when you need a meal in a hurry
- ONE fresh lamb chop is a perfect serving size for younger diners
That's food for thought.