The Many Benefits of Protein Shakes For Kids
Protein is an extremely important nutrient in the growing years of a child. It is necessary for the healthy development of muscles, repair and regeneration of tissues and cells and an efficient immune system.
To make sure that your child gets the necessary protein intake, using a kids nutrition shake is highly recommended. These shakes are made to taste great while giving your child the advantage of multiple nutrients in a single source. To understand why a protein shake is important to include in your child’s diet, the first step is to know how it boosts your child’s health.
The Benefits of Protein Shakes For Kids
Here are the most important advantages of enriching your child’s diet with a good protein shake:
It prevents protein deficiencies
Ensuring optimum protein intake can be a challenge for various reasons. At a younger age, children are still exploring different foods. This increases the chances of fussy eating which limits the food sources that can be included in the child’s diet. If the child is following a primarily vegetarian or vegan diet, the quantity of protein rich foods must also be higher. Lastly, there could be food allergies that prevent your child from consuming protein rich foods like eggs.
All of the above can be overcome by including a tasty and healthy protein shake in your child’s diet. The added advantage is that the protein content of most nutrition drinks are customised to suit the age group of the child to ensure that they achieve the daily recommended intake.
Your child gets all the essential amino acids
Protein is formed by long chains of amino acids. The human body makes different kinds of proteins using these amino acids. In order to do this efficiently, there are 21 amino acids that must be available. These are then arranged in different combinations to form various proteins that are essential for metabolic processes.
Out of 21 amino acids, 9 are essential amino acids. This means that they must be consumed through the food that we eat. It is difficult to include foods with a complete amino acid profile, meaning that they contain all 9 essential amino acids, in the child’s diet. Protein shakes resolve this by including a variety of amino acids in a single formulation.
There are additional nutrients
Kids nutrition shakes are not only rich in protein, but also contain other important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. This adds to your child’s overall nutrition, giving them several benefits. For instance, a drink that also contains a good amount of calcium helps in the development of stronger bones.
It is also helpful in bridging any gaps in your child’s diet that may lead to nutritional deficiencies. All this, in a simple to use option that children consume readily because of the taste of these protein drinks.
The immune system is strengthened
The immune system must be able to recover fast in order to keep your child protected from common illnesses. The cells of the immune system are able to recover only if they have a steady supply of protein. As you know, proteins are the building blocks of the body which help repair any wear and tear.
Proteins are also required for the body to produce various antibodies. These antibodies fight any pathogens and keep your child safe from unwanted health issues.
Your child is more active
Protein boosts the development of the muscles. The better the muscles are developed, the more your child is able to enjoy various physical activities. Protein also plays an important role in helping the child recover from any strenuous activity. Whenever the muscles are engaged in physical activity, minute wear and tear is common. When you are able to recover from them, the muscle also grows in size and strength. This is why protein consumption is extremely important for children to stay active. It is also the reason why children who do not consume enough protein feel fatigued easily or seem to be low in energy.
Protein also plays an important role in several metabolic processes that are responsible for keeping the energy level of the body high.
How to Choose a Protein Shake For Your Child
In order to enjoy all the benefits mentioned above, you need to make sure that you choose the right protein drink for your child. Here are some tips that will help you narrow down the options:
- Always check the nutrition label thoroughly. No matter what the packaging says, it is the nutrition label that will tell you exactly what your child is going to consume.
- The drink should not be rich in sugar. One cue is the position of sugar on the nutrition label. If it is placed among the top ingredients, it means that the formula is high in sugar.
- Make sure that there are no potential allergens in the product. The most common ones are gluten, soy, dairy and nuts.
- For children who are lactose intolerant, make sure that products with whey proteins are avoided. Whey is derived from milk and may, therefore, trigger allergic reactions.
- If the ingredient list is too long, avoid the product. With children’s nutritional drinks, the thumb rule is that the fewer the ingredients, the better it is.
- Products with natural sugar sources give you the advantage of taste and health. One example of a natural sugar source is cane sugar.
- The product should be formulated to suit the age of your child in order to prevent any overconsumption or underconsumption of these nutrients.
If you are still unsure of the best product for your child, you may consult an expert. While there it is clear that protein shake benefits kids in several ways, you must remember that it is only a supplement. It must not be used as a replacement for any meal. Always make sure that it is part of a healthy and balanced diet in order to get the maximum benefits to keep your child active, healthy and energetic.