9 Sneaky Swaps to Add Protein to Your Child’s Diet

Protein is more than just a buzzword; it’s a crucial component of a balanced diet. Our bodies rely on amino acids for energy, muscle and bone development, and hormone production. Yet, ensuring your child gets enough protein can often feel like an ongoing challenge.

Here are some easy ways to elevate your protein game. As always, consult with your child’s physician to ensure they’re receiving the nutrients they need.

  1. Try Lentil or Chickpea Pasta: Substitute traditional pasta with varieties made from lentils or chickpeas. Red lentil pasta boasts 25g of protein per serving.
  2. Go Greek with Yogurt: Opt for Greek yogurt over regular yogurt to add 14g of protein to your child’s diet.
  3. Choose Protein Pancakes: Swap regular pancakes for ones made with a protein pancake mix, providing up to 15g of protein per serving.
  4. Ditch Ranch for Hummus: Replace ranch dressing with hummus as a dip for fresh veggies, offering 4g of protein per 1/3 cup serving.
  5. Spread Nut Butters: Use nut butters such as peanut, cashew, or almond butter on waffles, toast, or stirred into oatmeal instead of syrup, delivering extra protein.
  6. Incorporate Beans and Legumes: Add beans or legumes to soups, nachos, or salads. Black beans offer 8g of protein per ½ cup serving, while edamame provides 8.5 g.
  7. Include Nuts and Seeds: Incorporate nuts and seeds into homemade granola or snack mixes. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and pumpkin seeds are packed with 4.5g to 9 g of protein per serving.
  8. Sprinkle Hemp, Flax, and Chia Seeds: Add hemp hearts, ground flaxseed, and chia seeds to smoothies, oatmeal, or salads for an extra protein boost. In just a 3 Tablespoon serving of each, hemp hearts add 10g, flax seed provides 6g, and chia seeds offer 6g of additional protein.
  9. Add Scramble Eggs: Integrate eggs into fried rice, salads, or serve alongside toast for an additional 6g of protein per egg.

By implementing some simple swaps, you can help  your child receive the protein they need for healthy growth and development.