We've all had it. That nagging fear that hangs in the back of your mind making you uneasy: I wonder if my child is getting enough protein...
Maybe they've been acting a bit funny, abnormally tired, or not sleeping well.
For most of us our kids are all too opinionated about which foods they like and which foods they don't. Unfortunately, many of the foods that do make the cut aren't exactly nutritional powerhouses.
Today, more than ever, it's critically important that we're giving our kiddos everything they need not just to stay healthy, but to thrive.
1. They're Always Hungry
Of course, growing kiddos are notoriously ravenous eaters, but if your kiddos' diet is lacking protein, the foods they're eating may not be satiating them as they should be. Sugar and carbohydrate heavy snacks (think crackers, bread, and chips) cause a quick blood sugar peak then a crash–a cycle that can take just 30-60 minutes– leaving them hungry and back in the pantry again!
2. They Feel Weak or Tired
Research shows that even just one week of not getting enough protein can lead to muscle loss. This could manifest in your kiddo being abnormally tired (sleeping in late, wanting to take a nap or multiple naps) or not performing up to their normal level in their activities or sports.
3. They Getting Sick Often
This is another common phenomena that can be hard to tell if anything is actually wrong. Yes, our kiddos are exposed to tremendous amounts of germs and get sick often. But if you're noticing your child is getting sick more often than is normal, or getting sick when their peers aren't, it could be related to their diet. Protein helps maintain and support our immune systems and especially in times of COVID, we want to be sure our kids are receiving the nutrition they need to ward off unwelcome germs.
4. You Notice Skin, Hair, or Nail Problems
Protein is a critical building block of our skin, hair, and nails. Although unlikely in children unless severely undernourished, you could see redness on the skin, brittle nails, or faded hair color– all of which are symptoms of protein deficiency.
5. They're Falling Behind Their Growth Chart
Perhaps most worrisome and potentially most difficult to diagnose, a lack of protein can stunt our kiddos' growth: muscle mass, height, and overall physical development. If you're concerned about your child's growth, this is something that should be discussed with a doctor. However, studies have shown that increasing protein intake in undernourished kids can help them grow taller and get back on track with their physical development.
Looking to get more protein into your child's diet? Zeek Kids Bars have 9g protein from whey and milk protein, plus 30% less sugar. You can give them a try and save 20% off your first order with code "BetterBar".