The actions you take today can help your teen build a healthy relationship with food that will last them a lifetime. Growing teens have a higher need for calories, protein, and other nutrients.
Healthy eating includes getting the right balance of nutrients. And in recent years, there has been much talk about fad diets such as keto, plant-based, or high-protein diets. Keep reading for everything you need to know about high-protein diets for teens and the best foods they should be eating to ensure proper protein intake.
High-Protein Diet for Teens
Your child’s needs for energy and nutrition increase dramatically as they enter their teen years. Developing minds and bodies require a healthy balanced diet to ensure that they are getting the essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals they need for proper growth and development. Unfortunately, the teenage years are also a time when many kids begin to increase their intake of fast food and junk food that contains little nutritional value.
Protein is necessary to help build muscles and organs. The benefits of a high-protein diet for teens include help with weight loss and maintenance, more energy, improved bone health and muscle strength, and a reduction in appetite and hunger levels.
Are High-Protein Diets Safe for Teens?
Protein is a vital part of any child’s diet. As a general rule, kids should be getting half a gram of protein for every pound of body weight daily. This means that teens should be getting at least 5 to 6 ounces of protein every day in order to keep up with their bodies’ growing demands.
However, excessively high protein intake is not beneficial for children and teens. High-protein diets can increase the strain on the kidneys and liver and can even cause dehydration. Most teens in America get an adequate amount of protein through their diet, but if you feel that your teenager should be getting more protein, take a look at the list below of the best high-protein foods for teens.
Best High-Protein Foods for Teens
The best sources of healthy proteins include lean meats, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts. Keep reading for some of the best ways to add more protein to your child’s daily diet:
- Eggs – Eggs are one of the best ways for vegetarians to get protein in their diet. A single egg contains as much as 6 to 7 grams of protein and is a very healthy option for teens.
- Beans – One cup of beans contains about 16 grams of protein, making it a staple in many diets.
- Tofu – Tofu is made from soy and is an excellent source of protein, especially for those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet.
- Nuts – Peanut butter is one of the easiest ways to get a high amount of protein and can also help prevent diabetes.
- Seeds – The best seeds for protein intake are pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, and chia seeds. They are another excellent source of protein for vegetarians/vegans.
- Poultry – Chicken is a popular meal among kids of all ages and contains about 27 grams of protein per serving.
- Fish – Consuming healthy fish, such as tuna or salmon, provides anywhere from 15 to 30 ounces of protein in one serving and is also very beneficial for weight loss.
- Beef – 3 ounces of lean beef provides up to 21 ounces of protein and contributes to heart health.
- Dairy – Yogurt is an especially good source of protein, especially Greek Yogurt varieties. An ounce of cheese contains 7 grams of protein, making it a delicious and easy way to get more protein in your child’s diet. In addition, a glass of milk contains around 9 grams of protein.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s diet, give us a call today to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly board-certified pediatricians.