Infant Articles

The Importance Of Protein

 

Not counting water, protein makes up three quarters of our body and is found in every cell. Our muscles, organs, some hormones, and certain antibodies and enzymes are all made up of protein.

 

  • Proteins are the building blocks of our cells. They make up the framework upon which all cells are built. Because babies are growing, (by building new cells) they require plenty of high quality protein.
  • Babies need protein for their normal growth and developmen.
  • Breast milk and formula provide adequate amounts of protein during the early months. When a baby weans to table food, you need to replace the protein no longer being supplied by formula or breast milk.
  • A six-month to one year old needs about 13 to 15 grams of protein a day. Toddlers need 13 to 19 grams.
  • Excellent sources of protein include dairy products, eggs, meat, fish, poultry and soybeans, or foods containing a good amount of these foods.
  • Many plant foods also supply protein, although its quality isn't as complete as animal sources of protein. But, by providing a variety of plant foods that contain proteins, such as legumes, nuts (in the form of nut butter until they are three), seeds, and grains, your child can get the protein they require.
  • By including one good source of protein at every meal, your baby or toddler should receive the adequate nutrition they need.
  • For lunch consider serving a 'dinner' food such as Earth's Best Country Vegetable Chicken
  • At dinner, for a stage two or three baby, offer a jarred dinner with protein such as Earth's Best Peas & Brown Rice to supplement the protein they will still be getting in formula or breast milk.
  • When they are old enough to chew modified table food, try offering some tender, ground chicken or turkey, tender flaked fish, mashed legumes or scrambled egg (yolk only until age one).