Young baby smiling

Protein In Baby’s Diet – 4 Things You Need To Know

There are a number of good reasons why your child needs to consume protein-rich foods every day. A breastfeeding baby will need extra iron and zinc in her/his diet at approximately six months if she/he is breastfeeding. Baby formula is fortified, so if your baby is formula-fed, this is less of an issue.

Both iron and zinc are essential minerals for your baby. In addition to carrying oxygen to muscles and organs, iron is crucial for brain development. For the immune system to function properly, zinc is essential. A good source of iron and zinc is also found in many protein-rich foods

Protein In Baby's Diet

Why Is Protein Essential And How Does The Body Use It?

Protein can be thought of as a chain of amino acids that are linked together.

There are 22 amino acids the human body needs, but it can only produce 13 of them. The other nine amino acids must be obtained from a food known as ‘essential amino acids.

Upon eating protein-containing food, your baby’s stomach digests it, and the gastrointestinal tract absorbs it.

In addition to supplying protein to the skin, hair, bones, muscles, and just about every tissue in your little one’s body, amino acids are also used by the body to produce hemoglobin, which transports oxygen.


What Is The Recommended Amount Of Protein For Infants?

According to numerous studies, protein is an essential nutrient for babies and toddlers. American Academy of Pediatrics advises babies between 7 and 12 months need 11 grams of protein daily. For toddlers, 13 grams is sufficient. This may seem like a low number to some. This is actually quite conservative. To meet their energy needs, toddlers need between 30 and 45 grams, depending on how much energy they spend.

Children who consume too much protein, especially dairy protein found in milk, cheese, and yogurt, are at a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese as they age.

Toddler drinking formula bottle

Can A Baby Require Extra Protein At Certain Times?

A high protein diet is usually required for babies who…

  • Have an infection or illness that is causing your little one to consume more calories
  • Are affected by malabsorption
  • Are you having heart or lung problems
  • Have undergone surgery

You should consult your child’s pediatrician if you suspect your baby is in any of these situations.


Baby Foods Containing Protein

A complete protein can be found in the following sources. The following foods may not suit your baby at all stages during his/her first year.

  • Buckwheat
  • Fish
  • Spirulina
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Quinoa
  • Poultry
  • Meat (beef)

The following sources of protein need to be combined to provide the full complement of amino acids:

  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Oats
  • Pasta
  • Rye
  • Rice
  • Wheat
  • Beans

Final thoughts

Protein is essential for your little one’s development and growth. Every time you feed your baby or give him a bottle of organic baby formula, ensure he/she gets enough protein. When they begin eating solids, maintain a balance of fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and dairy products.

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