As a parent, ensuring that your kid gets all of their daily nutrients can be challenging, especially when they’re fussy eaters. A lack in nutrition can result in developmental delays and that’s something that no parent wants to inflict on their child. So, can we use protein powder to meet these nutritional imbalances?
Well, that depends on a few things. In most cases, children receive sufficient amounts of protein in their meals and don’t need the extra supplement. In fact, too much protein can have negative effects on your child’s health.
When To Use Protein Powder
In instances where medical conditions affect your child’s protein intake, protein powder may be necessary. More specifically if they follow a specific diet, are underweight and suffer from underlying medical conditions.
Your paediatrician will advise you accordingly to ensure that your child’s nutritional – and developmental – needs are being met without the risk of side effects. More often than not, your paediatrician will recommend protein-rich foods to be added to your child’s diet before prescribing a protein supplement.
What Are The Side Effects Of Excessive Amounts Of Protein Powder?
When it comes to having too much protein in a child’s system, the extra calories and sugar can result in unexpected weight gain. High levels of protein can cause dehydration, forcing the kidneys and liver to work harder to process the build-up, often resulting in dehydration. Kidney stones have also been reported.
Many protein supplements are not properly regulated, which means that the ingredients are not always listed and may contain substances and stimulants that can impact their immune systems.
Another unintended consequence is having your child prefer liquid foods and lose interest in eating solid foods. The sugary taste of the protein powder can backfire and may put your child at risk of avoiding healthy foods altogether.
How Much Protein Is Recommended?
Research states that between 10 and 30 percent of your child’s calories should come from protein. To fulfil this, two servings of dairy and two servings of protein will suffice.
Choosing A Protein Powder
Always speak to your doctor before giving your child additional supplements.
A few things to remember when it comes to giving children protein supplements include giving them protein powder specifically designed for children – adults and children do not have the same nutritional needs. This means that you should always check the amount of protein that the supplement is claiming to give your child. The sugar content also needs to be considered, as well as the use of artificial sweeteners that are not always the healthiest options.
You need to stick within the recommended daily allowance to prevent too much protein in your child’s system. The adage of less is more comes to play here so rather give your child less as opposed to too much.
Make An Informed Decision
When it comes to your child’s nutritional needs, speaking to your paediatrician should be on the top of your list. There are alternative options you can try before reaching for additional supplements. The verdict is that your child can consume protein powder, but the real question we should be asking is “Is this even necessary?”. If not, then you’re better off avoiding it.
Want to learn more about the proper nutrition needed for children? If you do then you need to study our Nutrition for Children Course. For more information, please follow this link.