Being a parent it’s important to understand the needs of your child’s body for proper growth and development. The series of growth stages as an infant to a toddler followed by adolescence (puberty phase), they have to go through not only physical changes but also emotional ups and downs. What do these growth stages exactly mean?
The term growth includes physical growth (height/ weight), while development is growth in function and capability of various organs which can help your child to learn, understand and perform their routine work efficiently. Between 2 to 10 years, a child grows at a steady pace. The main growing phase begins at the start of puberty, between ages 10 – 16. A child’s body needs some special nutrients with these changes in growth rates.
Let’s look at one nutrient closely.
- WHEY PROTEIN: Whey is considered to be complete protein because it contains 9 essential amino acids and has low lactose content which makes it easily digestible. Leucine present in whey helps with building muscles too. These are the main reasons, why whey protein is essential for kids during growing age. Although protein is the main building block for your kid’s body, but getting it from supplements could lead to health problems. So acquiring it from natural sources like hand full of nuts and seeds or some dairy products is much beneficial.
SOURCE OF WHEY PROTEIN: When baby born, mother’s breast milk contains 90% whey protein and about 10 % casein, that is why it is recommended to breastfeed babies for six months. Breast milk acts as best immunity booster for new born. Other than that, whey is derived from cow’s milk which is made up of 80% casein and 20% of whey. It is a left over fluid when yogurt is curdled (what is the process?) during the process of cheese production.
WHEY PROTEIN FOR KIDS: Whey not only promotes growth and development of muscles in kids, but also boosts their natural defence power against infection and support a healthy immune system. The suggested intake of protein is about 0.8 per kg of body weight. For example, if your kid is 12-13 kgs, then the amount of daily protein intake would need to be roughly around 10 gm. Apart from healthy eating habits, it’s important to understand the role of whey protein in your kid’s growth.
WHEN WHEY PROTEIN IS NEEDED: Toddler years are time of growth and development and protein plays an important role during this phase. Whey is also a rich source of protein for fussy eaters. Nowadays, it is sold as the most popular type of protein powder as it easy to source and comes in various flavours too. However, excess intake of protein through protein powders can be unnecessary if you are getting more than enough protein through your daily diet.
It is an interesting fact that body has no space to save that extra protein you eat. It all gets converted to fat or carbs which is not what you would prefer. Protein is made of 20 amino acids and the body needs all of these in certain ratio to make protein. The moment one of the amino acids required to make protein gets finished, protein making process stops. Hence, there is no point in bulking on protein from a single source. Keep variety in food and that will help achieve the goal of consuming all the amino acids to make protein in the body.
Excess protein intake can have health consequences. Very active children (who participates in sports activities) may need little more protein than other kids. Home made whey protein shakes or dishes (whey protein buns recipe) are a wonderful way to pack in some protein along with a bunch of other healthy vitamins and minerals.
Recipe for mixed grain/ millet pizza:
- 2 cups of flours (mix of any- whole wheat, ragi, sorghum, rye, amaranth, teff)
- Add oregano seasoning and salt as per choice
- Add 2 tbsp psyllium husk
- Add whey protein liquid or whey protein powder + water (to make sticky dough)
- Leave dough to rest and rise for 2-3 hours covered with dry cloth and loose lid
- Once done, take a small ball of dough and roll using dry flour
- Add tomato puree (or pizza sauce) and alfalfa sprouts, veggies/ greens and cheddar cheese on top
- Preheat for 5 min at 220 celsius. Bake for 15 min and serve!
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