Diet & Nutrition 5 MIN READ 3416 VIEWS November 23, 2021

Whey Protein for Kids: What You Need to Know

Written By Garima Bahal
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Whey protein for kids
Whey Protein for Children
Is Whey Protein Safe for Kids
Best Ways to Use Protein Powders for Kids
Benefits of Whey Protein for Kids
The Appropriate Dosage of Whey Protein for Kids
Conclusion

Protein is equally necessary for children, as it is for adults. There are a lot of natural food sources for protein like chicken, fish, eggs, tofu, chickpeas, and more. However, a lot of times, children cannot acquire the required protein level through natural food sources. This is where whey protein for kids comes into play. 

Whey protein is essential for children if they cannot get as much protein as is required by their body. This is because protein is one nutrient that aids in growth and development, keeps bones strong, and boosts the immune system. Apart from this, it also helps with tissue growth and repair and promotes lean muscle growth. 

Protein is especially crucial during the toddler years because it is a time of rapid growth and development. But many parents are concerned and wish to know if whey protein for children is safe or not? 

Whey Protein for Children

Nutritionists agree that protein is one macronutrient that is most important for the human body from the very beginning. Among the many protein sources, many parents are now exploring the option of whey protein for children.

One of the most common proteins found in dairy products is whey protein. Whey protein is a byproduct of the cheese-making process that contains significant essential amino acids required for proteins to perform their roles in the body. Whey protein is usually available in powdered form and can be mixed into liquids or soft meals like applesauce or blended into a smoothie with ice and fresh fruit.

Whey protein for toddlers is safe and beneficial as long as it is basic and contains no wacky chemicals like caffeine or muscle-building substances. It is also crucial to note that more isn’t always better when it comes to protein. Therefore, parents and caregivers should keep the correct dosage in mind.

Extremely active children may require slightly more protein than ordinary children. Therefore, whey protein for kids is a great alternative if they are not getting ample protein from natural food items.

Is Whey Protein Safe for Kids?

When consumed in appropriate amounts, whey protein has no side effects and is generally safe for children and adults. However, excessive doses can cause some undesirable effects. When whey protein is consumed excessively, it can cause constipation, nausea, thirst, bloating, cramps, loss of appetite, tiredness, and headaches. Excessive protein consumption might also result in unwanted weight gain and other health issues.

While there is no denying that protein powders are great for children, there is no need to supplement your child’s protein intake with protein powders if they are already a good eater.

Best Ways to Use Protein Powders for Kids

Another issue with whey protein for kids is that they don’t always taste well. In such a case, protein powders can be used or mixed so that the child consumes them without much fuss.

  • Protein powder can be used to make hot chocolate, cookies, or brownies
  • Juices with fruit-flavoured protein powder
  • Soups and stews using flavourless protein powder
  • Combine protein powder with yoghurt, oats, applesauce, or pudding to make a delicious shake
  • Protein powder can be used to make muffins, bread, and doughs

Benefits of Whey Protein for Kids

Whey is a complete protein since it contains all the nine essential amino acids and has only a small amount of lactose and therefore is easy to digest. Whey also contains leucine, a muscle-building amino acid. These are the main reasons why whey protein for toddlers and children is recommended for their development. 

Here are a few reasons why whey protein for child is beneficial:

1. Protein powders, especially whey protein, contain vital amino acids necessary for children’s growth and development.

2. Whey protein encourages hormone production in the body. As your children reach puberty, their bodies will begin to make hormones. For the smooth creation and transport of various hormones, protein is required.

3. Protein is super essential when it comes to maintaining or reaching a healthy weight. A delightful protein-packed shake or smoothie with no added sugar is a fantastic way to nourish a child without piling on the pounds. 

4. We already know how protein boosts energy. Therefore, whey protein for children becomes essential as it boosts their immunity and protects them from illnesses and diseases. 

5. Whey protein can be beneficial for sensitive stomachs too. It is minimally processed to preserve its optimum biological activity and immune-modulating components found in milk and it is designed to be gentle on sensitive stomachs. Therefore, whey protein for kids who have a weak stomach is a bliss. 

The Appropriate Dosage of Whey Protein for Kids

While many parents and caregivers are indulging in feeding their children some protein powder, it is safe to say that whey protein for children is becoming a part of their ritual. As soon as parents get their answer to the question, “is whey protein safe for kids?”, they try to include it in their meals so that their bodies can receive an ample amount of protein. 

However, it is also necessary to know the thin line between ample and excess. Therefore, one must know the correct dosage of whey protein for kids. This is because overconsumption can do more harm than good.

Here is how much protein children need across different age groups. It would be beneficial only when served in the required amounts. 

AGEPROTEIN REQUIREMENTS PER DAY
1-3 years13 g
4-8 years 19 g
9-13 years34 g
14-18 years (female)46 g
14-18 (males)52 g

Ideally, protein consumption should be around 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. If your child weighs 12-13 kg, daily protein consumption should be around 10 grams. However, as mentioned earlier, active children might need more protein daily. Hence, when it comes to the consumption of whey protein for toddlers and children, it should be strictly according to the dosage as mentioned above. 

Conclusion

Whey protein, amongst all other protein powders, can be great for children. Nowadays, many doctors recommend whey protein for kids, especially if they have a deficiency of this macronutrient. 

Protein is one of the most crucial building blocks for your child’s body. However, taking whey protein in the right amount is necessary. It is always recommended to consult a doctor, especially when it comes to your child’s wellbeing and then consume the protein powder in the quantity that the doctor suggests. This way, parents would be assured and the child would be healthy.

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