How To Ensure My Child’s Daily Protein Requirement?

A little Indian girl having protein-rich food

A survey conducted in 2015 stated that only 9% of Indians get their daily protein requirement. For optimum and healthy growth and development, children must be given a balanced diet comprising proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals

In India, however, carbohydrates form the significant bulk of a meal. Also, due to a large majority of the Indian population being vegetarian, eggs and meat are not as widely consumed as plant-based products. Though the income of the average Indian has increased, there has been a corresponding increase in fat consumption, while protein nutrition has been largely overlooked. National Protein Day is a yearly reminder for improving the daily intake of protein, especially in children who need these building blocks of the body during their growing years.

Why are Indian Kids Deficient in Proteins?

India has programs and policies that aim to solve malnutrition problems, including protein-energy malnutrition conditions like Kwashiorkor. However, Indian kids still do not get their daily protein intake. Here are some reasons why:

  • 60% of the Indian diet is carbohydrate-based.
  • India has a primarily vegetarian or vegan population that does not eat meat, a rich source of protein.
  • Lack of awareness of protein deficiency problems in their diet.
  • Lack of education in most low-income groups where protein deficiency is rampant.
  • Having too many kids with less income makes it difficult to provide each child with adequate nutritious food.

Different Protein Options Available

If you are concerned about your child’s protein intake, here are some rich sources of the nutrient that you can include in their diet:

  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Lentils
  • Soy and soy products
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Protein Sources for Vegetarians and Vegans

Though plant- sources of proteins are as effective as animal-based sources, it is found that kids from vegetarian and vegan households tend to be protein deficient. Some excellent protein sources for vegetarian and vegan kids are:

  • Lentils
  • Legumes like green peas
  • Grains like quinoa, rice, jowar, bajra
  • Beans
  • Oats
  • Nuts and nut butter
  • Vegetables like Brussel sprouts, spinach, broccoli, sweet potato, corn
  • Milk and milk products like paneer

How Does Protein Help Your Kids Development?

Proteins help the human body in myriad ways:

  • They help boost energy levels
  • They build muscles.
  • They enable your child’s body to grow and mature.
  • They are needed for the repair and regeneration of tissues.

For those of you wondering how much protein is needed per day for your child’s optimum growth, here’s a quick guide:

Age Grams (per day)

1 to 313gm

4 to 819gm

9 to 1334gm

14 to 18 (girls)46gm

14 to 18 (boys)52gm

How To Get Your Kids to Eat Proteins?

If getting your child to eat their daily protein requirement is a challenging task for you, you are not alone. Here are a few ways to make proteins kid-friendly:

  • Make a list of proteins that your child enjoys or prefers over others.
  • Foods like cottage cheese, chicken, yogurt, milk, chocolate milk, etc., are usually popular among kids, so it is a great idea to include them in their daily diet one way or the other.
  • Use your child’s snacking time to give them protein-based foods. Spruce up the recipe and make the protein snack attractive to your child.
  • Get creative with versatile ingredients like milk that can be used in many dishes.
  • Sometimes, not telling your child about the constituents of a dish can help you camouflage proteins. While your child enjoys their meal, you can breathe a sigh of relief!


Understanding the importance of protein in the diet is the first step in eliminating protein deficiency in the country and preventing it at home. If your child’s pediatrician feels their diet is protein deficient, they may prescribe protein supplements to help them meet their protein requirements. If you are looking for protein supplements for your child, try Prohance Junior – a specially formulated, balanced protein powder for kids containing arginine, DHA, lutein and proteins that your child needs to grow.

Disclaimer: This blog/publication/editorial/article is meant for awareness / educational purposes and does not constitute or imply an endorsement, sponsorship, or recommendation of any products. Please consult your doctor/healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication, or exercise.

Enhancing lives of children with complete nutrition


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