How much Protein is enough


When I found out that Jess was dairy allergic, I’m not going to lie……I panicked !!! I mean seriously what do you feed a child if you can’t give her milk or cheese or yoghurts !!!

So I cried a little and then I realised that I need to do some serious research and go and see a dietician. Right so we took her off all dairy and we put her onto Soya milk. This seemed like a brilliant idea until she got severe nappy rash and what they call chemical burn around her mouth. We tried every cream under the sun and nothing helped….it just got a tiny bit better and then it would get worse again. This went on for about 2,5 weeks…..poor child and I did some more research and discovered that just because her Soy allergy had come back negative, didn’t mean that she couldn’t be intolerant to it. I naturally phoned the dietician and she confirmed exactly that. So we cold turkeyed her onto Rice milk and within a day and a half her bum was completely clear !!!  Thank Goodness !!!
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…..first I had to eliminate the easiest form of Protein out of my child’s diet, being dairy and now it was the second easiest one too !! Rice milk is a carbohydrate and Jess was still drinking about 700 – 900 ml of milk per day at that stage which meant I had to replace that protein in her diet as she was generally a very good sleeper but because her diet was all up and down, she started waking up at night again and needing bottles.

I then had a brainwave that maybe I could find her a protein supplement, like a meal replacement? NOPE no such luck….at that stage they all contained dairy, milk solids etc etc etc. Then I found someone that was doing freeze-dried, de-sugared Egg protein powder which saved my life !!! I added a teaspoon to Jess bottle at bedtime and it worked like a bomb !!! She isn’t on it anymore as I have pretty much got her diet worked out now after a lot of trial and error which is what brought me to this blog.

Now I am no dietician which is what made it tough for me to figure Jess diet all out, so I did some research and found a calculation that you can do to see how much protein your child should have in a day as well as a few examples of how much protein a few of our common foods provide !!!
According to the Baylor college of Medicine these are the following recommendations with regards to amount of proteins each age group should have per day.

• 1 – 3 years old            – 0.55grams of protein per pound of body weight.
• 4 – 6 years old            – 0.50grams of protein per pound of body weight.
• 7 – 14 years old         – 0.45 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

For example :

Jess weighs about 12kg at the moment.
12kg = 26.4 pounds
0.55g / pound of body weight
= 14.52g of protein per day.

This does sound like a lot but when you look at the following examples of where you can make that protein up it actually isn’t too bad.

Ok so there are also various types of protein….yes I know, SERIOUSLY…..for us non academics it sounds truly complicated ha ha ha…..but hopefully with this blog it will make it a little easier for you, especially for the Mom’s who have kids that are dairy allergic as this is such a big source of protein.

Fruit and Vegetable Group – 4 to 5 servings each day.

I know, I know….my twins never ate a single vegetable until the age of about 4 years old either, but they did eat fruit, so my dietician suggested that we give them a variety of fruits of different colours so they get a balance of all the valuable vitamins. I also could always rely on one saucy meal, SPAGHETTI BOLOGNAISSE to hide some of those vegies. I would steam some carrots, butternut and corgettes and mash it and put it into the sauce just before I served it. So at least I knew that once a week they were getting a REALLY good serving of veg !!! (WICKED LAUGH)

Fruits and vegetables – serving of cooked vegetables is 2 to 3 tbsp. OR a serving of raw vegetables should include several bite-sized pieces.
• One half to one whole piece of fruit is considered a serving
• +/-120ml of juice is considered a serving.

Grains Group – 3 to 4 servings each day.

Foods from the grain group, such as bread, pasta and cereal, supply your toddler with nutrients like fiber and protein.

Examples – A serving of grains for your toddler is between :

•   Slice of bread    – 2 – 4 grams of protein
    (Albany Superior 100% Wholegrain = 3.92grams per slice)
•   Half a cup of cooked oats  – +/- 3 grams of protein

 Beans :

Contain a more complete set of amino acids than other plant-based food and they are high in iron, B vitamins and fiber.
Even though vegetable proteins (grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and other vegetables) are incomplete proteins, they are rich in complex carbohydrate and fiber and they are in fact an excellent source of protein. By combining foods from two or more of the following columns, you create a self-made complete protein. You see, the foods in one column may be missing amino acids that are present in the foods listed in another column. When eaten in combination at the same meal (or separately throughout the day), your body receives all nine essential amino acids.

Examples – A serving of grains for your toddler is between :
•   100g Baked Beans in tomato sauce         – +/- 4 grams of protein
•   100g Chickpeas                                               – +/- 4.5 grams of protein
•   1 tbsp Lentils                                                    – +/- 1.1 grams of protein

Sources of Complementary Proteins








Combinations to Create Complete Proteins













Milk and Dairy Group – 4 to 5 servings each day.

Milk is one of the most important parts of your toddler’s diet because it supplies calcium and protein, which she needs for proper growth. If your toddler is over the age of two, make sure her milk is low-fat or skim so she does not consume too much fat. If she is under two, she still needs whole milk for her brain development.
Examples – A serving of grains for your toddler is between

•   1/2 a cup of milk                                     – 3 – 5 grams of protein
•   1 slice of cheese (+/- 10g)                        – 2 – 3 grams of protein
•   80g Woolies yoghurt                               – 2,3 grams of protein

Meat and Protein Group – 2 servings each day.

Meat and beans supply your toddler with the protein he needs to grow healthy bones and muscles. suggests serving foods low in saturated fat, like beans, eggs and lean white meat chicken. Healthy Children notes that your toddler needs two servings of foods from the meat and protein group each day. A serving counts as 1 to 2 ounces of lean meat, 1 egg, 2 tbsp. of peanut butter or 4 to 5 tbsp. of cooked beans. Ask your pediatrician before serving your toddler fish because it is considered a high allergen food.

Examples – A serving of grains for your toddler is between

•   1 x Fish Finger                                            – 2,5g of protein
•   28.35g of meat/chicken/fish                         – 6 – 8g of protein
•   2 tbls peanut butter                                     – 6 – 8 grams of protein
•   Extra large egg                                           – 6 – 8 grams of protein
•   1 ounce almonds                                       – +/- 5 grams of protein

I hope this helps you a little to figure out your little kidlets protein requirements as I learnt a huge amount by doing the research. If you have any questions/suggestions or advice, please feel  free to drop me a mail and I’d be happy to share it on my facebook fanpage and website.

Chat soon


Sources :

About Bonnie

I run my own Event Management business and am busy organising a Celebrity Golf day in aid of Red Cross Children's Hospital !!!!

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