Protein is essential for a healthy growth and the proper functioning of the body. While the body can produce some amino acids required for protein production, it also needs to obtain protein from animal and vegetable sources. Children obtain a large portion of their protein from milk, but here is a list of the top 10 other great sources of protein:
Top 10 foods highest in protein
As a general rule, the harder the cheese, the greater the protein it contains. Of all cheeses, a low Sodium Parmesan cheese provides the most protein and ensures that your child does not eat too much sodium. Other cheeses like Romano, Mozzarella, and Swiss provide around 28-30 grams of protein per 100 gram serving. Softer cream cheeses, or spreadable cheeses, provide the least protein with only 16 grams per 100 gram serving.
The older, larger, and more mature a bean gets the more protein it contains. Mature Roasted Soybeans or Edamame have the most protein by providing 39.6 grams of protein per 100 gram serving. They are followed by mature Lupini beans which are great in salads or warmed with garlic.
Lean Veal and Beef
To get the most protein out of meat, it is best to choose lean cuts. Specifically the top round of veal or beef provides around 36 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
Roasted Seeds (Pumpkin, Squash, and Watermelon)
A popular food amoung vegetarians, seeds are a great snack and provide a large amount of protein. Just be carefull that these don’t present a choking hazzard for your little one. You can buy these seeds in the supermarket, or you can also save any pumpkin, squash, and watermelon seeds you have and roast them in your oven.
Lean Meats (Chicken, Lamb, Pork, Turkey)
Most lean meats contain around 30% of protein. Chicken broilers have the most with 32.8 grams of protein per 100 gram serving. Pork loin and chops are also a good source, but contains more fat so use only sparingly.
Fish are becoming more popular as knowledge spreads on the value of their fats and oils. Pick your fish carefully, as some have particularly high levels of mercury. When it comes to protein Yellow fin Tuna provides the most with 30 grams per 100 gram serving. It is followed by Anchovies(29g), Salmon(27g), Halibut(27g), Snapper(26g), and Tilapia(26g).
Caviar and fish eggs are not useally considered as a food for children, but can be a great source of protein. Fish roe provides 28.6 grams of protein in a 100 gram serving. Chicken eggs, by comparison, only offer 13.6 grams of protein in a 100 gram serving.
Yeast Extract Spread
Yeast extract spreads are more popular in Britain and Australia, but despite their particular taste, have also started to gain popularity in other countries. They’re a great source of both vitamin B12 and protein. One hundred grams provides 27.8 grams of protein, that is 1.7 grams per teaspoon.
Lobster and Crab
This is not a very common dish for children, primarily for budget reasons. These should also not be given to children before the age of 2 due to possible allergic reactions. Due to this, crab and lobster often get forgotten in the child’s diet, but they are also a great source of protein. A 100g serving of lobster contains 26.4 grams of protein.
Lentils, Pulses, and Peanuts
Lentils, pulses, and peanuts (a legume) are a great vegan source of protein. Peanuts provide the most protein with 23.7 grams per 100 gram serving, and is often given to children in the US in the form of peanut butter. Don’t forget that there is a large variety of pulses, all with high protein content, so its easy to vary meals by introducing your child to these.