By : Komal Thakur (B.Pharm, Diploma in Naturopathy, Specialist in Clinical Dietetics)
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Protein and kids- Impact on Adult health

Don’t we all want to get back to childhood where we could eat anything and get away with it. Candies, chocolates, burgers, pizzas, ice creams,  fried foods, sugary drinks, you name it and kids are allowed to just about eat anything. Kids, and I am talking about the age of 5-20 years old are blessed with good metabolism and hence most parents are unable to control what they want to eat. Kids are picky eaters and the parent only wants to make sure that their child is well-fed and they often end up compromising on what their child eats.

 

Even now when we go to a restaurant, we see people around with kids simply ordering a big plate of French fries, a huge bowl of cheesy pasta, or a pizza. Have you ever come across a kid relishing anything other than these at a restaurant? Well I haven’t. A child’s health is of course to a large extent dependent on his parents. Come to think of it, most of the energy of a parent is drained behind cooking things that their child will appreciate. Having said that, we barely pay attention to the macronutrients that the child needs. Often a child’s diet composes of more of fat and carbohydrate because typically Indian parents believe that the healthier or plumper the child its better. Childhood obesity is a real thing and it certainly impacts their adult health in a big way.

 

Proteins, fats and carbohydrates along with other vitamins and minerals are extremely essential for a growing child. Balancing these nutrients is important to keep the child metabolism stronger and help them attain a healthy weight and help them grow at a sustainable rate. Whilst fat and carbohydrates are essential, what is often neglected is protein intake. Protein is very easily available in so many foods but does the child eat these foods? This fact is sometimes not paid attention to. Protein is essentially present in green leafy vegetables, eggs, chicken and poultry, dairy products too, some of these things that the child will easily ignore.

 

How does protein in childhood (ages 5-20 years) impact adult health? We all know what protein does for the body. Amino acids which are building blocks of our health system are basically proteins. Out of 20 amino acids, 11 are produced by the body and 9 should come from the food that is consumed. Bearing that in mind, we understand how important it is to consume the right protein for both kids and adults. In growing children, protein helps in:

  

Boosting immunity

Source of energy

Building of bones

Development of organs

Increase in height

Improved brain activity

Multi-tasking

Memory booster

Weight maintenance

Prevention of childhood obesity

 

As a growing child, it's essential to consume around 25-30 grams of protein every day. It’s a well-established fact that a child’s health determines their adult health as well. Till the age of 20 and in the early 20s if the weight remains uncontrolled, it can lead to higher incidences of diabetes, cholesterol, cardiovascular issues, PCOD in women, hormonal imbalances, and other lifestyle-related disorders. Childhood obesity is a marker of all these disorders in adult life. The chances of getting these disorders as an adult increase by almost 30-40%, and that’s a lot. However, the positive part about this is that, if the weight is controlled by the age of 20, there are no risk factors as an adult related to childhood obesity.

 

Where does protein play a part? Essentially, if the protein supplementation is adequate in a child, the building blocks of the body are more sturdy. This just means that the child will grow with better immunity and better overall health. If we think about smaller things like, if a child skin is taken care of, they have better skin as an adult. If a mother has applied coconut oil every single day on their child scalp, they grow up having better hair. If a child has grown up eating a proper diet, a lot of hereditary disorders have been successfully prevented. Encourage your child to eat more dairy products, vegetables and also poultry. If your child is a picky eater, protein supplements are the way to go.

 

Here is a simple and easy recipe, something that no child or even an adult would deny.

 

Protein and good fat-enriched chocolate cookies. (Almost 7-8 grams of protein/ cookie)

Prep time 15 minutes.

 

  1. ½ cup peanut butter
  2. ¼ cup jaggery powder
  3. 2 eggs
  4. ½ tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. ½ cup GRD protein powder of your choice
  7. 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  8. 2 tbsp wheat flour
  9. A pinch of salt

 

Combine all the ingredients in a smooth dough. Pre-heat the oven for 5 minutes to 220 degrees. Roll up the cookie balls and place them in a tray covered with parchment paper. Bake them at 220 degrees for 10-15 minutes, and viola. As you notice there is no oil/ butter unnecessarily adding to the calories.

 

An alternative to these cookies is the superior protein biscuits - GRD Bix. Check them out. They are perfectly good for both adults and kids. While being full of protein, cholesterol-free they have multiple essential nutrients that make them a brand of choice. With these, your health is in safe hands!

 

 

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