How Much Protein Do Your Kids Need?

I’ll be the first to admit that I never count macros, especially for my children. As a rule of thumb that seems to work well in my home, I serve a protein (usually animal-based) at every meal and give it to the children before I give them any carbohydrate foods, to make sure they eat enough protein and don’t fill up on carbs.

In my opinion, carbohydrates aren’t always bad (except pure sugar, of course!) but they aren’t always necessary. If the children want more after they finish their protein-rich portion, I give them more. I don’t try to control their diets too much (besides serving them mostly healthy foods cooked from scratch) and I let them decide what they need–after all, they are the only ones who feel their hunger or fullness! 

Sometimes, a child will want more or less food, and some children just eat more than others. An example of what I’ll offer my big-appetite 5 year old would be this:

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, then served a kefir or kombucha smoothie

Lunch: a can of sardines with mustard, then served some apricots or a banana

Dinner: 1 cup of homemade soup (bone broth, meat, and vegetables), raw milk on the side, and sourdough bread or more soup if she wants more.

Sometimes she will clean her plate and ask to eat any leftovers from her siblings, and sometimes she will be too full to eat her carbohydrates or finish her protein. I focus primarily on good proteins and fats, and carbohydrates always come last…unless we are eating oatmeal for breakfast, which we all love!

Have you ever thought about the protein needs of your kids? As always, quality protein from a local farm will go a long way toward giving you nutrient-dense proteins, whether grass-fed meats or eggs.

Written by:


Diane is a wife, mother, and researcher with the goal of restoring the practice of traditional holistic approaches to wellness and sharing evidence-based information with the public. She lives in Grand Forks North Dakota with her husband and four children and receives raw milk and pastured meats from Bartlett Farms.


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