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Should my kids take protein powder?

Should my kids take protein powder?

We are often asked by parents if our protein powders are safe for their children to consume. Whilst our powders may be considered ‘safe’ with no added nasties, the answer is never black and white, as when it comes to protein powder and children the answer is really, “it depends”.

We thought we’d take the time in this blog to explore why protein powder may or may not be of benefit to children so you can make an informed decision. First and foremost, we always recommend consulting with your doctor or nutritionist as they possess special expertise in this area and can look more closely at your child’s situation to determine how much protein supplementation is required. 

Is protein powder safe for kids?
Protein powders aren't inherently unsafe for kids, however, too much protein in a child's diet can be. A child's maximum recommended daily protein intake is much lower than that of an adult. Excessive protein intake in children can cause digestive issues, calcium loss, dehydration, and in rare cases, kidney damage. The other thing to avoid in children is protein powders with added stimulants for fat-burning, such as caffeine, or large amounts of added sweeteners and flavours. Nothing Naughty protein powders do not contain any added stimulants and use natural, low-calorie sweeteners - stevia and thaumatin, which make them suitable for children. With these considerations, there are many instances where protein powder may be recommended for children such as if they are athletes, underweight, vegan/vegetarian, have a poor appetite, or have food allergies and aversions.

When can protein powder be beneficial for children?

  • Child athletes have greater protein requirements than less active individuals and these requirements will vary depending on the type of activity, your child's training program, and goals. Whilst many children are able to get enough protein from a balanced diet, some may require additional supplementation to reach their protein goals. 
  • Underweight children with a low Body Mass Index (BMI) may require additional protein in their diets.
  • Children who live a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle and don't consume foods such as meat and eggs may require supplemented protein to reach their recommended daily intake. 
  • Children who have a poor appetite or food allergies/aversions which limit their intake of protein-rich foods such as meat, eggs, dairy, soy, and nuts, may also require additional protein to meet their protein requirements for normal body functions and growth.

If you think your child may fall into one of the above categories and are unsure if they are getting enough protein, we recommend consulting a doctor, dietician, or sports nutritionist, who should be able to calculate the correct daily requirements for your child and if additional supplementation is required.

Protein for kids - FAQ's:

Which protein powder would you recommend for kids?
Our top recommendations if giving your child protein powder are our Lean Bean Protein, Premium Whey Protein, or Pure Collagen Natural. Lean Bean Protein is sourced from fava beans, making it dairy-free and easy to digest, and is a great choice for children who can't or won't consume dairy. Whey Protein is generally considered to be the best-tasting protein and shouldn't cause any digestive issues in children who tolerate dairy if given in small amounts. Our Pure Collagen Natural is also a great source of protein for children that is flavourless, dairy-free, and soluble in liquids meaning it can be blended into any beverage for a little extra protein!

How much protein should I give my child?
As our recommended serving sizes for our protein powders are based on adult requirements, it is important not to give children a full scoop or serve of our protein or collagen powders as this may contribute to too much protein in their diets, unless suggested by a doctor/dietician. Generally speaking, for a toddler or small child 4-5 grams of protein or 1/4-1/3 scoop of protein or 1/2 scoop of collagen would be sufficient. For an older child 5 years plus, around 1/2 scoop of protein or 1 scoop of collagen would be appropriate, however, a doctor or dietician can offer more specific advice. 

Are your protein bars safe for children?
Our Nothing Naughty Protein Bars contain 15 grams of whey protein per bar which is more than children generally require in one serve. We'd recommend only allowing your child 1/3-1/2 of a bar per day to avoid stomach upset or a protein overload. For children with more sensitive stomachs or dairy intolerance, our Plant Protein bars are a good choice, made from a blend of pea and brown rice proteins that are easier on the stomach.

My child loves the taste of my protein shakes/smoothies - is it ok to give them some?
There is no harm in giving your child a few sips of your protein shake or smoothie, however, as mentioned earlier, the main consideration is ensuring your child is not having excessive amounts of protein. If feeding them larger amounts of protein shakes you should take into account what other protein sources they are consuming each day to avoid protein overload. 

We hope this blog has assisted you to make an informed decision on whether our protein powders and bars may be right for your child. If you have any further questions please send us a message via our website or social media channels.