Here's How Much Protein & Nutrients Kids Really Need & Where They Can Get Them

Sep 28, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. ET
Image: Getty Images

Being a parent is a lifelong exercise in worry, especially when the health of our kids is concerned. Parenting in the digital age, in particular, can be confusing — information is shared in viral succession, and it can be hard to sort out the stuff that should stick from the stuff that shouldn't.

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Figuring out how much protein and other nutrients our kids should be getting certainly classifies as need-to-know info, but it's also info that at times feels impossible to accurately pinpoint. Are they getting enough protein? Are they getting too much protein? How about carbs? And fat?

Don't worry — the odds are in your favor that your child's nutritional needs are being met if they are already getting a balanced diet. But it's totally normal to be concerned. Plus, recommended dietary allowances can vary from child to child because no two children are exactly alike.

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Accordingly, dietary suggestions for nutrients and macronutrients are often broken down by sex and age as well as by percentages based on body weight for some macronutrients. Still sounds like a lot of work to decipher, right?

Well, happily, the government's Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion created a specific set of nutritional goals for age-sex groups based on both dietary reference intakes and dietary recommendations. Titled Appendix 7, it outlines precise amounts of commonly queried macronutrients — including protein, carbs and fat.

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To make your life even easier, though (hey, parenting is hard... you deserve a break!), we funneled all of the information into one handy infographic. Bonus? It even has healthy snack ideas to help your kiddos meet their nutritional needs in these categories.

Image: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows