Proteins are the building blocks of our body and our health. Proteins work hard to repair all our overworked or damaged muscles and tissues. They also help in the production of hormones and enzymes. High protein intake helps in reducing weight as well. Protein keeps you satiated, thereby reducing the craving for snacks and untimely eating. The Required Dietary Allowance for protein is just 0.8 grams per kilo of our weight. To find out how much protein you need for yourself or your family member, you multiply the body weight with 0.36. This helps you to calculate the protein requirement for your family per day and plan your menu accordingly. Protein intake in teens is crucial. It helps teens build immunity and make their muscles stronger and keep their skin and hair healthy. As kids, their menu and feeding are completely taken care of their parents. But as they grow older, diets go haywire and are guided more by peer groups. Junk food becomes more accessible as they begin to hang out with friends. Lack of energy and tiredness are early symptoms of an imbalanced diet in a teen. Teens that pursue active sports would need at least 75% more protein than kids who have a normal schedule. This is possible only if there is protein in every meal. Dieticians recommend that 25%-30% of the calorie requirement of teens should come from protein. Some high protein diet with high calories that should find a place in a teens diet – eggs, fish, shrimp, oats, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, milk, broccoli, beans, lean beef, quinoa, tuna, lentils, pumpkin seeds, and peanut butter. These list of high protein foods also are a source of essential vitamin and minerals necessary for them. Teenagers who are vegetarians can include Buckwheat, lentils, and beans including chickpeas in their diet.
A list of high protein dishes that could both satisfy the taste buds of the teens and at the same time give them the required protein is as follows:
- Egg sandwiches
- Oatmeal with fruits and milk
- Salads with Quinoa, fruit, and vegetables
- Smoothie with Tofu, almonds, and fruits
- Baked salmon
- Brown rice with stir-fried vegetables
- Turkey burgers with multi-grain buns
- Peanut butter sandwiches
Creative recipes can be created with one or many of the high protein food items. Burgers, sandwiches, casseroles keep teens interested in eating them. Teachers and parents should constantly engage with them at school and at home to create awareness about eating healthy.