Kids and Protein Bars: Are Protein Bars Safe for Kids?
After school, before basketball practice or gymnastics, or waiting in line at the grocery store, your kids need a snack NOW. Preferably a healthy snack. Full of all natural, wholesome ingredients instead of pure cane sugar sure to give a boost and then a quick fall in 30 minutes.
YOU REACH FOR A….
But then you think “Are these safe for my kids? Is this too much protein for their little bodies?” Well let’s dive in and answer that question.
HOW MUCH PROTEIN DOES A CHILD NEED?
As one of the three macronutrients needed for life, we can all agree that kids need protein--more so than adults since kids are growing. Protein builds, maintains, and replaces tissues in the body. Every major organ, all of your muscles, and your immune system is mostly protein. Protein is also essential for bodily functioning such as making hemoglobin to carry oxygen to cells.
The question is how much? It all depends on several factors: age, gender, and weight. Experts say children need about half a gram of protein for every pound the child weighs. So if you child weighs 50 pounds, he or she will need 25 g of protein.
Can kids eat too much protein? Just like adults, we all can overeat. What happens when you overeat? Your body converts extra calories to fat. However, extra protein will not harm your child.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PROTEIN BAR FOR YOUR CHILD
Not all protein bars are created equal. And a granola bar is not a protein bar. A lot of popular protein bars are full of added preservatives for shelf life, sugar called glucose, corn syrup or cane sugar, and fat. The key is to read the label. Here’s what to look for on a protein bar label:
- As close to nature as possible. If the ingredient has a weird ending (like -ose or -in or -ol), a bunch of extracts, starches and natural flavors, it’s manufactured. If the label is covered with these words, put it back immediately.
- Look for hydrogenated oils. This is fat in hiding as well.
- Minimize calories. The lower the calories, the better the bar, but try to stay around 150 calories per serving.
- The less number of ingredients, the better the bar. A good rule of thumb is less than twenty ingredients in a high energy protein bar.
- Do you recognize all of the names? If you do, you’re all set. Grab those bars and hold on for dear life because those are few and far between!
Dr. Jen’s Ultimate Protein Bars prides itself on all natural, pure ingredients. Our bars have minimal ingredients, all recognizable! Non-GMO with no artificial preservatives, our all natural protein bars are manufactured with special dietary needs in mind. Gluten-free, allergen-free, and low in sugar, our protein bars are as close to nature as one can get!
FINAL THOUGHTS ON TIMING OF PROTEIN BARS AS IT RELATES TO KIDS
Eating protein is all about timing. Since the body doesn’t store protein, it is crucial to spread out intake throughout the day. Protein bars are filling so allow about 2 hours before a full meal. For smaller children, you may even want to offer up only half a protein bar as their stomachs are smaller than adults and tend to fill quickly.
Dr. Jen’s passion is to help parents navigate the endless options now available of protein bars, each claiming to be the best and the healthiest. All manufacturers are required to report ingredients and nutrition information on all products. Learn to take the extra 30 seconds to read the label, the calories, the macronutrients and how much is in each (protein, carbs, and fats), and then to decide for yourself if the product is up to your standards for your child.
Parents know best and here at Dr. Jen’s we’re here to support you in the challenging and often thankless job of raising your children. We welcome feedback and new product ideas and tips or send us a pic of your child eating our bar! We’d love to see how we’re changing lives one all natural protein bar at a time! Contact us here!