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RTT2

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Oct 9, 2015
854
DD has been complaining about feeling tired at practice lately. She's very muscular and, in reviewing her diet, I realized she's probably not getting anywhere near enough protein. Guessing it might be the same for my son. I've bumped up DD's protein in the last few days and she feels like it's making a huge difference in energy levels and performance (am also trying to keep an eye on adding iron rich foods). Any great ideas for great protein rich meals and snacks that kids/teens really love?
 
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PreciousJ

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Feb 16, 2021
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I'm not a nutritionist but I was a nurse, and I have a strong personal interest in nutrition. Things my two kids enjoy (inconsistently, LOL):
-Smoothies, with Greek yogurt, nut butter, or hemp seeds for protein. I don't do protein powder with them, and would advise against it unless the kid is vegan or vegetarian.
-Greek yogurt with fruit and granola
-Oatmeal
-Turkey or chicken sandwiches
-Pasta with meat sauce (I try to use whole wheat pasta when possible)
-Lentil dishes
-Beans! You can do a TON with chickpeas and black beans
-Edamame
-Energy bites/balls made with nut butter
-I found some almond based pudding pouches at Sam's Club recently that they will grab on the way to practices, decent amount of protein and shelf stable
-Eggs (one kid hates them, though - my gymnast)
-Vegan baked goods - I'm the vegan in the house but many vegan recipes for muffins and pancakes and such can have good amounts of protein, depending on ingredients used

Nuts and seeds (especially hemp seeds) are also something I sprinkle on certain foods for an extra boost of protein. Again, something from plant based eating that I apply to their diet.
 

RTT2

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2015
854
Great suggestions, PreciousJ! DD has a nut allergy, unfortunately, which makes things a little harder, but these are good ideas I can work with- thanks!
 
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PreciousJ

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Glad this helps! I totally understand the need to modify. My son has a peanut allergy, but can eat all other nuts. But, I do use sunflower seed butter in recipes sometimes, because they have nut-allergic classmates and teammates. DD has braces so I have to modify things so she can eat them. Best of luck!
 
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Dahlia

Proud Parent
Sep 27, 2013
337
You already received some great suggestions. To add to the above, there are pastas made with things like chick peas and lentils. Great way to get protein in rather than using pasta that is just refined carbs. I do find a flavorful sauce to helps cover the different taste a bit. Another grab and go shelf stable idea is jerky (there are all kinds from traditional beef to salmon).

I would also recommend maybe looking into a good multivitamin. If certain nutrients are low that can make a big difference. I'd recommend talking to your doctor and possibly even get some bloodwork done to look for deficiencies and a specific recommendation.
 
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