Pack In The Protein: Six Tips For Keeping Your Kids Full Longer

When you are a parent, the words "I'm starving" can drive you absolutely insane. How often can they possibly eat? One of the ways you can help your children stay full longer (and snack less) is to give them more protein. Unfortunately, most children don't love meat, so getting them to eat more protein can be tricky. Here are six things you can do to help your child get more protein.

1. Try protein shakes. There are many different kinds out there and they come in a variety of flavors. A chocolate protein shake is a lot healthier (it has less sugar and is packed with protein) than chocolate milk or juice. You can stir in some fiber powder to add some extra fiber, too.

2. Add protein to smoothies. You can add protein powder to smoothies, too. A scoop of vanilla tastes great in a fruit smoothie. Here is a yummy recipe for a protein-packed smoothie:

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1/2 a banana

1 cup ice

2 Tbsp peanut butter (which also contains protein!)

4 oz water

4 oz milk

1 Tbsp chia seeds

Blend and serve!

3. Give them protein bars. Instead of giving your child a granola bar to snack on, give them a protein bar. While some don't taste that great, there are others that are delicious. Have a taste-testing party and find out which your children will eat. Check the labels too, because some are healthier than others. You can also make your own if cost is an issue. 

4. Serve more peanut butter. It isn't just for sandwiches. You can put it on celery, serve it with apples or pears, add it to smoothies, or make a fruit dip with equal parts yogurt (strawberry or vanilla) and peanut butter. Here is a recipe for a tasty peanut butter and jelly smoothie:

1 frozen banana

3/4 c milk, water, or almond milk

1 cup frozen strawberries

2 Tbsp peanut butter

1/2 cup ice cubes

1 Tbsp chia seeds

Blend and serve immediately. You can also freeze this (or any other smoothie) in popsicle molds. Yum! 

5. Make bags of trail mix. Add nuts, raisins or dried cranberries (they have less sugar than raisins), chocolate chips, dried bananas, whatever your child will eat.

6. Give them more cheese. Try giving them string cheese with whole wheat crackers, cheddar cheese slices with apples, or pretzels dipped in melted cheese. Not only will they get protein, they will get calcium at the same time. 

As you add more protein to your child's diet, you will help them snack less and feel full longer. Good luck!

If you have concerns about your child's eating habits or any other health issues, you can contact a local family clinic, or check out