Children are the root of our tomorrow. We want them to succeed and to grow up to be strong, smart and healthy adults. Health and wellness professionals and organizations encourage children and adolescents to be physically active and eat healthy foods so that they can reach their full potential. Eating a healthy diet, including foods from all food groups, is critical to help children fuel their growing bodies with the appropriate nutrients. One of these important nutrients is protein.
Protein is the building block of life. Every cell in the human body contains protein. It is an essential nutrient required for bone and muscle health, proper immune function, the production of hormones, antibodies and enzymes as well as many other critical functions within the body. During infancy, childhood and adolescence, meeting protein needs is especially important to accommodate rapid growth and development — by 2 years of age a child is typically half of their adult height and by 5 years of age 90% of their adult brain has been developed.