Children of all ages need healthy nutrition to meet their daily growth and development needs. Protein is of particular importance because of its diverse roles in the body.
Protein is an important component of various hormones and enzymes and also plays an important role in the recovery and repair of skeletal muscles after exercise.  Due to the popularity of protein powder for athletes, especially teenagers and young adults, it can be tempting to grab this shake to make sure your kids get everything they need. But should protein powder be included in the list of other healthy afternoon snacks? Let's take a closer look.
Why do children need protein?
In childhood, protein becomes incredibly important to maintain normal body function and provide building blocks to support growth. Since childhood growth is so fast, the amount of protein a child takes is absolutely crucial. In fact, low protein intake has been shown to reduce stature compared to children of the same age. [1
On the other hand, protein intakes that are consistently high during childhood have been associated with an increased risk of overweight or obesity in later childhood stages and in early adulthood.  Earlier research suggests that this risk is further increased with a higher intake of animal proteins compared to plant proteins. [3,4]
However, it should be noted that this is only the case when the protein intake is exceptionally high, usually over 20 percent of the total daily calories. The literature indicates that 12-15 percent of children's daily calorie intake should come from protein.
What is the best protein for children?
If you are trying to decide which high-protein foods are best Think of your children as a source of animal health, such as meat and dairy, as long as your child has no dietary restrictions, better than herbal counterparts to growth and development and recovery to encourage physical exertion.
The reason for this lies in the amino acid leucine. Leucine is a major regulator of protein synthesis. While the majority of animal proteins contain more than enough leucine to promote protein synthesis, many plant sources do not. In addition, research has shown that animal-based proteins such as milk or beef, even when tuned for leucine content, provide a superior response to protein synthesis compared to plant protein. [5,6]
Therefore, it is better to use animal sources such as milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, lean meat and eggs for the bulk of the daily protein intake. Use healthy snacks such as nuts, peanut butter, and hummus to fill other gaps in the diet, but not as a source of protein. And although a milk or yoghurt smoothie may be a healthy, protein-rich snack, balanced, wholesome food should provide enough food for most children.
How much protein do children need?
How much protein is this? Your child actually needs every day? The answer depends on many factors, especially age, height and level of activity. Larger children need more protein than smaller children, and an active child needs more protein than a sitting child.
However, adequate macronutrient intake should always be based on daily total calories. Therefore, daily caloric intake is the best way to accurately determine protein requirements.
According to updated dietary guidelines published by the UK-based Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, which advises the British government on nutrition and health, men and women between 4 and 4 years -6 years old should average about 1,500 and 1,400 calories, respectively consume per day.  Between the ages of 16 and 18, however, this number creeps up to about 3,000 calories per day for men and up to 2,450 per day for women.
Based on these dietary guidelines, children between the ages of 4-6 should consume 20 grams of high-quality protein per day, while teens should consume between 42-55 grams per day. This amount is readily available from high quality, low fat animal protein and common high protein milk sources such as milk, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese.
This value increases for athletes due to the increased need for amino acids The body recovers from exercise. Even so, even adolescent athletes should not consume more than about 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. 
Is protein powder safe for children?
One of the most important factors in deciding whether to give your children something or not is whether or not these foods or ingredients are safe for human consumption.
For protein powders, the answer to this question is unambiguous, yes. Just because something is safe does not mean that it should be an integral part of a child's diet. If the protein intake is too high, it may increase the risk of obesity later in life. 
Since children's protein requirements are already relatively low compared to adults, the extra protein found in meal replacement powders can easily be above the ideal threshold, even for teenagers. Although a protein shake is safe for children and is a great source of protein when used as a meal replacement, adding a protein-rich smoothie regularly to your child's daily diet is probably not necessary unless he or she does not have enough quality protein in their diet ,
How much protein does a teenager need to build muscle?
In the teenage years, it is not uncommon for an increase in physical activity due to increased participation in competitive sports and types of movement, such as resistance training.
While the increased activity and growth associated with puberty results in an increased demand for protein, this increased intake is still below the recommendations of 12-15% of the total daily calories. For most teenagers, this is 65 to 80 grams per day.
Most commercially available protein powders deliver 20-25 grams of protein per serving – about 25 percent of RDA even after the most generous protein estimates! Therefore, it is probably also a better way for teenage athletes to access the pantry than the protein pan.
Should you give your child a protein shake? The choice is entirely up to you. Protein supplements are safe for consumption by people of all ages, but children's protein needs are so low that all children can easily meet their protein needs with a normal, healthy and varied diet.
If you decide Buy protein powder for your child or teenager, look for a high-quality whey, veggie or protein isolate with less than 20 grams of protein per serving, which can only be used after exercise. So if your kid is an athlete, it's safe to swap the fruit roll-ups for protein bars and add a protein drink every now and then, but that's not mandatory.
- Michaelsen, KF, Larnkjær, A. & Mølgaard, C. (2012). Amount and quality of dietary protein during the first two years of life related to NCD risk in adulthood. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 22 (10), 781-786.
- M. Wright, D. Sotres-Alvarez, M.A. Mendez, & Adair, L. (2017). Combining trajectories of protein intake and age-specific protein intake of 2 to 22 years with BMI in early adulthood. British Journal of Nutrition, 117 (5), 750-758.
- Halkjær, J., Olsen, A., Overvad, K., Jakobsen, MU, Boeing, H., B., & Wareham, NJ (2011). Intake of total, animal and vegetable protein and subsequent weight or waist circumference change in European men and women: the Diogenes project. International Journal of Obesity, 35 (8), 1104.
- Lind, M.V., Larnkjær, A., Mølgaard, C., & Michaelsen, K.F. (2017). Protein intake and quality in early life: influence on growth and obesity. Recent Statement in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, 20 (1), 71-76.
- Tang, JE, Moore, DR, Kujbida, GW, Tarnopolsky, MA, & Phillips, SM (2009). Ingestion of whey hydrolyzate, casein or soy protein isolate: effects on muscle synthesis of mixed muscles at rest and subsequent resistance exercises in young men. Journal of Applied Physiology, 107 (3), 987-992.
- Van Vliet, S., Burd, N.A. and van Loon, L.J. (2015). The anabolic response of skeletal muscle to plant protein consumption in animals1. The Journal of Nutrition, 145 (9), 1981-1991.
- Scientific Advisory Board for Nutrition. (2012). Reference values for the diet. The Stationery Office
- Boisseau, N., Vermorel, M., Rance, M., Duché, P. & Patureau-Mirand, P. (2007). Protein needs in male adolescent football players. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 100 (1), 27-33.