Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in building and repairing tissues, as well as supporting the immune system and hormone production. The Dietary Reference Intake recommends individuals consume 0.36 grams of protein per pound (0.8 grams per kg) of body weight of protein each day to meet their nutritional needs. The amount of protein required varies depending on age, gender, and activity level. Here’s a chart that shows how much protein the average toddler, adolescent, teenager, and adult needs each day:
- Toddlers (1-3 years): 13 grams
- Children (4-8 years): 19 grams
- Adolescents (9-13 years): 34 grams
- Teenage boys (14-18 years): 52 grams
- Teenage girls (14-18 years): 46 grams
- Adult men: 56 grams
- Adult women: 46 grams
Now that we know how much protein we need, let’s explore some snack ideas and new recipes that can help us meet our daily protein requirements.
Hummus and Crackers
If you’re looking for a tasty and quick snack that can easily be taken on the go, why not try hummus and crackers or rice cakes? The chickpeas and sesame in the hummus will provide you with a much-needed protein boost, not to mention it’s a completely delicious dip!
Being a meat-eater makes it much easier to get those protein hits in your day-to-day diet. So, snacking on something like spicy deer jerky or honey-glazed ham slices is a flavorsome and unique way to incorporate more protein in your diet. This is especially effective if you’re hoping to reduce the amount of sugar and carbohydrates in your diet too.
Nut Butter on Toast
A freshly toasted piece of seeded wholemeal bread, paired with a scrape of 100% almond butter or peanut butter is an unbeatable combination. If you’re looking to add a little extra sweetness to this snack, you could always slice up some strawberries or banana on top.
Greek Yogurt and Fruit
Full fat, no added sugar Greek yogurt is a brilliant way to add a touch of extra protein into your diet. Sprinkle on some blueberries or raspberries, and you have a refreshing snack that is packed full of antioxidants and satisfying protein.
Eggs as You Like Them
Scrambled, boiled, poached, or fried, eggs are extremely rich in protein, and they can help to fill you up in between mealtimes. Make sure you eat the yolk too, as this is the particularly nutritious part of the egg you don’t want to miss out on.
Spinach and Seed Mix
Perhaps your breakfast hasn’t quite satisfied you in the way you hoped. If so, you can wilt some spinach in a frying pan, toss in some cherry tomatoes, sprinkle on some feta cheese and some pumpkin seeds, and you have yourself a delicious, protein and iron-rich snack to see you through until lunchtime!
Cheese and Fruit
If you don’t have much time to prepare a complicated snack, and you want to save on the washing up, why not grab an apple and pair it with a slice of cheddar or Edam cheese? This short and sharp protein hit is a perfect energy boost and it is ideal to take out and about when you’re having a busy day.
Almonds and Dark Chocolate
There are a whole host of benefits to eating dark chocolate; as well as satisfying your sweet tooth, it is also packed full of antioxidants that can help to boost your immune system and oxytocin levels. Almonds are the ideal pairing with dark chocolate as the good fats and protein serve as the perfect accompaniment to the slightly sweet snack.
So, there you have it! Eight protein-packed snack ideas that are easy to prepare, delicious, and can be enjoyed at any time of day. Remember, incorporating protein into your snacks is a great way to stay energized and full between meals. By making healthy snacking a part of your daily routine, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your health and fitness goals.
- Healthline. (2021). How Much Protein Should You Eat Per Day? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-protein-per-day
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2021). Protein. Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein/
- United States Department of Agriculture. (2021). ChooseMyPlate.gov. Retrieved from https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate