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Protein-rich foods to keep your kids fueled for school

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — As kids return to the classroom, it’s important for them to stay energized, and protein is a great way to keep kids fueled for school.

Protein can really give kids a boost during the school day, says Kaitlyn Wong, a registered dietician with Community Health Network.

“Protein is gonna give them that staying power, keep their tummies full for longer, and keep their blood sugar levels stable throughout the day so they’re not feeling hungry constantly. We can kind of make that a little bit less frequent by giving them protein,” Wong says.

Starting the day with a protein-packed breakfast doesn’t have to be difficult — it can be quick and easy, according to Wong.

“You can do a packaged oatmeal, and now they have higher protein oatmeal options, but even those are still a little bit minimal. So, you’ll want to add a little bit extra to that, whether that’s some peanut butter, eggs, or yogurt. A liquid protein shake is also an easy option.”

Protein powders may be tempting, but there are better options out there for kids, according to Wong.

“There are so many convenient options that are not a protein powder and they’re a lot less expensive. So things like string cheese…I don’t really know what toddler doesn’t love cheese. Cheese is a really easy thing. Nut butter is really easy. I would save your money for real food as opposed to a protein powder.”

Wong says there’s another “p” that’s just as important as protein — produce.

“That just makes it easy, well-rounded, and you’re getting some healthy carbohydrates from the fruit or vegetable, and that good protein to keep that staying power,” Wong said.

Learn more about the importance of protein from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus.