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Protein in Common Foods

Daily protein requirements vary by individual

 

An easy way to assess whether your child is getting adequate, but not excessive, protein in his/her daily diet is to use this rule of thumb: consume daily 16 ounces (2 cups, or 480 ml) of milk or yogurt plus a moderate serving of protein-rich foods at two meals a day.  This, along with with the small amounts of protein in grains and vegetables, will likely meet your child's daily protein requirement.  Of course, your child will need to eat other foods to round her calorie and nutritional requirements, and those foods will offer a little more protein, as well.

Breakfast: 1 cup milk on cereal

Lunch: 2 oz. (60 g.) sandwich filling (tuna, roast beef, turkey), 1 cup yogurt

Dinner: 4 oz. (125 g.) meat, fish, poultry, or the equivalent in lentils or other beans and legumes.

Growing teenagers and novice bodybuilders with high protein needs can get additional protein by drinking another 2 cups of milk.

Protein Recommendations

Animal sources

Amount

Protein
(in grams)

Egg white

1 large egg

3.5 

Yogurt

1 cup

11

Milk 1%

1 cup (8 oz.)

8

Cottage cheese 1/2 cup (4 oz.)
15

Haddock

4 oz. (125 g. ) cooked

27

Cheddar cheese

1 oz

7

Hamburger
4 oz. (125 g.) broiled
30
Pork loin
4 oz. (125 g.) roasted 30
Chicken breast
4 oz. (125 g.) roasted
35
Tuna
5 oz. (145 g.)
33

 

Plant sources

Amount

Protein
(in grams)

Almond, dried

12 nuts

3.5 

Peanut butter
1 tbsp 4.5

Kidney beans

1/2 cup

6

Gardenburger (original)

2.5 oz. patty

6

Refried beans
1/2 cup 7

Lentil soup

10.5 oz.

11

Tofu, extra firm

3.5 oz.

11
Baked beans
1 cup
14
Boca burger 2.5 oz. patty 13


Source: Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook (4th ed. 2008 Human Kinetics).

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