At my son’s recent 4-year well-check with our pediatrician, she gave me the information that I was already expecting. Beckett is way above average for his age in height, average for weight, and well below average in BMI. It was not news to me as I have had my concerns about how skinny he is. Here’s the thing though—Beckett eats CONSTANTLY! He would stand in front of the fridge all day and munch if I let him. No sooner has he finished one snack than he’s asking for another. I asked his pediatrician how he could possibly be underweight when he eats like a linebacker. She answered that spirited, high energy kids like mine (he seriously never stands still during his waking hours) keep their metabolisms revved and burn more calories. Her suggestion to me was that I add more protein to his diet.
I went home and (naturally) scoured Pinterest for recipes and ideas. Then I went grocery shopping and stocked up.
Here are some of the changes we’ve made and the recipes we’ve tried:
I have to admit that I’m guilty of letting my son eat a less than stellar breakfast in the mornings due to time constraints. He’s a huge fan of those snack packs of mini muffins. These were the first thing to go. We’ve tried a couple of different types of muffins in their place. These Greek Yogurt Banana Muffins have everything he loves about the mini muffins but with fruit and extra protein from the greek yogurt. For a bit of a different take on the muffin, I also tried out these Bacon and Egg Cups. I love these just as much as my son does. You can make these ahead of time and store them in the fridge to eat throughout the week. They are quick, easy, and the bacon and eggs pack lots of protein.
My son really loves sandwiches—particularly PB&J. This peanut butter banana roll-up is his favorite “recipe” of all.
- This Fit & Active Flatbread from Aldi has 9g of protein (as opposed to 4g in the other whole wheat wraps we had).
- Natural Peanut Butter
- 1 banana
- Local Honey
- Mini Chocolate Chips (optional)
Spread the peanut butter over the wrap and place your peeled banana in the middle. Drizzle with honey, sprinkle with a few chocolate chips and roll it up. It’s so simple and incredibly kid-friendly!
Another lunch idea (in lieu of sandwiches) is a portable Protein Snack Pack. Ours included ham, mozzarella cheese, and natural almonds. We also added some fresh fruit on the side that isn’t pictured.
You can make several of these ahead of time so your child can just grab and munch whenever they’re hungry.
Snackwise, we’ve officially gone greek. Beckett is a huge fan of the on-the-go squeezable yogurts. He will sometimes eat 3 a day. I found that the Chobani brand greek yogurt tubes have less sugar, fewer additives, and more protein than their regular yogurt tube counterparts. He switched over to greek yogurt with no problems and no questions asked! I also phased out off-the-shelf granola bars. Instead, we are trying out different types of Protein Bites and Bars. You can shape these into bars, balls, or cookies. Add in milled flaxseed for an extra boost of protein and fiber.
So far, I can definitely see the difference in how often Beckett is asking for food. These higher protein recipes and swaps are definitely sticking with him longer and giving him the fuel his busy little body needs.