A Picture of Foods with Protein

Protein Facts

  • Name: Protein
  • Type of Food: Nutrient
  • Sources: Meats, diary products and vegetables
  • Energy Produced: Up to 17 kJ per gram
  • Purpose: Support human body growth and maintenance
  • Male Dietary Needs: 56 grams (ages 19 to 70)
  • Female Dietary Needs: 46 grams (ages 19 to 70)

19 Protein Facts for Kids

  1. Protein is one of the essential nutrients that the human body requires to function.
  2. Protein is considered one of the building blocks of life.
  3. The human body uses protein to grow and maintain itself.
  4. Every cell in the human body contains protein, including skin and hair.
  5. Protein is a major structural component of every type of cell found in the human body.
  6. Protein contains nine amino acids the human body can’t make.
  7. The nine amino acids the human body needs from protein are histidine, lysine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, tryptophan, threonine, valine, and phenylalanine.
  8. According to US dietary guidelines a male between the ages of 19 and 70 needs 56 grams of protein per day.
  9. According to US dietary guidelines a female between the ages of 19 and 70 needs 46 grams of protein per day.
  10. Athletes and body builders need a higher intake of protein to meet energy and muscle growth demands.
  11. There are many different food sources that are rich in protein, like chicken, pork, salmon, beans and dairy products.
  12. A chicken breast (three ounces) contains 25 grams of protein.
  13. A pork chop (three ounces) contains between 21 and 22 grams of protein.
  14. A salmon filet (three ounces) contains 16.9 grams of protein.
  15. Black beans (1 cup, 172 grams) contains 15.2 grams of protein.
  16. Plain, low fat yogurt (1 cup, 8 fluid ounces) contains 12.9 grams of protein.
  17. One large egg (100 grams) contains 12.4 grams of protein.
  18. Milk (1 cup, 249 grams) contains 8.14 grams of protein.
  19. There are many insects, like mealworms, that pound for pound have more protein than other food sources.

Additional Resources on Protein