- 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
- Protein is one of the essential nutrients that the human body requires to function.
- Protein is considered one of the building blocks of life.
- The human body uses protein to grow and maintain itself.
- Every cell in the human body contains protein, including skin and hair.
- Protein is a major structural component of every type of cell found in the human body.
- Protein contains nine amino acids the human body can’t make.
- The nine amino acids the human body needs from protein are histidine, lysine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, tryptophan, threonine, valine, and phenylalanine.
- According to US dietary guidelines a male between the ages of 19 and 70 needs 56 grams of protein per day.
- According to US dietary guidelines a female between the ages of 19 and 70 needs 46 grams of protein per day.
- Athletes and body builders need a higher intake of protein to meet energy and muscle growth demands.
- There are lots of food rich in protein, like chicken, pork, salmon, beans and dairy products.
- A chicken breast (three ounces) contains 25 grams of protein.
- A pork chop (three ounces) contains between 21 and 22 grams of protein.
- A salmon filet (three ounces) contains 16.9 grams of protein.
- Black beans (1 cup, 172 grams) contains 15.2 grams of protein.
- Plain, low fat yogurt (1 cup, 8 fluid ounces) contains 12.9 grams of protein.
- One large egg (100 grams) contains 12.4 grams of protein.
- Milk (1 cup, 249 grams) contains 8.14 grams of protein.
- There are many insects, like mealworms, that pound for pound have more protein than other food sources.
Pictures of Protein Rich Foods
A picture of steak, a food with a good source of protein.
Credit: Erin Collins / CBC
A picture of chicken, a food with a good source of protein.
Credit: Tree Hill Farms
A picture of scrambled eggs, a food with a good source of protein.
Credit: Leah Maroney
A picture of salmon, a food with a good source of protein.
Credit: Nathan Congleton / TODAY
A picture of cheese, a food with a good source of protein.
Credit: Hilmar Cheese Compnay
A picture of milk, a food with a good source of protein.
Credit: Dairy Farmers of Canada
Additional Resources on Protein
- Protein and Amino Acids – Learn about protein and amino acides on the USDA SNAP-Ed Connection website.
- Benefits of Protein – Discover many of the benefits of protein on the USDA ChooseMyPlate website.
- Protein (nutrient) – Wikipedia – Find more facts about protein on the Wikipedia website.