Are Protein Bars Bad for Children?
Protein bars are convenient and handy for families on the go. Protein bars are not bad for children, but they have nutritional pros and cons.
The best nutritional choice will always be fresh foods, but protein bars may have an advantage over sugary vending machine food or greasy fast food. A protein bar is certainly better for a child than skipping a meal.
Protein bars provide quick energy as an after-school snack or during sporting activities. The nutritional value varies depending on the bar. Some protein bars are loaded with vitamins and nutrients; some hide behind the word "healthy" and are loaded with sugar for taste.
Energy Bars and Granola Bars
Protein bar are larger than energy bars or granola bars, and are usually intended for adult use. Generally, children do not need extra protein, so other snack bars may be a more appropriate choice.
Read the Label
Be sure to read labels and make healthy choices when purchasing protein bars, especially when the bars may be eaten by children.
Choose protein bars based on nutritional components. Bars containing unsaturated fats are always the best choice. High protein diets are not recommended for children, and therefore, higher protein bars are not advised for kids 1.
- Kids Health
- Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes, Total Water and Macronutrients.
- Kalita S, Khandelwal S, Madan J, Pandya H, Sesikeran B, Krishnaswamy K. Almonds and Cardiovascular Health: A Review. Nutrients. 2018;10(4). doi:10.3390/nu10040468
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt