Proteins Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Instructor: Tiffany Hightower

Tiffany is a certified elementary school teacher. She has a B.A. in English, education certification and a master's degree in education from Central Michigan University.

In this lesson, you will learn about the nutrient protein. You will explore where it comes from, and how important it is to your body's health and strength. Read on to discover fun and interesting facts about protein.

What's Protein?

Have you ever wondered how professional wrestlers, circus acrobats and Olympic athletes get strong muscles? Well, it has a lot to do with the nutrient protein, which builds their muscles. Protein is something that's naturally found in plants and animals. It's made of microscopic building blocks called amino acids. When you look at amino acids under a microscope, they look like tangled strings. Protein is an important and necessary part of your daily meals to help you to grow and stay healthy.

Amino Acids Under a Microscope
Amino Acids

What Parts of the Body are Made of Protein?

Protein is a superfood! This nutrient has a lot of work to do to keep your body running. When you eat protein, it breaks down into amino acids during digestion. Then your body sends these amino acids to different parts to keep them healthy and growing. One part of the body that needs protein are your muscles. Children grow very quickly, and protein helps your muscles keep growing to help you move, walk, run and exercise. Did you know that blood is also made of protein? Blood carries nutrients and oxygen throughout your body. Protein also builds organs such as your heart. Your bones even need protein to grow, and stay strong and healthy. As you can see, protein is important to your health. So the next time you are having fun on the playground with your friends, you will be happy that you have eaten healthy servings of protein to have the strength and energy to enjoy yourself!

Athlete Using Muscles

What Foods Have Protein?

Protein comes from a variety of animal and plant based foods. Have you ever heard of the basic food groups? Well, protein is one of the basic food groups usually known as the meat group. However, you can get protein from a variety of foods! Some foods with protein are meats, fish, eggs, Greek yogurt, beans, peanuts and milk. You can also get protein from certain plants or vegetables like broccoli and green peas. Exploring a variety of food choices with protein is a great way to improve your diet and have fun trying out new and unusual foods.

Meat and Beans
Protein of Meat and Beans

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