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Protein Group - How Much Protein Does Your Child And Family Really Need?

Maggie LaBarbera • RN, MBA • May 12, 2012

How Much Protein Does Your Family Need?

First, My Plate tells us that we need protein every day.  When you look at your plate, a balanced meal would have one fourth (1/4) of your plate filled with lean protein.  The protein represents the purple part of the My Plate or the Food Pyramid.

The exact amount of protein that each of your family members need really depends on these factors:how much protein

  • your age
  • your gender
  • how active you are

To find out how much foods your child needs, visit our meal planner tool or for a print the daily requirements for your child.


General Daily Protein Needs

In general, the USDA My Plate has created these daily recommended guidelines:

See what counts as a protein serving.*

Recommended servings are shown in ounces or ounce equivalents.  You can see that you don't need a great deal of protein each day.  For example, having a 12 ounce steak at dinner is double the amount of protein needed in one full day!

Protein Group Recommended Daily Servings
  Total Protein Servings
2-3 years old 2 ounce equivalents
4-8 years old
4 ounce equivalents
Girls 9-13 years old
5 ounce equivalents
Girls 14-18 years old
5 ounce equivalents
Boys 9-13 years old
5 ounce equivalents
Boys 14-18 years old
6-1/2  ounce equivalents
Women 19-30 years old 5-1/2  ounce equivalents
Women 31-50 years old 5 ounce equivalents
Women 51+ years old 5 ounce equivalents
Men 19-30 years old 6-1/2 ounce equivalents
Men 31-50 years old 6 ounce equivalents
Men 51+ years old 5-1/2 ounce equivalents


protein daily requirements from my plate










See All Our Nutrition Articles


Written by Maggie LaBarberaWritten on May 12, 2012Last updated on Nov 24, 2013




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