high protein bowl of nuts for kids snacks

Ten High Protein Snacks for Kids

Written by: Happy Wolf



Time to read 4 min

As parents, we often worry that our little ones aren’t getting enough protein due to picky eating, food texture issues, or specific dietary restrictions. We know that protein is important for growth, but it is hard to know how much protein our kids need and what are the best  high protein snacks for kids .

You’ll be happy to learn that protein can be found in a wide variety of foods, including meats, dairy, beans, and grains. While not all of these foods are high in protein, they can all contribute to your child’s daily protein needs.

How can you be sure your child is getting enough protein? Everything you need to know to help you feel confident that your little ones are getting the protein they need can be found here. Also, check out our Smart Snacking - Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids at School for even more snack inspiration!

Why are high-protein snacks for kids so important?

Protein is not only crucial for our kid’s growth and development, but it is essential for building healthy bones, hormone development, and immune health. This is why it is important to include sources of protein at snack and not just at mealtimes.

Proteins are made up of amino acids, the building blocks for all of our bodily functions. The protein found in food is made up of different types of these amino acids. This means eating a variety of protein-rich foods is important to ensure that we are getting all the building blocks our bodies need.

“If your child enjoys a variety of foods from all food groups, then they are likely meeting their protein needs,” says family health dietitian Cheryl Anderson, MHSc RD. “However, if parents are concerned their child is not getting enough protein, some signs are fatigue and poor concentration, slowed growth, slower wound healing, and unexplained joint pains.”

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to speak with your healthcare professional.

How much protein do kids need each day?

It can be hard to know if your little one gets enough protein daily. Anderson recommends including a protein source at all meals and snack times. This will increase the likelihood of your child getting enough even if they don’t eat everything offered.

More specifically, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that:

  • Toddlers (1-3 years) are offered 2-3 servings of 1oz protein-rich foods each day

  • Children (4-8 years) are offered 4 servings of 1oz protein-rich foods each day

  • Adolescents (9-13 years) are offered 5 oz protein-rich foods each day

  • Teens (female 14-18 years) are offered 5 oz protein-rich foods each day

  • Teens (male 14-18 years) are offered 6.5 oz protein-rich foods each day ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

The ten best high-protein snacks for kids

Wondering how to increase your kid’s protein intake? We’ve rounded up the ten best snacks that contain loads of proteins for toddlers and kids. As an added bonus, this list includes some vegetarian protein snacks that are jam-packed with protein!

1. Eggs

Hardboiled? Scrambled? Whichever way your kids like them, eggs are a powerhouse of protein! One large egg weighs around 2 oz and contains 8 grams of protein and tons of vitamins and minerals that are good for muscle and brain development.

High protein plate of scrambled eggs

2. Meat, poultry or fish

A toddler sized serving of meat, poultry or fish (about 4 tablespoons) provides your little one with approximately 8 grams of protein. Plus, meat, poultry and fish are complete proteins, meaning that they contain all of the essential amino acids that their bodies need for growth and repair.

3. Beans and legumes

Looking for an amazing vegetarian protein for kids? Beans and legumes such as lentils or chickpeas are it. Just a ¼ cup of beans and legumes contain 8 grams of protein, plus lots of fiber and iron, making them nutrition superheroes!

4. Cheese

We all know that cheese is a great source of calcium, but it provides loads of protein too. One slice of cheddar can contribute about 5 grams of protein and many cheeses contain probiotics that promote a healthy gut.

kids' lunchbox with cheese, crackers, and fruit

5. Nuts and Nut butters

Nuts pack a bunch of protein into a tiny package! Spread a tablespoon of nut butter on toast or add ¼ cup of nuts to your kids snacktime and they will benefit from around 8 grams of protein.

6. Whole grains

Surprisingly, oats and quinoa are a great source of protein, too! A ½ cup of quinoa provides about 4 grams of protein and a ½ cup of oats can provide about 3 grams of protein.

7. Greek yogurt

All yogurts are a great source of protein, but Greek yogurt often provides double the amount. A ½ cup of regular yogurt contains around 6 grams of protein, whereas in the same amount of Greek yogurt you can find up to 12 grams of protein!

Greek yogurt with fruit for kids' snack

8. Edamame

Edamame are not only fun to eat, but they are one of the only plant-based proteins that provides a complete protein profile. Your kids will be getting all the essential amino acids their bodies need from these incredible beans, plus loads of fiber, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.

9. Tofu and soy products

Soy products like tofu, tempeh and soy milk are also complete proteins, and they are rich in calcium and iron to support your child’s growth and development. Just a ¼ cup of tofu has approximately 5 grams of protein and 1 cup of soy milk has 8 grams of protein.

10. Happy Wolf Snack Bars

With 3 grams of vegetarian protein in every tasty bar, Happy Wolf Snack Bars are a convenient way to get a boost of protein at snack time. All four flavors are nut-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian/vegan to help you increase your kids protein intake at daycare and school, too!

We hope this list has given you some high-protein snack inspiration for you kiddos. Happy snacking!


  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Available at DietaryGuidelines.gov .
  2. https://www.healthychildren.org/english/ages-stages/toddler/nutrition/pages/serving-sizes-for-toddlers.aspx
  3. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Beyond-Chicken-Nuggets.aspx?_gl=1*18pcxn2*_ga*MjUzNjM3NjUuMTcxMzEyMTk0Ng..*_ga_FD9D3XZVQQ*MTcxMzEyMTk0Ni4xLjAuMTcxMzEyMTk0Ni4wLjAuMA