Your busy family is often running from one place to another. While balanced meals and snacks are a priority, there are times when time just isn’t on your side and you have to get out the door. In cases like this, you are wondering if protein bars are an appropriate option for your child, and if so, how to make the healthiest choice.

The best protein foods

Carbohydrates are the best source of energy, particularly for physically active children and teens, and especially for young athletes.  In addition, they need protein too, for muscle building and repair.  Protein supplements aren’t necessary since kids can get all the protein they need from foods.  Excellent protein sources include cheese, yogurt and dairy or dairy substitutes, eggs, lean meats, turkey and chicken, tofu and edamame.  Black beans and other beans, chickpeas, lentils, nuts and seeds are also good sources.  Including a high-quality source of protein at every meal will help build and repair muscle.

Protein bars for kids

Active kids (especially teens) need snacks to boost their calories for energy and recovery.  For sports, long bus or car rides, or eating on the go, keep some go-to snacks in their backpacks and duffle bags – nuts and dried fruits, fig bars, granola and energy or protein bars.   

Guidelines to consider

1. Make sure there is a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat – kids don’t need high-protein bars if they are consuming an adequate number of calories. 

2. Choose an option that is also a good source of fiber – at least 2.5 – 3 grams per serving.

On the nutrition facts portion, look for a bar that contains up to 250 calories, less than 10 grams of sugar, at least three grams of fiber, and at least seven grams of protein. While they come in a package, high quality protein bars are real food made with real food ingredients and are naturally good sources of protein, fiber and other nutrients.

NuGo Slim Bars offer this option with ingredients such as, rice bran, chicory root, dried raspberries, peanuts, and real dark chocolate.  Avoid ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, high fructose corn syrup, and hard to pronounce synthetic ingredients.

Whole foods first

For kids, toddlers to teens, fresh whole foods provide all the protein they need. In the case of busy teens and time-strapped meal and snack preparation, a well-balanced and high quality protein bar containing real food ingredients can offer a protein boost.  NuGo Egg White Protein Bars are whole foods with 13 grams of clean, egg white protein.

Dessert Swap

Finding a nutritious option to replace a candy bar or rice crispy treat can be challenging. Luckily, NuGo offers some great protein bar options that you can feel good about your children consuming! NuGo Dark, coated in real dark chocolate, will satisfy any candy craving and provide 10g protein. NuGo Family low glycemic protein bars are a hit, especially Vanilla Yogurt, which tastes just like a rice crispy treat! If someone must eat gluten-free, they can still enjoy NuGo Dark, NuGo Family, and NuGo Slim certified gluten-free protein bars.