Are There Benefits to Collagen Supplements for Kiddos?
WRITTEN BY TJ Ferrara7 months ago
For all of our parents out there wondering about collagen protein and whether or not it’s safe for kids, or even needed in their diets at all, you’re asking the right question. And the answer is – it depends.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein that the body creates on its own to help with functions like maintaining gut health, strengthening skin, nails, and hair, reducing inflammation, increasing joint mobility and muscle strength, and boosting the immune system. It is responsible for the body’s ability to recover post-injury, it gives the skin a natural glow and elasticity and it prevents a leaky gut by sealing the intestinal lining. In other words, collagen is fondly referred to as the glue holding the body together. For the first number of years of our life, our bodies are actually quite efficient at doing what they need to do, in this case, maintaining steady levels of collagen protein. It isn’t until between the age of 25 and 30 do our bodies begin to stop producing collagen on their own. This can be seen in signs like fine lines and wrinkles, stiff joints and achy muscles. In order to stave off these signs of aging, many people turn to collagen protein to supplement the body’s decreasing supply.
Do kids need collagen?
Yes, of course kids need collagen! It’s important to make sure kids and adults alike receive the proper amount of vitamins and nutrients every day, collagen included. However, you might not need to begin supplementing your children’s diets with collagen the way you, the parent or guardian, might be supplementing yours. Generally speaking, most children do not require nutritional supplementation at all. Kids are resilient in this way, as their bodies naturally produce everything they need to grow and battle sicknesses. However, there’s always the possibility of a picky eater, in which case it might be necessary to supplement their diet with additional vitamins and minerals to ensure they’re receiving everything they need to remain healthy. Before automatically reaching for supplements, however, reassess your child’s diet and nutritional intake. If your kid(s) are running on pizza, sugary drinks, and crackers, it’s unlikely all of the nutritional needs of a growing child are being met. If this is the case, simply adding in a supplement or two, while they might help a little, won’t produce overwhelming effects on health and wellness. Therefore, it’s best to try and switch up their diet to make sure they’re getting the right amounts of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
Collagen rich foods you can try include:
- •Bone broth (possibly incorporated in a healthy dose of chicken noodle soup?)
- •Fish & shellfish
- •Egg whites
- •Citrus fruits
- •Dark leafy greens
- •Bell peppers
As a parent, you might be scanning that list thinking, “Yeah right, there’s no way in heck my kid’s going to eat dark leafy greens. Kale?! I can barely get them to eat romaine…” So maybe a kale salad isn’t the best way for a child to obtain collagen, but we’re willing to bet oranges, strawberries, and blueberries, as well as chicken and eggs, don’t usually cause a tantrum.
How much protein does my child need?
While it isn’t likely your child is consuming too much protein, you certainly wouldn’t want to overdo it. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, kids should get a certain amount of protein corresponding to their age, as follows.
- •Ages 1-3 need 13g
- •Ages 4-8 need 19g
- •Ages 9-13 need 34g
- •Girls ages 14-18 need 46g
- •Boys ages 14-18 need 52g
Again, if your child is eating a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients, they are most likely receiving the right amount of protein for their bodies. That being said, some children do develop allergies to fish, chicken, eggs, or nuts, severely limiting their protein intake overall. For this reason, supplementing their diet with collagen protein can be a helpful way to up their protein intake. Unflavored collagen protein peptides mixed into daily recipes (like mac and cheese, peanut butter, and yogurt) can be a great way to incorporate collagen in – they won’t taste a thing, and they probably won’t even know you snuck it in there!
Check with your pediatrician
When it comes to your child’s health, you want the best for them, and who can blame you? For this reason, it’s always best to double-check any new supplements with your child’s pediatrician. Because while collagen protein is essential to the body’s proper functioning, it might not be necessary to supplement your child’s diet with it while their bodies are likely still producing it effectively on their own. If you do find yourself needing to supplement with collagen, always opt for unflavored, grass-fed bovine collagen, like BUBS Naturals, guaranteed gluten, dairy and heavy metal-free, Whole30 approved and NSF certified. Because your kids deserve the best. And for all our parents out there, don’t forget your health either. Whether you mommas need a little Fountain of Youth, you dads need some MCT oil powder to get you through the afternoon, or everyone needs a cleanse in the form of ACV gummies, we’ve got the health and wellness of your whole family well looked after.