Protein builds strong, healthy bodies

One of the keys to raising healthy and strong children is to be sure they get the right amount of protein in their diet.

Do you want a strong body? Do you want energy to do all the things you enjoy? Do you want to keep growing in a healthy way? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, Michigan farmers are here to help!

One of the keys to raising healthy and strong children is to be sure they get the right amount of protein in their diet. The word protein comes from the Greek word protas, which means “really important.” Just how important is protein? Well, it’s found in all living cells. Your muscles, bones, blood, skin and even your hair are made of protein!

What counts as a serving of protein? One ounce lean meat, poultry, or seafood; 1 egg; ¼ cup cooked beans or peas; ½ ounce nuts or seeds; or 1 tablespoon peanut butter is equivalent to one serving of protein.

Protein foods include both animal (meat, poultry, seafood and eggs) and plant (beans, peas, soy products, nuts and seeds) sources. Luckily, there are plenty of farms in Michigan producing theses essential foods. The variety of Michigan beans will amaze you. There are so many different colors of beans; you will always find a bean to match your recipe. There are red kidney beans and small red beans, black beans, white navy beans, great northern beans and mottled tan pinto beans. Check out the Michigan Bean Commission website for more information regarding Michigan’s Beans.

Michigan farmers also produce other foods that are part of a balanced, healthy diet such as fruits, vegetables and grains. For more tips on using a variety of protein foods, see the United States Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate for more information.

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