Teen FAQs

How can I make sure I'm getting enough protein?

The simplest way to get enough protein is to eat enough healthy food so that you're not losing weight and make sure that you include several servings a day of foods like soy products, beans, nuts, and nut butters that provide protein. Just eating vegetables will not supply your body with enough protein. If you want to check on whether or not you're getting enough protein, look at the list below and check off the foods and amounts you eat. Girls and boys age 9-13 need at least 34 grams of protein a day. From age 14-18 boys need 52 grams a day and girls need 46 grams.

Protein in Common Vegan Foods
FoodServing sizeGrams of Protein in a serving
Tofu, firm4 ounces11
Tofu, regular4 ounces9
Tempeh4 ounces22
Soybeans, cooked or canned1 cup29
Veggie burger1 patty13*
Tofu hot dog1 link8*
Soymilk1 cup7*
Soy yogurt6 ounces6*
Lentils, cooked or canned1 cup18
Black beans, cooked or canned1 cup15
Kidney beans, cooked or cnd1 cup13
Chickpeas, pinto beans, cooked or canned1 cup12
Vegetarian baked beans1 cup12
Black-eyed peas, cooked or cnd1 cup11
Peanut butter2 Tablespoons8
Almonds¼ cup8
Sunflower seeds¼ cup6
Cashews¼ cup5
Almond butter2 Tablespoons5
Spinach, cooked1 cup5
Broccoli, cooked1 cup4
Quinoa (grain), cooked1 cup9
Pasta, cooked1 cup8
Whole wheat bread2 slices5
Brown rice, cooked1 cup5

*Varies check product label


by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD