Is it teething time for your little one?

 

Protein powder is usually associated with hard core bodybuilders and Instagram fitspo pages, but Elle Macpherson wants you to feed it to your kids.

 

The super model is launching her own range of smoothie powder just for children as part of her Welleco health supplements range. 

 

According to Elle's website: "Protein is vital for brain development, organ function, muscle repair and a healthy immune system making it crucial for growth and development during childhood."

 

 

The powder is aimed at children with poor diets who are "fussy eaters" who just want "pasta and cheese."

 

"They have a diet high in carbs and sugar and not enough foods rich in protein, omega 3 and essential fatty acids, resulting in mood swings and poor concentration," says the site, which claims that the powder will help with kids concentration and improve their general health.

 

The site also advises that sugary treats could be traded out in favour of the protein shakes. 

 

 

While many of the supplement's ingredients are simple vegetable powders, vitamins, minerals and fruit based sweeteners, the last ingredient on the list is a pineapple derivative called bromelain.

 

"Don't give bromelain to a child. There are no studies to know if it's safe or not," advises the University of Maryland Medical Centre.

 

The Children's Hospital Nashville's advisory echoes this, saying: "Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with liver or kidney disease has not been established."

 

 

Bromelain is known to have some potential side effects, such as diarrhoea and stomach and intestinal discomfort.

 

Bromelain may also cause allergic reactions, especially in people who have other allergies.

 

 

The powder has not received a positive reaction on social media.

 

"Children do not need protein shakes - they need real, whole foods in their every day diet! I worry that these kinds of messages set our kids up to believe that a lifetime of supplements is what they need to be healthy and it isn't" said one Facebook user.

 

"Just because you are genetically 'blessed' to fit into the cultural ideal of what a 'good and healthy' body looks like, does not mean you know anything about healthy eating or nutrition for kids. I've been working with kids for over 10 years and recall only 2 cases where I have recommended a protein powder."

 

"Your kids do not need this, this is purely celebrity influence used as marketing," said another. 

 

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