Because he/she is growing fast. All children need plenty of protein for growth and repair, carbs for energy (good carbs like wholemeal bread and pasta, and brown rice, NOT cake, cookies and candy)and fat for energy and to aid in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A and D. Most children if offered a variety of food will naturally choose a healthy diet, though they may go through 'picky' phases. Use things like bananas, strawberries and carrots as rewards, rather than cookies and candy and you will be installing good habits that will last a lifetime. The brain need protein! Protein is good for muscles in our body and our digestive tracts.
You don't need meat in your diet, and you won't get sick from not eating it, but there are some risks to not eating meat. What it provides for you is protein and a lot of people who don't eat meat don't get enough protein. If you plan to go vegetarian, make sure you get plenty of protein in your diet because you can get sick from lack of protein.
That really depends on you as a person. It is recommended that you start with about 20% of your daily calories as protein and then adjust as you go from there. Sometimes people say that you need to eat up to 1 g per pound of your bodyweight. Again...only YOU can guage your body's response. So start by keeping a journal to see how much protein you DO get on a daily basis and then make adjustments if you feel that you need to. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, just eat plenty of plant based sources of protein (beans, lentils, tofu, eggs or fish if you eat that) and just see how your body feels.
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