This study determined whether the timing of re-feeding of protein-deficient mice restored functional protection against the gastrointestinal nematode, Heligmosomoides bakeri. Balb/c mice were fed a 3% protein-deficient (PD) diet and then transferred to 24% protein-sufficient (PS) diet either on the day of primary infection, 10 days after the primary infection, on the day of challenge infection, or 7 days after the challenge infection. Control mice were fed either the PD or PS diet. Onset of challenge, but not primary, infection caused short-term body weight loss, anorexia and reduced feed efficiency. Weight gain was delayed in mice when re-feeding commenced on the day of challenge infection; alkaline phosphatase (ALP) was also elevated in these mice on day 28 post-challenge. In contrast, other re-feeding groups attained similar body weights to PS mice within 4 days and had similar ALP at day 28. Serum leptin was higher in PD than PS mice and positively associated with food intake. As expected, worm survival was prolonged in mice fed the PD diet. However, egg production and worm burdens were similar in all re-feeding groups to the PS mice, indicating that protein re-feeding during either the primary or challenge infection rapidly restored normal parasite clearance.