Beetroot belongs to the same family as spinach which means that both the leaves and root of beetroot may be eaten. The leaves have a bitter taste whereas the root is sweet. There are many health benefits of beetroot for children as well as adults and that is why your kids should eat beets. It should be among your children’s favorite vegetables and for good reasons! Beetroots are highly nutritious and extremely delicious.
What are the health benefits of beetroot for children?
The following is the nutritional profile for one cup of cooked, sliced beetroot:
|Nutrient||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Protein||2.8 grams (g)||6%|
|Folate||136 micrograms (mcg)||34%|
|Manganese||0.55 milligrams (mg)||24%|
|Vitamin C||6 mg||8%|
|Vitamin B6||0.11 mg||6%|
These are just some of the vitamins and minerals you will find in beetroot. There are many more health benefits of beetroot for children including valuable phytonutrients (substances found in plants which are good for health & helps prevent diseases).
Beetroots are superfoods: A superfood is a food which is rich in nutrients and very beneficial for the overall wellbeing and health of an individual. Superfood contains essential vitamins, antioxidants, micro & macro nutrients and fiber and for this reason, beetroots can definitely be called a superfood as it contains all these nutrients. Beetroots are rich in B vitamins, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium and also contain betalains (a class of antioxidants), that helps in reducing free radicals and inflammation in the body. (What are free radicals?)
Improves digestion: Another reason why your kids should eat beets is that it is high in fiber and thus helps to improve digestion. If your child suffers from constipation, you should include beets in his/ her diet. One cup of beets contains 4 grams of fiber, most of which is insoluble fiber which aids in regular bowel movements. (Check home remedies for constipation here)
Loaded with iron: Iron is required in the body to make new blood cells which help to carry oxygen to different parts of the body. There are two types of iron: heme-iron which is found in animal products and non-heme iron which is found in beets, grains & legumes. Thus, another reason why your kids should eat beets is that it can prevent anemia in children by increasing their iron levels. Anemia is a condition in which one lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. Having anemia can make your child feel tired and weak. Studies suggest that drinking 500ml of beetroot juice a day can reduce the risk of anemia in kids.(Which other foods can help to increase iron levels?)
Boosts Immunity: Beetroots are a natural antioxidant storehouse and they are essential to enhance your kids’ immune system. Beetroots can help to enhance the immunity of babies & young kids whose immune system is still developing and this is another reason why your kids should eat beets. (Foods to boost immunity?)
Helps in cleansing the body: Combining cucumber, carrot juice & beetroot juice can help to cleanse the body, especially the gallbladder and the kidneys. If your child enjoys lots of junk food like chips, pizza, burger etc., including this juice in his/her diet will help to cleanse the system. (Why is cleansing or detox important?)
Increases stamina and energy levels: There are many health benefits of beetroot for children who are engaged in any types of sports or athletic games. Studies suggest that when athletes add beetroot juice to their regime, it may support exercise endurance and improve performance. It also aids recovery because when muscles are in a resting state, the nitrates present in beetroot helps to bring more oxygen to the muscle cells helping muscles to recover more efficiently. In general, including beetroot in your child’s diet can give the energy boost his/her body needs.
Improves blood circulation: Betanin is responsible for the red color of beetroots. When you think beetroot, you think red, Blood red! This is the reason why this vegetable can do wonders for your blood circulation. The presence of iron and magnesium helps in blood production, thus helping to prevent anemia. Research suggests that drinking 500ml of beetroot juice a day significantly lowers blood pressure and it was found that blood pressure was reduced in healthy volunteers within an hour of drinking the juice.
Is beetroot safe for babies?
Like most vegetables, beetroot is safe for babies and can be introduced when he/she has turned 6 months old and started consuming solid foods. Beetroots are loaded with nutrients which support development in infants and can be easy on their palette as well. Start with small quantities and give the beets in a form that your baby will easily be able to digest. (food ideas for 6 months old babies)
For older kids, you can either give them beets in juice form or raw as slices or puree them and mix in their food. There are many beetroot recipes for kids to choose from. (Beetroot wrap recipe)
Recipe of Beetroot Buns with hidden nuts and herbs:
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- 1.5 tsp yeast
- 2 tsp Molasses or jaggery or coconut sugar
- 5 tbsp Iyurved’s 5 herbs and 7 nuts savoury spread (order here)
- 1 cup beetroot puree (or little more for sticky dough)
- 1.5 cups Jowar (sorghum) flour
- 1/2 cup Rye flour or wheat flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/4 cup Chia seeds powder (optional)
- 1/4 cup Psyllium husk (Isabgol)
- Combine Wet and Dry
- Make wet, sticky, shaggy dough (husk drinks water)
RISE (part -1)
- Cover with cotton cloth and loose lid and rise for 2 hours in dry dark area
- Make small balls of dough and line in a baking tray (use baking sheet)
- Cover and Rise for 45 minutes more
- Garnish with black/ white sesame seeds
- Preheat at 200 celsius for 5 minutes
- Bake at 200 celsius for 15-20 minutes
- Serve with any spread (see healthy spread recipes)
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