The Protein Consumption in the Diet of Adult Indians Survey, a pan India survey stated that 9 out of 10 Indians consumed less than adequate proteins daily. 91% of the vegetarians and 85% of the non-vegetarians were consuming less food with protein. A typical-Indian meal served in homes of north or south or central India are most often protein deficient.
Protein is considered the body’s building block and repair agent. It’s also integral in forming enzymes and hormones in the body. From digestion to immunity, from hair to nails, everything requires protein. The suggested intake of protein is decided at 0.8 gm per kg of body weight. For athletes or kids in active sports, few studies state that it is best to eat protein within 30 minutes of exercise. This is the period when most muscle formation or muscle repair happens, and timely protein consumption of foods with protein for kids enables that.
One of the most common signs of not getting enough protein is swelling. This usually happens in legs, feet, hands or abdomen. Proteins circulate in blood and keep fluid from building up in tissues. In the absence of enough protein, fluid begins to collect together thereby resulting in swelling. More generally, kids who are protein deficient develop weaker bones and muscles, damaged skin, hair, nails, lower immunity and also compromised or delayed physical growth. So it’s become important to feed foods with protein for kids.
Consuming Nuts and seeds is among the best foods with protein for kids to meet the daily requirement of the body and also among the best foods for children’s growth.
Peanut: Technically a legume, this nut is widely and easily available and affordable too. It is one of the most dense foods with protein for kids. Just a handful of peanuts can give 9 g of protein to the body. In addition, it is a wonder full of over 30 nutrients and hence one of the best foods for children’s growth.Read more.
Almond: The second best contender in the category with 8g of protein in just a handful of nuts is also one of the best foods for children’s growth. An expensive yet easily available source of high nutrition carries highest fibre in this nut category. Read more.
Pista: A seed of a pistachio tree, this perceived nut offers 7g protein in just a handful and best to use as foods with protein for kids. This nut has the highest amount of potassium which is useful for kids to balance the negative impact of eating processed or junk food, which causes high sodium levels in the body. Potassium helps by balancing sodium levels which can otherwise impact bones, brain, digestion, muscles, and kidney.
Cashew: It is also among the best foods for children’s growth. A favourite of many, this nut has 6g of protein in just a handful. It is a quick source of high quality carbohydrates for kids with a variety of health benefits. Read more.
Walnut: Despite being a little less in protein at 5g per handful, this wonder nut is loaded with good fats which are vital for the brain. Read more.
Hazelnut: Similar to walnut in its nutrition profile, this nut also has 5g of protein per handful. Preferred by kids in chocolates and spreads, this nut is a nutritious snack with lots of essential fat.
Seeds: Sunflower, Pumpkin and Melon together offer a great source of nourishment to the body and are best foods for children’s growth. 1 tablespoon of this seed mix provides 5g of protein. A spread of this can easily blend with any dish and won’t even get noticed by kids.
Soaking and consuming Almond, Peanut, Walnut enables release of phytic acid, resulting in more absorption of nutrients by the body.
Recipe for Chia Berry Cupcake:
- 1cup Whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp chia powder mixed with 6 tbsp water (wait 5 min to become a lump and then add)
- 3 tbsp yogurt
- 3 tbsp almond butter
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (use milk to purée this in granular form)
- Honey (as per sweetness required)
- Drops of Vanilla essence
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup Milk (or as much as to make a thick batter)
Preheat oven at 200 Celsius for 5 minutes. Mix all ingredients together with your hand or mixer and transfer to oiled baking pan. Bake for 25 min in lower/middle rack.
Top it up with melted dark chocolate if you desire 🙂
Read more about nutrition for kids: