Do you think being vegetarian may result in your child getting less protein than required? This is not necessarily the case. In fact, you can ensure that your child gets enough protein through certain protein-rich foods.
Food.NDTV says proteins are made up of 22 building blocks called amino acids. Of these, nine are essential and because our body cannot make them, they have to come from our diet.
According to Livestrong, even if your child is a vegetarian, she can get all the protein she needs by following a well-planned vegetarian diet.
Are lentils a daily part of your diet? Does your child love chickpeas? Legumes should be a daily part of your child’s diet considering the fact that they are rich in protein. Legumes such as green peas, soybeans and kidney beans are used every day in Indian dishes. You can also make hummus, from chickpeas, a great source of protein for vegetarians.
Note: Legumes are often considered incomplete proteins. Having them with white rice forms a complete protein diet. For example, beans are one type of legumes. According to Today’s Dietician, one benefit of consuming beans and grains like white rice is the amino acids they provide. Both beans and grains are incomplete proteins as they lack some essential amino acids. However, together they complement each other.
While one cup of cooked white rice contains 4.2 g of protein according to fatsecret, the average amount of protein in most beans is around 15 g per cup, according to SFGATE.
To know more about the importance of proteins in your child's diet, click the article below.
A good source of protein, tofu, which, according to Medical News Today, is made from soybean curds, is also naturally gluten-free and low in calories. It is also a rich source of amino acids, iron, calcium and other nutrients. Tofu contains all eight essential amino acids and is an excellent food for vegetarians from a nutritional and health perspective. Tofu can be integrated with almost all types of foods and flavours. Livestrong says a half cup portion of tofu contains about 10 g of dietary protein.
Note: People who are allergic to soya should stay away from tofu.
Does your child love to munch on nuts? Let her, because nuts such as peanuts, cashewnuts, almonds and walnuts contain a significant amount of protein. Just a handful of these nuts can provide a quick and easy protein boost. According to SFGate, a single almond contains almost 0.25 g of protein. So, adding as little as 10 almonds to your diet can provide your daily dose of required protein. Nuts are also low in saturated fat and high in dietary fibre.
Note: Eat only a limited quantity of nuts every day. Eating too much may
lead to weight gain, digestion problems, and muscle and jointache.
4) Dairy foods
A glass of milk might provide more than just calcium. According to Dairy Nutrition, milk contains two types of protein – namely whey (20%) and casein (80%). Both are high-quality proteins that contain essential amino acids.
Other dairy foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese are excellent sources of protein.
Note: Paneer, commonly used to prepare vegetarian dishes in Indian cuisine, contains about 7 g of protein per ounce.
According to FITDAY, a single medium-sized avocado contains an average of 7 g of protein. Additionally, one avocado has an amino acid Score of 129, which indicates that it is a high-quality protein.
Protein is an important part of your child’s diet. It is required for both physical and mental development. According to SFGATE, insufficient amount of protein can hamper growth and development in children. A senior thesis titled, Food for Thought, The Importance of Nutrition for Cognitive and Physical Well-Being, by Keeley Caviness, protein serves as the foundation of the body and is important in allowing the brain to progress to a higher level of thought.
The most important source of protein for your child is through the food she eats. Go through this ClipBook to understand the importance of protein in a child’s diet.