Childhood is one of the most important stages of life, children typically falling under the age group of 2-12 years are considered as kids. Nutrition during childhood determines the physical and mental development of the person. Studies suggest that children who ate balanced and healthy during 2-12 years turned out to be smarter and fitter with a better concentration power. Ideally, a kid’s diet should have a balanced amount of whole grain carbohydrates and proteins with sufficient form of healthy fats such as nuts and seeds, an adequate amount of ghee while refined and fried foods should be in restriction. Most of the kids are fussy eaters and with such wide availability of junk food, it becomes a task for the parents to feed them healthy. One of the superfoods that parents can include in their kids’ diet is Quinoa. Following are some of the major benefits of quinoa making it necessary for parents to include it in their kids’ diet:
- Rich source of protein: One cup (185 gms) of Quinoa has approximately 8 gms of protein, along with being protein-rich, it is one of the very few vegetarian sources containing all the essential amino acids. As per RDA children need 20-40 gms protein per day depending on their age. Since it has all the essential amino acids it has a higher bioavailability than other vegetarian sources.
- Good Source of fibre: Quinoa is a complex carbohydrate, also it has both soluble and insoluble fibre ( 5.2 grams in one cup) which along with providing the feeling of fullness helps in regular bowel movement.
- A stable source of energy: Consuming Quinoa provides a stable and continuous source of energy as it has a glycemic index of 18 that means it does not provide instant energy but provides slow and continuous energy. One cup has 222 Kcal. Making it suitable for kids who are physically very active and need energy throughout the days.
- Rich in vitamins and minerals: It is a good source of iron, folate, calcium, manganese also contains a rare mineral called selenium which promotes growth in children making it a superfood.
- Yummy and easy to make: Quinoa cooks pretty quickly and is also very tasty, it can be prepared creatively enough to attract the kids.
Following are two recipes that you can try it for your kids:
Quinoa Fried Rice
- 1 cup cooked Quinoa
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Mixed bell peppers, carrot, beans, onions
- 1 Tsp low sodium soy sauce
- In a skillet over medium heat add 1 tsp olive oil, add vegetables and cook them until tender.
- Add soy sauce and stir
- Stir in cooked Quinoa until combined
- Add Seasonings as per taste
Tomato Quinoa Soup
- White quinoa (1 bowl)
- Butter (3 tbsp)
- Olive oil (1 tbsp)
- Onions (2 medium)
- Garlic clove (2)
- Fennel seeds (1 tbsp)
- Peeled tomatoes (3-4)
- Vegetable broth (1-2 cups)
- Cheese/paneer (for garnishing)
- Boil 1 cup quinoa.
- In a saucepan add butter and cook onions until soft.
- Add pureed tomatoes and broth, heat till simmering.
- Simmer for 15 minutes and add quinoa.
- Garnish it with shredded cheese/paneer.
So add this superfood to your kid’s diet and watch their health shine!!