If your little ones love carbs, but turn up their noses when it comes to proteins, you may worry that they’re not getting enough nutrients in their body. Protein is found in obvious foods such as dairy products and meat, and is also available in eggs, beans, legumes, soy, nuts and grain products. If you’re concerned about your children’s diet, here are some fun and easy-to-make fixes to ensure that your children get all the protein they need.
1. Milk is rich in protein, but not all children love it. You can get a bit creative and disguise milk by mixing it into other foods. Soak whole-grain bread in milk and beaten egg, then fry it in a little butter to make French toast. You can also whip up milk smoothies for easy breakfast and add fresh fruits in them to make them healthier. Milk pudding is also another healthy, yet tasty option. Apart from breakfast, milk based lunch recipes and desserts can also be made.
2. Introduce your children to different types of yogurts. Yogurt mixed with cut-up fresh fruit and crunchy cereal is a great option. You can also prepare yogurt dips of different flavours and serve them with sliced apples, pears, peaches or plums. If your children like baked potatoes, you can add plain yogurt and grated cheese as a topping.
3. Cheese is an all-time favourite for children. Use it to your advantage by adding it to your recipes. Apart from sandwiches and salads, you can grate and add it to soups, vegetable dishes, mashed potatoes, noodles, and even desserts.
4. If your children love eggs, you can get creative with different egg recipes. You can make a ‘protein sandwich’ out of scrambled eggs between two mini whole grain breads. You can also turn boiled eggs into an egg salad by mixing it with different ingredients.
5. You can make the best of leftover chicken. Spoon it into rotis and add a sprinkle of cheese, masala, some egg etc. and microwave and fold it to make rolls. You can also add it in plenty of other dishes like salads, soups, omelettes, sandwiches or curries.
6. Nuts, seeds and oats are protein-rich foods and adding them in other everyday foods will make them more nutritious. Add them to bakery items like breads, muffins, cookies, pancakes and waffles. You can also sprinkle them on fruits, cereal, ice cream, yogurt, vegetables, salads and toast as crunchy toppings. Banana smoothies with chopped nuts and blended oats are another healthy option for children.
7. It is difficult to make children eat beans and legumes. But you can change this by including them in tasty recipes. Add cooked peas, legumes, beans and tofu in soups or pastas. You can also use baked beans for breakfast or in different dishes. Hummus is another high-protein alternative that can be used as a spread with bread or crackers.