Wholesome Child : Wholesome Child full
147 146 146 step 4: boost protein concentration of soybeans, adding to its health benefits. Deeper brown in colour and slightly thicker than ordinary soy sauce, it provides better flavour for cooking. NOTE: Tofu is not fermented and can be GM if not organic. Vegetarian burgers and sausages These are highly processed soy products that often contain nasty additives, flavourings and hidden sugars. For these reasons I don’t recommend them for children. What if my child is vegetarian? While it’s easy to ensure that your child is getting all 20 amino acids from a diet that contains meat and fish, the same is not true for children following a vegetarian diet. If your child does not eat animal protein, you will need to ensure they eat food in the correct form and combination to make sure nutrients can be digested and absorbed. The easiest way to do this is to include eggs and dairy in their diet, along with a variety of plant-based protein-containing foods each day so they get all the amino acids they need. These should include soy protein (preferably fermented), grains (quinoa, oats and barley), nuts and pulses (dried beans, peas and lentils). I have consulted for many parents who follow a strict vegetarian diet but struggle to get their children to eat a wide range of proteins due to them being fussy eaters. Many of these kids are underweight and lethargic. Although their parents' belief systems are strong and show merit – because there are a lot of advantages to vegetarianism – from a nutrition perspective their kids are deficient, and it shows in pale skin, digestive issues, fussiness and disinterest in food. Once a full range of solid foods have been introduced, young children over the age of one can meet all their amino acid needs through a balanced vegetarian diet, but to be healthy their diet needs to be well thought out and planned ahead. It’s important to understand which foods need to be combined for optimal nutrient absorption (eg rice with beans), and how to ensure their daily energy, protein and vitamin requirements are reached. A vegetarian diet can most certainly be disadvantageous for your child if nutritionally sound food choices are not made. A child is better off eating a low quality diet that still includes meat than a poor quality vegetarian diet. Compare, for example, a child who eats chocolate cereal and milk for breakfast, refined crackers as a snack, a cheese sandwich for lunch, a muffin for afternoon tea and mac ’n’ cheese for dinner with a child who eats oatmeal porridge with milk and crushed seeds and nuts for breakfast, veggie sticks, hummus and trail mix as a mid-morning snack, a wholegrain sandwich with cheese and salad for lunch, a falafel ball with tzatziki for a mid-afternoon snack and lentil or bean stew and brown rice for dinner. Is it OKay for kids to be vegan? Young children simply cannot thrive on a pure vegan diet without careful consideration and supplementation. Great care needs to be taken, as they are at risk of failure to meet their protein requirements, leading to reduced bone density from a lack of calcium and anaemia from a lack of iron. If your child’s diet doesn’t include eggs or dairy products they will lack vitamin B12, as it is not found in any plant sources. It is always important to consult with a paediatrician, dietician, GP or nutritionist to ensure that your child is following a nutritionally adequate diet to support their growth. Along with vitamin B12, vegan children may also lack vitamin D and omega-3s. As most of a vegan child’s diet will come from fibre-rich foods such as grains, vegetables and fruit, they will often feel full before their energy requirements are met, so it’s important to offer nutrient dense foods such as cashew nut butter, avocado and bean stews. It is also important to include vitamin C- rich foods with plant-based sources of iron, such as spinach, to enhance absorption. Best vegan sources of proteins 1. Hemp seeds contain a whopping 10g of protein in three tablespoons. Chia seeds contain 7g of protein in three tablespoons, sunflower seeds contain 5.5g followed by sesame seeds and poppy seeds at 4g of protein in three tablespoons. Try sunflower butter on sandwiches or in smoothies in place of nut butters 2. Of all the grains quinoa – technically a seed – contains the highest amount of protein: 8g per cup. It also includes all nine essential amino acids that the body needs for growth and repair, but cannot produce on its own. 3. Except for soybeans, beans are not complete proteins, but they do contain the amino acid lysine, which is usually missing from other plant proteins. As a result, combining beans with other vegetables or brown rice results in a complete protein. The average amount of protein in white, adzuki, pinto, kidney, black, navy, garbanzo and lima beans is 15-17g per cup. Peas are a good choice too: One cup contains 8g – about the same as a cup of milk. 4. Chickpeas contain 7g of protein in just half a cup, and are also high in fibre. Try roasting them to add crunch. 5. Protein powders can be highly beneficial for children whose diets are lacking in protein. However it’s important to consult with a dietician or nutritionist to ensure that the protein powder you are choosing is suitable. I do not advise offering children adult protein powders. The best ones to choose are those that have been specifically formulated for children and are vegan, predigested and fermented. Avoid protein powders that contain whey protein and instead look for predigested protein blends that contain biofermented pea protein plus amino acids and antioxidants from real food sources. seven budget-saving ways to buy organic For many people concerned about hormones and other harmful additions to meat, chicken, fish or eggs, organic is worth the extra cost. But for others, the cost of organic food is something they simply can’t manage. The reality is that organic costs more for good reason. In order to eat organic foods while sticking to a budget, I’ve Did you know? Beans consumed in childhood can lower the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease in later life because fibre helps balance blood sugar and lower cholesterol. Beans are also good sources of protein, iron, magnesium, potassium , zinc, folate and vitamin B-6. If you’re using dried beans, soak overnight before cooking. Always rinse canned beans under cold water to remove some of the sodium. A vegetarian diet must include: ✓ Eggs, dairy products, pulses, legumes and soy proteins. ✓ Plenty of vegetables and fruit, but do not allow children to fill up on these foods in place of energy- dense foods. ✓ Iron-rich foods to prevent anemia such as lentils, spinach, pumpkin seeds and sulphite-free dried apricots. ✓ Foods containing vitamin C with foods that are high in iron. For example, offer sliced up red capsicum or an orange with baked beans on toast. Vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron. ✓ Vitamin B12 from eggs and dairy products. ✓ Vitamin D and calcium to prevent bone disease. ✓ Suitable fats from non- meat sources (at least 30% of their diet must be derived from foods rich in omega-3s, as well as avocado, extra virgin olive oil, butter, ghee, coconut oil, nuts, nut butters and seeds). ✓ Lower energy vegetarian foods, such as vegetables, with higher fat foods, like coconut vegetable fritters (which contain eggs), or high protein Brazil & Cashew Nut patties (see recipe on page 189). ✓ Vegetables served with fats to ensure that fat-soluble vitamins and minerals are readily absorbed. ✓ Six meals through the day (three main meals and three snacks). ✓ Consultation with a qualified practitioner to see if supplementation is required. Did you know? Pulses should be thoroughly cooked to destroy toxins and to help digestion. Undercooked pulses can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. 147 devised these seven shopping tips to save you money, while protecting the environment and your health. 1. COMMIT TO BUYING YOUR FAVOURITES If you can’t afford to eat a diet that’s made up of nearly all organic, you can at least start with your favourite buys. Focus on your family’s staples. If you have a little carnivore who is not keen on cheese, choose grass-fed organic meat, but buy conventionally produced cheese. Switching to organic versions of the foods you most commonly eat will greatly reduce your family’s exposure to hormones and antibiotics. 2. KNOW WHERE ORGANIC COUNTS Red meat, pork, chicken and dairy are the most important proteins to choose organic.