Where Do Vegan Children Get Their Protein?
It is a common misconception that vegans lack protein in their diet, but this belief is not supported by scientific evidence. In fact, many plant-based foods are rich in protein and can easily provide the necessary amount of protein for a healthy diet. This outdated belief likely stems from a lack of knowledge about plant-based protein sources and the belief that animal-based protein is the only source of high-quality protein.
One scientist who has spoken about this issue is Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a biochemist and professor emeritus of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University. Dr. Campbell has conducted extensive research on the health benefits of a plant-based diet and has stated that plants, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, can provide all the essential amino acids and protein that the human body needs. He also noted that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, and promote overall health. Vegan children can get adequate protein from these plant-based foods:
Beans and lentils
Beans and lentils are a great source of plant-based protein for vegan children. They are also high in fibre, which is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system, and they are low in fat. There are many ways to incorporate beans and lentils into meals. For example, you can make a simple bean salad by mixing together cooked beans, diced vegetables, and a simple vinaigrette. Or, you can make a hearty lentil soup by simmering lentils in vegetable broth with diced vegetables and spices. One of the best things about beans and lentils is that they can be made into dips and spreads that are perfect for snacking. Homemade hummus is a great option, which can be made by blending cooked chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and olive oil. You can also make a lentil dip by pureeing cooked lentils, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor. These dips are perfect for spreading on crackers, pita bread, or veggies.
Tofu and tempeh
Tofu and tempeh are both great sources of plant-based protein for vegan children. They are made from soybeans and are both versatile, delicious and nutritious options. Tofu can be used in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries to smoothies, and can be used as a meat substitute in many recipes. It can be crumbled, diced or sliced and can absorb the flavours of the dish it is cooked with. Tofu can also be marinated and grilled for a delicious and healthy meal.
Tempeh, on the other hand, is made by fermenting cooked soybeans. It has a firmer texture than tofu and a nutty flavor. Tempeh can be sliced and grilled, crumbled and used as a meat substitute in dishes like spaghetti or tacos, or it can be marinated and used as a protein source in sandwiches or salads. Both tofu and tempeh are a great source of protein and are a great addition to any vegan child’s diet. They are easy to prepare, delicious and nutritious. You can experiment with different recipes and preparations to find the one that your child likes best.
Nut and seed butters
Peanut butter, almond butter, and sunflower butter are all excellent sources of plant-based protein for vegan children. They are also tasty and easy to add to a child’s diet. Peanut butter is made from ground roasted peanuts and is a classic and popular spread. It can be used in sandwiches, spread on toast or crackers, or mixed into smoothies and oatmeal. It is also a great dip for fruits and vegetables. Almond butter is made from ground almonds and is a great alternative to peanut butter. It has a slightly sweeter and nuttier flavour than peanut butter and can be used in the same way. Almond butter can be spread on toast, crackers, or mixed into smoothies and oatmeal. It is also a great dip for fruits and vegetables.
Sunflower butter is made from ground sunflower seeds and is a great alternative for those who have a peanut or tree nut allergy. It has a slightly sweeter and nuttier flavour than peanut butter and can be used in the same way. Sunflower butter can be spread on toast, crackers, or mixed into smoothies and oatmeal. It is also a great dip for fruits and vegetables.
And when it comes to making nut butter, it’s important to have a high-quality blender that can blend the ingredients to a smooth consistency. A blender like Vitamix Explorian Blender that can blend even the toughest ingredients with ease, ensuring that your nut butter is creamy and delicious.
Quinoa is an ancient grain that is not only a great source of plant-based protein, but also contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. This means that it contains all the essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own, and are necessary for growth and development. This makes quinoa a great option for vegan children, as it can help them get the necessary amount of protein in their diet.
Quinoa can be used in many different dishes, as a side dish, just like rice or pasta, and can also be added to soups and salads for an extra boost of protein. It can be cooked in water or broth, and can be seasoned with herbs and spices for added flavour. One of the best things about quinoa is that it cooks quickly, in about 15 minutes. It has a light, fluffy texture and a mild, nutty flavour that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages.
By creating an “island” made of quinoa and planting a parsley leaf on top, you are turning mealtime into a playful and engaging experience for your child. Additionally, by surrounding the island with various vegetables of different colours, you are introducing your child to a variety of healthy and nutritious food options. This recipe not only provides a delicious and healthy meal, but it also encourages your child to be curious and adventurous with their food choices. It’s a way to make mealtime an opportunity for learning and creativity, it is a great way for a parent to get their child excited about healthy eating.
Spinach and other leafy greens
Spinach and other leafy greens, like kale and broccoli, are not only packed with vitamins and minerals, but they also contain some protein. They are easy to incorporate into a child’s diet and can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes like smoothies, soups and pasta dishes. These greens not only provide nutrition but also add variety and flavour to a child’s diet. Vegan spinach and tofu pie is very popular among children.The pie can be made with a crust made of whole wheat flour or gluten-free crust, filled with a mixture of sautéed spinach and crumbled tofu. This dish is not only delicious but also a great way to incorporate more plant-based protein into your child’s diet.