Food & Diet

Nuts And Seeds: Healthy And Portable Protein Snacks For Kids

Written by Tarishi Shrivastava
Published: May 24, 2024

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Introduction

Proteins are essential nutrients that the body needs to grow and function properly. Getting enough protein is especially important for children because they are still developing. Proteins are made up of smaller molecules called amino acids that are the building blocks of many tissues and cells in the body.

Protein helps build and repair muscles and bones in kids. It also supports their immune system to fight infections. In addition, proteins are needed to produce hormones, enzymes, and antibodies that enable the body to work efficiently. Some symptoms of protein deficiency in children include slowed growth, muscle wasting, swelling, and weakened immunity.

Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein that can help kids meet their daily protein needs. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and many others provide substantial amounts of protein. They make great high-protein snacks for children and are easy to incorporate into their diet.

1. Pumpkin seeds
pumpkin-seeds

These small green seeds are packed inside pumpkins and provide a tasty crunch when roasted. One serving of pumpkin seeds contains 9 grams of protein, making them an excellent source of this important nutrient. Pumpkin seeds are also loaded with fiber to support digestive health. Pumpkin seeds make for a satisfying snack that can be eaten by themselves or added to salads, yogurt, oatmeal, and more.

2. Chia seeds

Despite their small size, they contain high amounts of protein, along with fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Just a spoonful delivers 4 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber, which helps keep you full and satisfied. They also provide calcium for strong bones and antioxidants that protect your cells from damage. These seeds can be easily added to foods like yogurt, oatmeal, and smoothies to boost nutrition.

3. Sunflower seeds
sunflower-seeds

Sunflower seeds are a nutritious snack packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. A handful of these seeds provides 6 grams of protein to help you feel full and energized. They are an excellent source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect your cells. With their crunchy texture and mild, nutty taste, sunflower seeds make for a satisfying snack any time of day.

4. Almonds

Almonds contain 6 grams of protein and healthy fats in a 28 gram serving, according to the USDA. Almonds are also packed with fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium. Fiber helps you feel full for longer. Vitamin E protects your cells. And magnesium helps turn food into energy. Almonds are easy to pack in a bag and go well by themselves or mixed into trail mixes.

5. Walnuts

Per serving of walnuts provides 4 grams of protein. They contain healthy fats called omega-3s that are good for your heart and brain. Walnuts also have lots of fiber, which is good for your digestion. They are loaded with vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects your cells. Walnuts make a great snack because they are full of vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber that provide many health benefits.

6. Cashews
cashews

They have protein to help build muscles. They have healthy fats that are good for your heart. They have fiber to help you digest food. Cashew also gives you important minerals like copper, magnesium, and zinc. These minerals keep your body working right. You can enjoy cashews by themselves as a snack. Or add them to dishes like stir-fries or curries.

7. Pistachios
pistachio

They have protein to help build muscles. They also have healthy fats that are good for your heart. Pistachios have fiber to aid digestion. And they contain minerals like potassium and phosphorus for strong bones. Pistachios make a satisfying snack by themselves or can be added to recipes like homemade granola bars for extra nutrition.

Adding high protein seeds and nuts like chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts into your child's diet is an easy and tasty way to increase their protein intake and promote a healthy lifestyle. These nutrient-dense superfoods provide protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals essential for children's growth and development. Including these 7 protein powerhouses in your child's meals and snacks is a simple way to help them flourish.

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The views expressed are that of the expert alone.

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