Must have protein-rich foods for vegan kids!

Raising a vegan and constantly worried about keeping the protein intake going? Fret not! These foods will sort your kids protein levels.

Curated from Parenting Healthy Babies

1. Milk: Milk is not only high in calcium for healthy teeth and bones, but also a great source of protein. For those on a vegan diet, fortified soy milks, like rice/soy/nut based milks make a great alternative. However, it is wise to check the label and go for the option that has been fortified with added vitamin B12 and calcium. This fortification allows plant milk to have every similar nutritional value as contained by cow’s milk. Read more on Health Benefits of Milk for Babies.

2. Legumes: Major legumes like black beans, kidney beans, lentils, and chick peas are highly rich in proteins and fiber. Bakes beans on toast, legume bean balls, and chick pea patties for delicious burgers are some of the best ways to serve high protein to vegetarian kids. Besides, some protein rich after school snacks that can be prepared at home include roasted chick peas or preparing legume based dips to pair with veggie sticks to boost the protein intake of vegetarian kids. 

3. Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds contain 10-20% protein, which is equivalent to what is provided by eggs. Therefore, 30 grams of raw unsalted almonds contain 6 grams of protein. Nuts make a great on-the-go snack for kids because of the munchies or the extra crunch they provide on being added to cereals or stir fries.

4. Quinoa: Quinoa is one of the few grains that are high in protein. With a delicious nutty flavor, this grain is excellent for vegetarians. Liked excessively by kids, it can be eaten either on its own or paired with a hidden or stir fry in pancakes, muffins, casseroles and smoothies as well. Read more on Health Benefits of Quinoa for Babies.

5. Avocados: Avocados surpass all fruits and vegetables containing proteins. While all vegetables contain just a gram or two of proteins per cup, avocados contain as much as 4 grams per piece. Furthermore, avocado proteins contain all nine essential amino acids, which can’t be produced by the body to build muscle and create more protein, in addition to omega-3 fatty acids, healthy for brain and heart. Read more on Health Benefits of Avocado for Babies.

6. Peas: Peas are very nutritious for infants and kids. Mashed or pureed peas not only provide a beautiful green color, but also a highly nutritious food item. A whole cup of peas contains about 8 grams of protein. 

7. Peanut Butter: The peanut butter spread can contain as much as 5 grams of protein per tablespoon. You can serve it to your kids as a dip or a spread to pair it up with another food item like peanut butter and banana on toast for a high protein breakfast. Another healthy snack suggestion is to simply replace the sultanas with chia seeds when sprinkling in the peanut butter filled celery sticks. Read more on Health Benefits of Peanut Butter for Children.

8. Edamame: This is a high protein snack that is easy to prepare and consume. Edamame is an excellent quick snack that can also be served as a side dish with the main. Half a cup of boiled edamame contains about 8 grams of protein. Quite a good amount!

9. Chia Seeds: Chia is considered as a super food that is loaded with proteins. In fact, two tablespoons of chia seeds contains almost 5 grams of proteins. Moreover, they are very versatile to be added to any meal. You can serve it to kids in the form of chia pudding loaded with plenty of protein. Read more on Health Benefits of Chia Seeds for Kids.

10. Beans and Lentils: Beans and lentils are the most inexpensive sources of protein among all others. You can choose from the wide range including garbanzo, kidney, white, black, or pinto beans. Just rinse and drain the beans to add to just anything. You can add white beans to pasta, edamame or garbanzo in stir-fries, pinto and black beans in tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. Lentils taste good when added to salads and whole grain pita lunches. Read more on Health Benefits of Beans For Kids.

11. Tofu : Tofu is usually referred as the veggie white meat. Tofu can do almost anything that chicken can do for your child’s health. You can also go for tempeh, a fermented form of tofu, that has a fabulous texture. You can serve it as a great burger stand-in or broiled or seasoned into a high-protein crouton on a salad, or perfect crumbled in chili. Read more on Health Benefits of Tofu For Kids.