Best Eco-friendly Sources of Protein for Vegetarian Tots

by , 01/15/13

Flower Egg Bento Image © Flickr user gamene

Organic Eggs

Organic eggs can be kid-friendly year round, not just at Easter time. Eggs contain about 6 grams of protein per serving or 12% of the Recommended Daily Value of protein. Plus, eggs provide high quality protein, with all of the essential amino acids our bodies need. Keep in mind that kids should be encouraged to eat egg yolks, not just the whites, because the egg yolk provides almost half of the protein found in eggs. Eggs can be served in the usual ways that most kids like – hard boiled, scrambled and in baked goods, or you can try something different. Many kids who won’t eat eggs, will eat them if you wrap them up in a cute little package, such as an egg bento. Gamene offers egg bento ideas galore to explore. Kids also may enjoy meat-free breakfast burritos or a nice veggie-packed frittata.

Sweet Potato Hummus Image © Flickr user ilovemypit

Legumes

Legumes cover a wide range of delicious choices, including beans, peas and lentils. Legumes contain various amounts of protein. For example, 1/2 cup of kidney or black beans provide 7 grams of protein while 1/2 cup of lentils provides 9 grams. Legume crops go easy on the environment due to collecting nitrogen from the atmosphere. Meaning they need fewer chemical fertilizers. Even so, most U.S. legume growers do use chemical pesticides, so you should buy organic legumes when possible. We also suggest avoiding canned beans due to BPA. Dried bulk legumes are less expensive anyhow, and just as easy once you get used to them. Try beans or peas in casseroles, chili, soups and stews or get creative with homemade hummus, brownies, black bean and cheese quesadillas or lentils and carrot baby food.

Maple Quinoa Image © Flickr user SweetOnVeg

Quinoa

Many whole grains contain protein, but the best, by far is quinoa, a whole grain that offers a whopping 18 grams of protein per cup. Better yet, quinoa is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids – rare in vegetarian protein sources. Quinoa is also a good source of magnesium and fiber. Quinoa is especially great for kids, because it’s got a nice fun light, fluffy texture and a mild, nutty flavor when cooked. You can use quinoa as a side dish alternative to rice or couscous, use it in a stir-fry instead of rice or pasta, make a quinoa salad, bake quinoa muffins or cook up a warm dish of quinoa for breakfast with organic berries. Quinoa is also an excellent base for homemade baby food.

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One Response to “Best Eco-friendly Sources of Protein for Vegetarian Tots”

  1. amysiple says:

    however it has been proven that soy is a really bad supplement for children and babies now. FYI

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