Over the past few years, soya bean has become a popular low-cost, highly nutritious food. For children, soy foods are known to offer tremendous health benefits. These foods are a brilliant source of protein and essential amino acids. They are high in healthy fats, including omega-3 fats and monounsaturated fats. Several soy products, such as tofu and soy milk, are often reinforced with vitamin B12 and vitamin D, nutrients necessary for your kids.
Using soya bean during early childhood and even adolescence may offer enduring health benefits. Consequently, an increasing number of people are motivated to supplement their kid’s diet with soy. If you are among them and want to know more about significant soy forms and how you can incorporate them into your kid’s diet, read on.
Bursting the Myth about Soy Products
Some reports say that the compounds present in soy, isoflavones, act like estrogen in the body. These lower testosterone levels in boys and raise the likelihood of breast cancer in girls. However, there is no scientific evidence that shows soy disrupting hormone levels or causing feminizing effects.
On the flip side, evidence shows that girls who consume soy have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer in adulthood. Certain studies also suggest that soy protects the heart by lowering LDL cholesterol levels.
5 Ways to Add Soya bean to Your Kids Diet
- Soy Milk
One cup of soy milk contains about 300 milligrams of calcium. You can give your kid fortified soy milk instead of the regular dairy milk at least half the time. It is immensely healthy and a rich source of vitamin D. Nowadays, a wide variety of flavored soy milk is also available on the market. You can opt for U.S. Soy products to get your hands on the best soy products for your child.
Alternatively, you can make your soy milk at home. Although it won’t have the same amount of calcium, it will still be great. If your kid doesn’t prefer dairy products, you can use soy milk to make soy yogurt.
Also known as soya bean curd, tofu is very similar to cheese in texture. And this is primarily why most kids like it.
Tofu is an excellent source of calcium. Just with a little preparation, you can prepare a delicious grilled or baked tofu dish. You can use a vast range of ingredients to whip up wonderful vegetarian recipes for your child. For instance, you can try tofu nuggets instead of the regular chicken nuggets as they taste delicious. Additionally, you can add tofu to your homemade tacos, veggie wraps, or even soup recipes for a nice flavor twist.
Tempeh is another form of soya that is cooked and slightly fermented. Formed into cakes, it also contains ingredients like grains or legumes. Since it’s fermented, it carries a unique flavor, like the one that resembles mushrooms. It is an excellent healthy snack for kids as it is high in protein and iron.
A popular substitute for meat, tempeh has a firm texture, and so it can be cut into pieces or crumbled. You can add chunks of tempeh to your barbecue or add crushed tempeh to the salad and feed it to your kids.
Edamame is another variety of soya beans you can add to your kid’s diet. Edamame beans, also referred to as vegetable-type beans, are immature soybeans. Unlike the regular soybeans that are beige, light brown, or tan, they are green in color. These beans contain protein, fiber, antioxidants, and several minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin K and folate.
Edamame beans come encased in their pods. They are boiled in saltwater, cooled, and served as an appetizer. You can also do it as a side dish with soy sauce and ginger.
- Miso Paste
The two are soy products that help to add flavor to dishes. Miso paste is a popular Japanese health food made from fermented soya beans. It is very rich in proteins, vitamins, probiotics, antioxidants, and detoxifying enzymes.
It is highly beneficial for kids as it strengthens the immune system and improves digestion. However, you may use it as a condiment because of its heavy sodium content. You can add a small amount of this paste to the regular dishes and recipes that your kids like to add a subtle flavor.
How Much Soy Should Kids Eat?
Researchers and nutritionists recommend giving one serving of soy foods to kids every day. It accounts for roughly 5 to 10 grams of soy protein, 1 cup of soy milk, or ½ cup of tofu or tempeh. On the other hand, processed soy products, such as soy hotdogs or burgers, contain sodium and other additives. So, kids must consume them only occasionally.
Many times, soy critics have posed questions on soy’s safety for kids. It is safe to conclude that soy is healthy to be a part of a child’s diet. You can add it in different ways and in moderation to introduce variety and help your child reap the many health benefits of soya bean.