Does your child turn his/her nose up at a bowl of dal or curl his/her lip up at their milk? It is very important for vegetarians to find ways to include proteins in their diet because proteins are essential for muscle building and repairing foods. A high protein diet is needed to keep your metabolism going and to keep your hunger pangs at bay.
All growing children really need a lot of protein in their diet, preferably starting with breakfast. But what if your child kicks a fuss about eating that which is good for him/her, try some of these ingredients and meal ideas.
- Dahi: Curds or yogurt is packed with easily digestible protein. You can have your child start the day with a glass of sweet, salty or fruity lassi. Pack a raita with a paratha or pulao in your child’s lunch box. How about offering your child a bowl of sweetened curd as a reward for a job well done or in place of dessert?
- Sprouts: If you introduce your child to this super-food early, you are setting your child on the path to eating healthy for life. But there are many children who balk at the texture and smell of sprouts. So you might want to try disguising sprouts in vegetable sandwiches, soups, and even parathas.
- Whole dried beans and dals: If your child is tired of rajma-chawal or channa-cholay, try a peppy bean and corn salad for your child’s snack box, a rajma roll, or treat them to exotic Mexican bean tacos or burritos. For breakfast or snack break, try moong-dal paranthas and mixed dal dosas called adai.
- Paneer: Children, usually, love paneer. Whether it is a scrambled paneer bhurji or roll, grilled paneer, matar-paneer, or paneer parathas your child is probably going to be thrilled to find it in their school lunch box on any day.
- Soya: Soya is such a nutrition-rich food, that it is worthwhile trying to include it in your diet once or twice a week. Offer your child a glass of soya-milk after a long day at school, or try soya burgers or tofu burgers, soya granule pulaos and biryanis, and gravy dishes with soya beans.
Of course, eggs are another great source of protein. However, as not all vegetarians eat eggs, it was not mentioned in the list above. Whether your child is a fussy or happy eater, you must make sure that before you introduce a new food to your child in their school dabbas, test it out with them on the weekend or for dinner. It is best to go with tried and tested foods for school to make sure your child eats well.