Health Benefits of Chia Seeds for Kids

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Chia seeds regulates blood sugar, trace vitamins and minerals, promotes good skin and hair, rich in manganese and magnesium, are gluten-free, source of protein and sustaining energy.

Chia seeds are traditional American food originating in Mexico and Guatemala. The name chia in Nahauti language means ‘oily’. Chia seeds have been highly regarded and consumed by natives for hundreds of years. It was not until a few decades ago that chia seeds came into the picture of the entire world. In this article, we will discuss the health benefits of chia seeds for kids. Read on to find out everything that you need to know about the chia seeds.

In this article:

Can Chia Seeds Be Given to Toddlers?
Amazing Health Benefits of Chia Seeds for Kids
Measures to Be Taken While Giving Chia Seeds to Your Kids
Dosage
Risks Associated with Chia Seeds
Nutrition
Recipes Containing Chia Seeds for Your Kids

Can Chia Seeds Be Given to Toddlers?

Yes, chia seeds can be given to your toddler in case they are ready to eat adult food. The risk of food allergies caused by chia seeds is less, which makes it safe for your toddlers.

Amazing Health Benefits of Chia Seeds for Kids

Source of Protein

Chia seeds are a healthy source of protein with 16 g of protein per 100 g of chia seeds. Protein helps in building and maintaining not only muscles but also the organs. You can add chia seeds to many of your kids’ dishes.

chia seeds benefits

Sustaining Energy

Chia seeds provide sustained energy for longer periods. The carbohydrates are not absorbed quickly, as a result of which, they are released slowly into the bloodstream. When you give chia seeds to your kids, you can make sure that they are full for a longer period of time.

High in Dietary Fiber

Chia seeds contain dietary fiber. This amount of fiber is very helpful in cleansing the digestive tract by eliminating constipation. Therefore, your kid will not face any gut problems if you feed them chia seeds.

Source of Fatty Acids

Chia seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids. These omega 3 fatty acids are really helpful in brain development and good eyesight for your kids. Omega 3 fatty acids are also found in fish, but vegetarians might miss out on this. Therefore, chia seeds are especially beneficial for those who do not eat fish.

Source of Antioxidants

Chia seeds also contain antioxidants. The level of antioxidants found in chia seeds is more than the level of antioxidants found in some berries. But, due to various allergy issues caused by berries, chia seeds can be a very good option for your kids.

Regulates Blood Sugar

Chia seeds help to regulate and reduce insulin level in the blood of human beings. They also lower blood pressure and thereby help to control Type 2 diabetes.

Promotes Good Skin and Hair

The minerals, proteins, and fats present in chia seeds together give your kids healthy hair, skin, and nails.

Trace Vitamins and Minerals

The chia seeds have low amounts of calcium, phosphorus and manganese. They may not replace your kid’s calcium supplement in the form of other calcium-rich foods, but they can contribute to their daily vitamin and mineral intake.

Are Gluten-Free

Gluten is the protein present in wheat and is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. Gluten is known to cause allergies and gluten intolerance in some kids. However, chia seeds are 100% gluten-free. Chia seeds are especially beneficial for kids suffering from celiac disease.

Rich in Manganese

Chia seeds are also rich in manganese. Manganese might help in the treatment of arthritis, diabetes, and epilepsy in kids with a weak immune system. Manganese also has excellent antioxidant properties, which improves metabolism and accelerates wound healing.

Rich in Magnesium

Chia seeds also contain magnesium, which is extremely beneficial. This mineral has several benefits like treatment of hypertension and heart disease, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes.

Measures to Be Taken While Giving Chia Seeds to Your Kids

There are few measures that you need to take while giving chia seeds to your kids. Kids are susceptible to various diseases; therefore you should be careful while giving them anything. The measures are as follows:

Selecting Chia Seeds

Chia seeds mostly come in two varieties, black seeds and white seeds. Black seeds are whole seeds and consuming them is a good idea as black seeds are not dehusked. Be careful while selecting the seeds and select the black seeds, as the white seeds will provide less benefits with the husk removed.

Soak the Seeds Overnight

You don’t need to cook chia seeds separately, just soak chia seeds overnight. Chia seeds can absorb 9 times water of their own weight and turn into a gel, which can be added to all kinds of foods including cereal, cookies, smoothies, various other dishes.

No Raw or Unsoaked Seeds

Raw chia seeds can cause digestion troubles in children. So, be very careful not to give raw, unsoaked and uncooked chia seeds to children.

Dosage

You don’t need to take chia seeds in quantities similar to wheat or rice. Instead, a few teaspoons of chia are enough. You should not use more than 1-2 teaspoons in the beginning for your kids. You can increase the amount later on, when your kids are accustomed to the seeds.

Risks Associated with Chia Seeds

Though chia seeds are not highly allergic, there are chances that some kids can be allergic to chia seeds. Also, chia seeds absorb a lot of water. Therefore after having chia seeds, it is absolutely necessary to drink a lot of water because the chia seeds absorb water and turn into a gel like substance. This might give stomach cramps to kids who have eaten chia seeds but haven’t had water. Consuming chia seeds in large quantities can interfere with nutrient absorption in the body of your kid.

Nutrition

NutritionValue per 100 gNutritionValue per 100 g
Water5.8 gEnergy486 kcal
Protein16.5 gTotal lipid (fat)30.7 g
Carbohydrates42.12 gFiber34.4 g
Calcium631 mgIron7.72 mg
Magnesium335 mgPhosphorus860 mg
Sodium16 mgPotassium407 mg
Vitamin C1.6 mgThiamin0.6 mg
Riboflavin0.17 mgNiacin8.8 mg
Vitamin A54 IUVitamin E0.5 mg

 

Recipes Containing Chia Seeds for Your Kids

Now that we have discussed all the health benefits, side effects and nutritional value of chia seeds for your kids, it is important to figure out how to use them while cooking, so as to make them tasty for your kids. Here is a list of few curated recipes for you, so that you can save time looking up recipes and start cooking right away.

Happy Green Smoothie

The ingredients needed for this delicious and healthy smoothie are

  • a handful of spinach (kale, or any dark leafy green will work)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 apple
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • a couple of leaves of cilantro / parsley (optional)
  • 1 + cups of water

How to make

To make smoothies, add the liquid first, and then about half of the ingredients. Blend, and then add the remaining ingredients. At the end add about 3-4 ice cubes and blend one last time. This smoothie is a great way to incorporate leafy greens in your child’s diet.

Chia Fresca Drink

Ingredients needed are

  • 2 cups coconut water (no sugar added)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice, or to taste
  • Zest of half a lime or lemon
  • Several drops of stevia (to taste)

How to make

Add chia and water/coconut water into a large jar or glass and whisk well to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the chia seeds to moisturize and swell. Add lemon/lime and your preferred sweetener to taste. The chia seeds will eventually sink, so give it a good swirl as needed. This drink will compensate for the depleted levels of energy in your kid’s body.

Probiotic-Rich Yogurt Topped with Fruit and Chia Seeds

To make this tasty, stir in raw honey to sweeten and frozen, organic berries for a good dose of antioxidants and flavor. The berries also color the yogurt when stirred in, which is a fun morning experiment, and a great way to get your kids in the kitchen with you. Sprinkle on chia seeds at last.

No-Cook Refrigerator Oatmeal

These oats are usually served cold and are great for the summer.

Basic Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Quaker Steel Cut Oats or Quaker Rolled Oats
  • 1T chia seeds
  • ½ cup yogurt, milk, or almond milk  (yogurt makes it thick, milk makes it thin)

How to make

Put oats, chia and yogurt/milk in an 8oz jar and shake. Add mix-ins, if using. Soak overnight in the refrigerator or for up to 2 days. Makes 1 serving for your kid.

Chocolate + Vanilla Chia Seed Mousse with Summer Berries

Basic Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of cacao powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup (more or less depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract)
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups of coconut, rice or almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries or currants all work great)

How to make

In a mason jar or a small bowl, add in the cacao, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon zest, salt, and chia seeds. Pour in the milk and give it all a quick stir using a spoon. If you are using a jar, cover the jar with a lid and shake vigorously for a few secondly until the contents are well mixed. Place it in the refrigerator for an hour and then give it another quick shake or stir since the contents usually tend to settle to the bottom. After the pudding has thickened and set (after at least 5 hours), place the mixture into a blender and blend on high for 20-30 seconds until the seeds are pureed. Taste and adjust any seasoning necessary. You can serve it immediately, or if it needs to thicken a bit place it back into its container in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until you are ready to serve.

Therefore, to conclude, we have extensively covered everything that you need to know regarding chia seeds. You can safely give the seeds to your kids, provided you get your doctor’s approval first.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4926888/

Hope this article was of help to you! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy, Healthy Babies and Empowered Women!!

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