Nuts are power-packed with nutrients like healthy fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, which help kids grow, develop and learn. These nuts include almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, chestnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pine nuts, macadamias, walnuts and pistachios.
Nuts should be introduced to kids when they are six months old but kids under five years should not eat whole nuts for fear of choking. They can instead be given ground nuts or nut pastes. They can also be given on their own to older kids, or added to recipes. Mixed trail is also a good idea.
Health Benefits of Nuts for Children
Children who are lactose-intolerant can get their bone-building material from eating almonds that are rich in calcium. Almonds are also high in vitamin E, the nutrient that helps improve the appearance and condition of your skin. It also helps the heart due to its heart-protecting ingredients called flavonoids.
Almonds also help with brain development, so it helps immensely to give children a few almonds per day. The compounds contained in almonds normalize the production of the hormone in the brain called dopamine. Dopamine not only helps develop the brain but also sharpens it and improves the mood.
Walnuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, as they help children maintain normal blood pressure. They also reduce a child’s cholesterol level and inflammation and help him maintain a healthy heart. Their high levels of magnesium help kids stave off Type 2 Diabetes. Walnuts are rich in Vitamins B1 and B6, which help develop children’s brain tissue and nerve health. It also contain PUFA and MUFA which help lower children’s LDL. Walnuts help improve memory, give lustrous hair.
Read more: Can Walnuts Be Given To Babies?
Brazil nuts are rich in selenium which has a range of benefits for adults. For children, however, it helps increase immunity and heals wounds better. Selenium is also necessary to produce the thyroid hormone. These nuts also help fight liver cancer and reduces the risk of skin cancer.
They also lower cholesterol levels and stave off depression and anxiety. These nuts are anti-inflammatory and because they are rich in selenium that contains antioxidants, Brazilian nuts give glowing skin. They also help children develop red blood cells, chiefly due to their abundance of Vitamin E. Vitamin E also helps the heart develop better. Older children entering puberty can also benefit from taking Brazil nuts as they can get rid of acne and other skin blemishes.
Though delicious, they are also high in fat content. Actually, they are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which benefit the heart. These fats also lower bad cholesterol levels in the blood.
Cashew nuts are also high in selenium, whose antioxidant property helps destroy free radicals in the body; copper that helps absorb essential minerals in the blood; and zinc helps build a strong immune system. Cashew nuts are also rich in protein, which helps children build bones, muscles, blood and organs. They also contain magnesium that contributes to bone growth.
Chestnuts are popular not just for their taste but also for their various virtues. This is a body-building food, maintains strong teeth and gets rid of respiratory problems. These nuts are also rich in starchy carbohydrates and fiber, and are therefore rich in Vitamin C. They contain B Vitamins, including B6, good for develop bones, muscles and nerves.
Hazelnuts are rich in the B Vitamin family, which help in the core body functions, such as regulating the nervous and digestive systems and producing healthy red blood cells. It also encourages the growth of healthy and lustrous hair and skin.
Though these nuts are high in fat, they are rich in MUFA and are therefore heart-healthy. They are also rich in fiber and minerals like magnesium, potassium and calcium. Like hazelnuts, macadamia nuts have a notable sweet taste and are packed with nutrients. They speed up metabolism because they contain an acid that’s known for this, palmitoleic acid, which works to prevent fat storage.
Pecans are good at lowering cholesterol levels and are heart-friendly too. It is also energy food.
Read more: Health Benefits of Pecan for Children
Children should be given nuts as healthy snacks, or in salads, or dessert toppings or even roasted. By giving children a few nuts every day, they can enjoy the true health benefits of nuts and lead a healthy life.