Nutritional benefits of tofu for babies and growing children
Beyond its soft exterior, tofu packs a host of nutrients that are essential in our children’s diet.
Besides steamed tofu or adding tofu into soup for that quick and healthy dinner, how about creating delicious tofu and meat patties for extra proteins and vitamins? Try this simple tofu and meat patties recipe that works great for babies who self-feed by practising Baby Led Weaning (BLW), or simply serve with grains like rice or noodles at meal times.
Nutrient-dense tofu is rich in vitamins and minerals such as proteins, manganese, calcium, selenium to name a few. Manganese and selenium are necessary for brain development and essential in supporting children’s growth. In addition, Manganese is a component of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD), and selenium is an antioxidant – both minerals work to protect against free radical damage.
This soy-based food is also suitable for children who are vegans and vegetarians. Soy also contains polyphenols known as isoflavones, and research suggests that they may be able to help protect against cancer.
Allergy to tofu and soy
When introducing new food to your child, parents often take on the 3-day trial approach, where new foods are consumed for three days consecutively to observe for any allergy reactions.
Common symptoms of a food allergy includes:
Swelling of lips, face or other body parts
Wheezing or breathing difficulties
Besides the above reactions, severe symptoms may include loss of consciousness, so do seek medical attention immediately.
Tofu and Meat Patties Recipe
1/4 portion of Tofu, drained and mashed
50g Minced Pork, drained
½ small onion, diced
10pcs Kale leaves, washed and chopped roughly (feel free to replace with other vegetables such as carrots or spinach)
Seasoning for meat (optional):
Sprinkles of McCormick Italian seasoning
1 tsp light soy sauce
Marinate minced meat with seasonings, cover bowl with cling wrap and set aside in fridge for 30 minutes. Omit salt if your child is under one year old.
In a separate bowl, mix kale, tofu and minced onion. Drain any liquid and cover bowl with cling wrap and set aside in fridge for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, drain liquids from both bowls. Mix ingredients together.
Heat pan over medium fire. Add olive oil/butter onto pan. Using a spoon or by hand, shape the mixture into desired shape and size, and gently place them onto pan.
Pan fry till golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving your child.
We hope your child enjoys these simple yet nutritious tofu meat patties that pack a punch! Healthy eating habits begin at home, and parents play an important role when it comes to our children’s diet, so we can raise healthy, world-ready children together!
Superfoods are nutritionally dense food that offer wholesome amounts of vitamins and minerals. They are great for toddlers who need a variety of food options to fuel healthy all-round development. While ‘superfoods’ are not formally a food group like Grains and Proteins, what this means is that superfoods are foods items across different food groups. though superfoods are primarily plant-based that are jam-packed full of nutrients.
These are some deliciously healthy superfood ideas you can include in your toddler’s next meal!
Eggs contain proteins and Vitamin D, which help absorb calcium needed for strong bones and teeth for your growing toddler. Eating protein at breakfast leaves kid’s stomachs less hungry in the mornings. Serve up scrambled eggs with a ketchup smiley face, a sunny side up, or even add some cheese for an extra dose of savoury goodness. Better yet, try this Baked Eggs in Avocado recipe and power up the start of your child’s day!
Research suggest that children who ate oatmeal for breakfast performed better on memory-related tasks at school than those who had consumed sugary cereals. Oatmeal is filled with fiber-rich whole grains, and digests slowly enough to avoid less hunger in the mornings.
One of the best things about avocados is that it is high in folate. This is something that is crucial to brain development as well as the production and maintenance of new cells especially during early child development years. Enjoy that creamy avocado as a spread on toast, or combine them with eggs, just like in this recipe!
Nuts have healthy fats which supports toddlers in their physical growth, cognitive development, and heart health. Active toddlers definitely need that extra dose of energy too! Be mindful about them as choke hazard – chopped them up and sprinkle in homemade cakes, biscuits or enjoy with that cup of Greek Yogurt. Toddler-approved, for sure!
Milk is a great source of protein and calcium that provides fuel for the brain and body. Kid’s bones and teeth are strengthened and your growing toddler takes in other vitamins such as iron and DHA too. Toddlers can obtain nutrients via various milk sources including formula milk powder, fresh milk, goat milk, soy-based milk and UHT milk. If your toddler prefers flavoured milk, consider adding cocoa to make chocolate milk, or get strawberry flavoured milk at the supermarket.
Soy foods provide protein and anti-cancer benefits, and studies suggest that they are especially beneficial for young girls because it provides protection as breast tissues are developing. The way to get your kids to eat this is mix tofu into stir fries or soups, use silken tofu for a replacement in yogurt fruit smoothies, or add edamame as a fun soybean for kids to explore as they eat. Mash or cut the edamame if offering to younger toddlers to reduce the risk of choking.
#7: Greek Yogurt
This contains healthy bacteria known as a probiotic used to boost immunity and help aid digestion. It has less sugar then regular yogurt and offers a higher amount of protein. You can add honey, nuts, or fruit to power up the nutritional goodness for your toddlers.
With omega-3 fatty acids known to boost brain development, help to improve a child’s focus and provides anti-inflammatory benefits, salmon makes a yummy and nourishing dish for growing toddlers. Salmon is versatile and you can cook it in several ways – salmon porridge, baked salmon, salmon cakes or burgers. Special tip: mask the slightly fishy smell by squeezing lemon – that’s an extra boost of Vitamin C too!
Those flavonoids in cocoa are great for helping to build immunity, supporting healthy heart function and oral health. These bioactive compound groups are rich in antioxidant content to fight free radical damages, and help keep toddlers healthy. Serve cocoa with milk, bake muffins or add a dash of cocoa powder on pancakes, waffles or French toast for extra flavour!
#10: Black Beans
Containing protein, fibre and calcium, black beans can keep children fuller for longer and give them nutrients that are crucial for healthy development. You can make dips with black beans or prepare a nutritious pot of Black Beans Soup for the family.
Are you ready to supercharge your toddler’s diet? Have fun creating new dishes and recipes for your children while they enjoy the wholesome nutritional goodness from these superfoods. Eating well is the start of raising healthy and happy world-ready children!
Do you offer these superfoods to your toddlers too? Do share your favourite recipes below!
Not sure what to do with those empty Einmilk formula cans?
This craft video shows how you can easily create a personalised Coin Bank Monster with those empty formula milk tins. Using materials that are available at home or at the local craft store, you can make your own cute or scary monsters at home too!
Get set to unleash your creativity together with your little ones, as you embark on your very own DIY craft project to create piggy banks. What better way to inculcate saving habits from young, and help your child understand the value of saving too.
Upcycling is a great way to reuse these formula cans. At the same time, parents can indulge in an easy, hands-on craft activity with toddlers too. As parent-and-child work together to decorate your very own coin banks, parents can also take this opportunity to share the importance of upcycling and recycling, and discuss how simple actions can help save our environment. At the same time, discarded items are given a new lease of life and are converted into useful items for use. These personalised coin banks make great gift ideas too – lovingly handmade and definitely one-of-a-kind!
We hope you enjoy this meaningful and educational activity with your kids. Cultivating positive values goes towards raising world-ready children for the future! Click here for more family-friendly activities and free printables.
This matching game activity promotes the training of visual memory, observation skills, concentration and encourages young learners to pay attention to details. As mummy and daddy read the words for each corresponding picture, your little one picks up new vocabulary, sharpens his or her visual-spatial skills and listening ability.
Start by matching the same pictures, and progress to learning about colours, the alphabet, sorting the objects by their differences or similarities and even a memory game! These engaging activities help to encourage new perspectives of looking at things around them, as they explore classification skills and look out of these items in their own room. Enjoy the interactive time playing with your little ones!