A healthy mind lives in a healthy body. There is no denying this fact. However, in today’s busy lifestyle, health has emerged as the biggest causality. People from across the globe and from all age groups conveniently neglect the basic food requirements which nurture good health and wellbeing. The impact of this phenomenon is widely affecting our children. Kids are more dependent on junk-food nowadays, and on top of that, they also skip outdoor activities. Consequently, they are developing many lifestyle problems from a very early age. While some are fortunate about not getting these diseases but their growth is severely hampered. The situation is grave, and it needs immediate rectification.
While the main reason cited for this may be the lack of physical activity, diet lacking nutritional value is also something that cannot be ignored, and, when it comes to nutritional content, protein has a key role to play in maintaining the overall health of the human body. Its importance during early childhood years and adolescence is far more than what we can think of.
Why is protein so important?
Protein is a significant component of the human body. Every cell of our body, our muscles, skin, hair, nails and hormones are made up of protein – which in turn contains amino acids — the building blocks of life that help in maintaining and improving every aspect of human health, from physical to mental. According to research findings, children with protein-deficient diets show more aggression and tantrum issues than the ones who are given the right quantity and quality of protein as per their age. To quite an extent, the height and weight of a child also depend on the protein intake. Therefore, its significance is something that just cannot be overlooked.
Choosing the right source of protein
Until a few decades back, animal protein was considered the most important source of this essential nutrient. However, recent studies and research have recognised soy foods as an unparalleled source of nutrition regarding protein, especially for vegetarians and vegans. For infants too, soy-based formula milk has been recognised as equivalent to cow milk formulas regarding nutritional value. It is especially suitable for infants over six months old who are allergic to cow milk. While there is no substitute to breast milk, starting soy infant formula during the first year has now become quite prevalent.
Soy products offer high-quality protein
Due to increasing interest of the global population in plant-based protein diet, several studies have been conducted to determine whether soy is a rich source of protein. According to the research by PubMed, it has been ascertained that soy protein has a PDCAAS (protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score) of 1.00 which goes on to imply that soy is rich in essential amino acids and is a protein of high quality which meets the nutrition requirements of both children and adults.
Benefits of introducing soy protein early in life
Soy offers a variety of nutrients which, in the long run, serve as the powerhouse for growth and development. According to studies, an early introduction of soy protein eases constipation, lowers bad cholesterol, and even decreases the risk of many other diseases in the later stages of life. It works very well as a primary source of protein with minimum calories. Other than that, if you can start with soy in early stages, it will change the eating habit of your child, and he or she might not go crazy about junk food.
A tasty alternative for children’s meals
Soy is a very versatile food product and can be easily substituted for a host of unhealthy food items that appeal to children. Fortified soy milk can easily replace the normal milk for kids who are lactose intolerant as it has similar amounts of absorbable calcium as cow’s milk. Similarly, soy is a very good replacement for many hot favourite kids’ foods which use meat.
Nuggets, pizzas, sausages and burgers are easily made with soy, and it is far healthier and tasty than usual preparation. Soy has a very mild flavour that goes very well with many other healthy foods. Besides, soy can be easily used according to the taste of the child as it provides ample scope of innovation to include in the daily diet. It can be combined with several other healthy ingredients to come up with a delectable preparation. Many websites and chefs specialise in soy food; you can easily take inspiration from there as well.
Good eating habits go a long way in establishing overall health and fitness. In this regard, the significance of a balanced diet has remained the focal point of every nutrition plan. What we fail to recognise, however, is that the earlier we start, the better it is.
So, if you are worried about your kid’s health and growth, substitute some of the unhealthy eatables with soy and see the difference.