Sometimes, kids seem to be eating it right, and in time but appear underweight. Their low weight can give you nightmares, with all and sundry poking at you and asking that annoying question, “Does he eat at all?” You may be doing everything right, but see if almonds are being included in your child’s diet. They are a rich source of nutrients and are helpful for your kid’s healthy growth and development. Here, Momjunction looks at the benefits and side effects of almonds for kids.
It’s a kind of plant milk extracted from almonds. It has a creamy texture and a nutty flavor. Just like the nuts, the milk does not contain any cholesterol along with lactose. Thus, people who are allergic to dairy products can easily have this milk and this list of people also includes the vegans. Commercial almond milk is available in the market in various forms such as:
This variety of milk is slowly pushing the ever popular soya milk to the 2nd spot regarding consumption. The nutritional content of this variety of milk is less than that of cow milk, but the commercial versions have a high percentage of vitamins. A comparative study will help you understand this facet. One cup of almond milk has only 1 gram of protein and 2 mgs of calcium while one cup of cow’s milk has 8 grams of protein and 300 mgs of calcium (1).
Nutritional Value Of Almonds:
Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. have found that moderate intake of almonds every day enrich the diets of kids.
Alyssa Burns, a researcher who was part of the study says: “Almonds are a good source of plant protein — essential fatty acids, vitamin E and magnesium.” (2)
Almonds are a health food because of the high vitamin, protein, and mineral content, and almost zero cholesterol, which prevents coronary cardiac diseases and strokes. Almonds are an incredible source of vitamin E. It helps maintain the skin, cure skin related problems, and act as an antioxidant that is soluble in lipids. They also have high vitamin B complex level, which helps in the proper functioning of the enzymes. They have a huge amount of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. We have given an in-depth analysis of what 100 gram of almonds possesses as nutritional value: (3)
Principle Nutrient Value:
- Energy 575 Kcal
- Carbohydrates 21.67 g
- Protein 21.22 g
- Total Fat 49.42 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Dietary Fiber 12.20 g
- Folates 50 µg
- Niacin 3.385 mg
- Pantothenic acid 0.47 mg
- Pyridoxine 0.143 mg
- Riboflavin 1.014 mg
- Thiamin 0.211 mg
- Vitamin A 1 IU
- Vitamin C 0 mg
- Vitamin E 26 mg
- Sodium 1 mg
- Potassium 705 mg
- Calcium 264 mg
- Copper 0.996 mg
- Iron 3.72 mg
- Magnesium 268 mg
- Manganese 2.285 mg
- Phosphorus 484 mg
- Selenium 2.5 µg
- Zinc 3.08 mg
- Carotene-ß 1 µg
- Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 µg
- Lutein-zeaxanthin 1 µg
Types Of Almonds:
There are two different varieties of almonds, and you should have a proper idea about them:
1. Sweet Almonds:
These are the ones which are so famous for their health benefits and are widely consumed all over the world.
2. Bitter almonds:
Also known as wild almonds, bitter almonds should be avoided, because of an amygdalin presence.
Benefits Of Almonds For Kids:
Here are some of the health benefits for which you kids need to intake almonds:
1. Promotes Strong Bones:
- One of the key elements to strengthen your child’s bones and improve its longevity is Phosphorous. As almonds contain a high percentage of phosphorus, it can help your kid attain stronger bones and teeth.
- It also protects them from the risk of unwanted tooth decay and osteoporosis in future.
2. Boosts Immune System:
- The immunity factor in the kids is imperative to prevent them from getting sick and have a proper growth.
- The alkali metals present in almonds help to increase immunity. They also have anti-oxidants actions which help to prevent any disease.
- Almonds also have a high content of Vitamin E. Various researches conducted in the past has shown that people who have a high content of Vitamin E in their diets have about 30-40% lesser chance of suffering from coronary cardiac diseases.
3. Prevents Cancer:
- The intake of almonds boosts the passage of food through the colon, and this is why the chances of colon cancer gets decreased. The sole reason behind this is the high fiber content in almonds.
4. Healthy Brain Development:
- Riboflavin and L-Carnitine help is the proper development of the brain of your kid and almond contains both these nutrients in high quantity.
- It helps to keep your kid’s nervous system in the proper state and prevents Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Boosts Energy Level:
- Almonds are rich sources of manganese, copper and Riboflavin and they maintain the metabolism rate properly thus producing energy.
- Your restless young kids and the ones who sweat out at their workplaces or gymnasiums should include almonds in their diets.
6. Treats Constipation:
- The high fiber content in the almonds helps to prevent constipation in the growing kids. This problem is quite common among children and almonds help them a lot.
7. Overcomes Dermatological Problems:
- If your kid has dry skin or other such skin related problems, almonds can your help him overcome the symptoms significantly.
- The doctors advise almond oils for the newborn babies for bone development and healthy skin. It also helps in maintaining proper skin complexion.
8. Maintains Optimum Body Weight:
- One of the grave issues that kids today face is weight related issues.
- You should make sure that their diet consists of unsweetened almond milk.
- The unsaturated fats present in the milk maintain proper appetite of the kids, and they don’t end up overeating.
9. Heart Health:
- The unsaturated fats again play a great role in the maintenance of a healthy heart along with the proteins and potassium present in almonds.
- Magnesium prevents kids from heart attacks in their future. Folic acid safeguards the deposition of surplus fat in the inner walls of the arteries and thus they can work properly.
10. Maintains Blood Pressure:
- Sodium and potassium content in almonds are quite high, and this helps to retain the blood pressure and prevent fluctuations. (4)
Side Effects Of Almonds For Kids:
Although almonds have many benefits, some of the side effects, which you should also know about:
- Some people are allergic to almonds, and they can have rashes in their bodies along with breathing problems.
- Consumption of a few bitter almonds can be deadly for an individual.
3. Kidney Stones:
- Studies conclude that about 75% people suffering from kidney stones have calcium oxalate in their urine. Almonds have huge content of oxalates, and thus, people suffering from kidney stones should take in high quantity.
Facts And Information On Almonds For Kids:
- Almond is the crunchiest dry fruit, which can quench thirst easily.
- Due to its long storage life, you can store almonds for two years.
- Almonds serve as one of the best cholesterol regulators.
- As almonds contain 90% of unsaturated fats, consumption of the dry fruit can never make your kid obese.
- Almond flour is the very healthy ingredient that you can use for gluten-free baking purposes.
- People often call Almonds as ‘Brain Food’ for kids.
- Due to the high percentage of flavonoids in almonds, it can nourish the skin effectively.
- Almonds protect a child from diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Almond Recipes For Kids:
1. Homemade Almond Milk:
You Will Need:
- 225gm almonds
- 1-liter water
- Soak the almonds in water and refrigerate it for about four hours. You can also soak it for overnight.
- Remove the outer skin of the almonds, as after soaking they would come off easily. If you have already purchased the blanched almonds, you can skip this step.
- Blend the almonds along with the fresh water in a food processor.
- Press the mixture through the metal strainer, using a spatula or hard spoon so you can obtain smooth almond milk.
- You can feed this homemade almond milk for kids now.
2. Almond Cookies:
You Will Need:
- ½ cup Almond meal
- 2/3 cup Plain flour
- 2 Tbsp. Corn Flour
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- A pinch of salt
- ½ tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/3 cup Butter
- Sift the corn flour, plain flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and keep it aside.
- Beat the sugar and butter using a hand blender until they turn fluffy. Add the almond meal to the sifted flour mixture and try to make a soft dough.
- Wrap the dough in a plastic paper and refrigerate.
- After a few minutes, take the dough out and roll it to 1/2″ thickness.
- Use a cookie cutter to obtain the perfect shapes. Also, place an almond on top of every cookie.
- Bake the cookies in the oven at 170 degrees Celsius for 20-22 minutes.
Does your kid enjoy eating almonds? Tell us about it here.