Mothers of young kids are always low on time but high on their dedication to feed their kids nutrition-dense foods. When weaning babies, nothing beats the nutritional benefits of sprouts. And the best part is, they can be made easily in the kitchen itself. Be it legumes, grains or seeds, they can all be sprouted to become a superfood.
Health benefits of sprouts
1. Toughens up the immunity
Once the grains and legumes are sprouted, their nutrition value shoots up. Sprouts are especially high in Vitamin C which gives the white blood cells greater vitality in fighting infections. This boosts the child’s immunity and they fall sick less often. As a good source of fibre, they help regulate the bowels too.
2. Gives more energy
Proteins are the building blocks of the body. The protein contained in the foods usually remain partially digested. But, when the seeds and grains are sprouted, their protein content increases and becomes easily digestible for kids. In this way, sprouts provide the extra-energy growing kids needs for healthy development.
3. Strengthens eyesight
Sprouts contain Vitamin A, B, E and tons of beneficial antioxidants. They keep the eyesight strong. Also, they can be easily digested so they are a healthy diet option for kids.
Raw or cooked
This is an evergreen debate: should sprouts be eaten raw or cooked? Some bacteria tend to remain on the sprouts on account of the sprouting process. This is the reason it is very important that sprouts are washed and cooked very well before use. Roast, steam or mash them before adding to food.
Superfood or supervillain
Even a superfood must be used wisely else it can easily turn into a villain. Depending on the age and weight of the child, the quantity of sprouts that provide adequate nutrition can vary from 2-3 tbsp to a small katori (bowl). Take care not to overindulge as the high fibre content can cause diarrhoea.
Sprouts are a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians. Wheat, ragi, bajra, green gram, channa, red gram, can all be sprouted. Add them to khichdi, curries or raita for a super-duper nutrition-boost.
Gayathri Asokan is a much sought-after nutritionist and lecturer from Kerala, South India. She is the founder owner of Nutrisolutions, a non-profit organisation. Her aim is to enlighten people on healthy eating habits and thus build a healthy society. She gives free nutrition awareness class to schools and other groups and organisations. We are proud to have her on board as a Thriive-verified nutritionist. You can connect with her HERE.