11 Essential Cheap Vegan Protein Sources For Your Kids
You might be concerned that your child isn't receiving enough protein if he or she is a vegetarian, vegan, or doesn't consume a lot of animal products.
Protein is an essential component of any child's diet. It's a component of bones, muscles, and skin that helps the body stay healthy and function properly. It is critical to assist children in their growth and development.
Protein can be found in a variety of meals, including meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, but there are also many plant-based options. Vegetarian and vegan children can easily obtain all of the protein they require from their diet.
The British Nutrition Foundation suggests that children consume the following amounts of protein on a daily basis:
Protein intake for babies aged
- 7 – 9 months is 13.7 grams per day.
- 10 to 12 months is 14.9 grams per day.
- 1 – 3 years is 14.5 grams per day.
- 4 – 6 years is 19.7 grams per day.
- 7 to 10 years is 28.3 grams per day.
It might be difficult to determine the exact amount of protein in your child's meals, therefore as a general rule, vegetarian and vegan youngsters should have three protein sources per day. To ensure they get all of the nutrients they require, make sure they get a range of protein sources.
Here are the best cheap vegan protein sources for kids. I've also shared 1 recipe for each source.
There are 19 grams of protein in 100 grams of seitan.
If you're looking for a meatless alternative that's also adaptable, seitan is the way to go. It is made of wheat gluten and has a taste and texture comparable to meat. Seitan can be produced from scratch or purchased ready-made at the supermarket.
If you want to create seitan from scratch, you'll need essential wheat gluten, which you can order online.
Seitan Meat Substitute
Ingredients For The Dough
- Vital wheat gluten: 1 cup
- Vegetable broth: ½ cup
- Nutritional yeast: 3 tablespoons
- Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
- Minced garlic: 1½ teaspoons
- Liquid amino acid: ¼ cup
Ingredients For The Cooking Broth
- Water: 4 cups
- Vegetable broth: 4 cups
- Tamari: ¼ cup
- In a mixing dish, combine essential wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, 1/2 cup vegetable broth, liquid amino acid, olive oil, and garlic until they form a ball. Knead the dough until it is rubbery in texture. Divide the dough into three equal portions and form 1/2-inch thick patties.
- In a large pot, bring 4 cups of vegetable broth, water, and tamari to a boil. Place patties carefully into boiling stock, cover, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and set lid slightly askew to vent steam.
- Continue to cook patties until firm, about 1 hour, rotating patties regularly. Take the pot off the heat and set the lid aside. Allow 15 minutes for the patties to cool in the broth before serving.
2. Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast, a cheap vegan protein source, has a cheesy, umami flavour that we want for savoury dishes like pasta, chilli, and salads.
Its savoury, nutty flavour makes it a wonderful substitute for parmesan or aged cheese. It's beneficial for you, so use it up!
Making a dairy-free, vegan “cheese” sauce for macaroni is one of my favorite uses for nutritional yeast.
Pumpkin Mac And Cheese
- Pumpkin puree: 1 cup
- Elbow macaroni (enough for 4 people)
- Unflavoured non-dairy milk: ¾ cup
- Cornstarch: 1 tbsp
- Minced garlic: 1 tsp
- Nutritional yeast: ¼ cup
- Non-dairy butter: 1 tbsp
- Onion powder: ¼ tsp
- Salt or to taste: ½ tsp
- 10-12 sage leaves
- Coconut oil
- Dijon mustard: 2 tsp
- Place a saucepan of water over high heat. Once the water has to a boil, add the cashews and salt and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. After that, drain the cashews from the water and save the remaining cashew water.
- Cashews, nutritional yeast, smoky paprika, tomato paste, garlic powder, fresh lemon juice, salt, dijon mustard, and 1.5 cups of residual cashew water should all be blended together in a blender. Add vegan butter to make the sauce creamier and butterier. It's optional.
- Blend until completely smooth. Follow the package directions for cooking the pasta. Toss the spaghetti with the cheese sauce. Season with salt to taste.
3. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds contain 17 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Chia seeds are little black seeds with high nutritional content. Chia seeds are high in fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium, in addition to being high in protein.
Chia seeds can be used in smoothies, porridge, or as an egg substitute in vegan baked goods.
You might be able to find them in the grocery store, in the health area, or online, with other nuts and seeds.
Chia Seed Pudding
- Non-dairy milk: 4 cups
- Cocoa powder Dutch-processed: ½ cup
- Chia seeds: ½ cup
- Pitted Dates: 8 – 12 (adjust depending on desired sweetness)
- In a high-powered blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
- After that, pour the mixture into a container, cover with a lid, and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Serve with a variety of toppings.
Cooked Lentils contain 9.2 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Soups, stews, tacos, burritos, salads, and pan-fried burgers are all delicious ways to use lentils.
There are many different types of lentils to pick from, including red split lentils and green lentils.
Vegan Lentil Burgers
- Sweet Potato: 1 Large
- Carrots: 6 Medium
- Basil: 1 Tsp
- Gluten-Free Oat Flour: 50 g
- Garlic Puree: 1 teaspoon
- Oregano: 1 teaspoon
- Instant Pot Green Lentils
- Red Onion: 1 Small
- Paprika: 1 teaspoon
- Harissa: 1 teaspoon
- Salt & Pepper to your taste
- Thyme: 1 teaspoon
- To make sure your sweet potato and carrots are tender and easy to mash, peel and cube them before pressure cooking them for 5 minutes. Fill the instant pot inner pot with sweet potatoes and carrots, as well as all seasonings and green lentils. Add the red onion, which has been peeled and thinly diced.
- Mix everything together with your hands until it resembles typical meat burger patties in texture. Form into burger patties before rolling in oats. In the air fryer, place four lentil patties on foil.
- Fry at 200°C/400°F for 12 minutes, then turn and cook for another 5 minutes at the same temperature.
5. Split Green Peas
There are 23 grams of protein in 100 grams of split green peas.
We're all familiar with split green peas as the go-to component in a cup of pea soup. A bowl of split green pea soup, on the other hand, is far too predictable.
Making veggie burgers, fritters, or tossing split green peas into a summer salad is a novel way to use them.
Split Pea Soup
- Coconut or olive oil: 1 tablespoon
- Thyme: 1 sprig
- Onion: 1 cup
- Crushed garlic: 2 cloves
- Celery: 1 cup
- Parsley flakes: 1 teaspoon
- Smoked paprika: ½ teaspoon
- Dried oregano: ¼ teaspoon
- Basil: ½ teaspoon
- Bay leaf: 1
- Carrot: 1
- Sea salt to taste
- Potato: 1 medium
- Vegetable broth: 7 – 8 cups
- Nutritional yeast flakes: 1 tablespoon
- Cayenne pepper: ¼ teaspoon
- Green split peas: 2 cups
- Sliced green onion
- In a big pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Cook until the onion, garlic, and celery are tender.
- Cook until aromatic, stir in parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, and bay leaf.
- Carrots, potatoes, split peas, vegetable broth, and nutritional yeast flakes are added to the pot. Bring to a boil, covered.
- Reduce to low heat and cook for one hour.
- Remove the bay leaf and season to taste with salt. Garnish with green onions and serve in a dish.
There are 6 grams of protein in 100 grams of peas.
Green peas are a low-cost, readily available, and easy-to-find plant-based protein source.
Green peas can be served as a side dish or added to a soup or stew. Green peas can also be cooked as a puree, sauteed in fried rice recipes, or tossed into a pasta dish.
Vegan Fried Rice With Peas
- Garlic cloves: 4
- Cooked brown rice: 2 cups
- Large carrots: 2
- Frozen peas: 1 cup
- Cabbage shredded: 1½ cups
- Sweet onion: ½
- Tofu scramble: 1 cup
- Low-sodium soy sauce: 5 tablespoons
- Add roughly 1 tbsp of water to a big pan or wok over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and carrots right away. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the shredded cabbage to the pan or wok after that. Raise the heat to medium-high. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. To avoid sticking, add a dash of water as needed during the cooking process.
- The frozen peas, cooked brown rice, cooked tofu scramble, and low-sodium soy sauce are then added. Cook for a further 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In 100 grams of edamame, there are 11 grams of protein. It's a terrific complete food to have on hand when you're looking for something savoury and filling.
Toss edamame in a heated pan with soy sauce for a quick and easy edamame meal. Alternatively, toss them in a saucy peanut noodle salad.
- Frozen edamame: 1 bag
- Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
- Garlic: 3 cloves
- Sea salt: coarse
- Low sodium soy sauce (non-GMO & Vegan)
- Boil the edamame according to the package directions. Drain and set aside the water.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, heated in a large skillet Crush the three garlic cloves but keep them in one piece. Toss them in the skillet with the edamame and cook until the edamame is just starting to brown on the outsides.
- Serve in a big bowl with a separate bowl for the edamame shells on the side. Serve with low-sodium soy sauce and, if you have it, a dash of wasabi paste.
There are 13 grams of protein in 100 grams of tempeh.
Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake, patty, or block produced from fermented soybeans. Tempeh also has a mild flavor with a nuttiness and earthiness undertone.
Tempeh has a firm texture that works well in chilli, as a vegan bacon substitute, or marinated and sautéed.
Tempeh is a great meat substitute if you're wanting bacon. Slice the tempeh into “bacon” slabs and marinate in a delicious, smoky marinade.
Crispy Tempeh Bacon
- Tempeh: 8 ounces
- Smoked paprika: 2 teaspoons
- Low sodium soy sauce: ¼ cup
- Nutritional yeast: 1 tablespoon
- Black pepper: 1 teaspoon
- Ketchup: 2 teaspoons
- Fill a pot halfway with water and season it with salt. Bring a kettle of salted water to a boil after that. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and add the full block of tempeh. Cook for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through to ensure even cooking.
- Remove the tempeh from the pot and set it aside for at least 10 minutes to cool. Pour the soy sauce, ketchup, smoked paprika, black pepper, and nutritional yeast into a bowl while the tempeh is cooling. Set aside after thoroughly mixing.
- Then, without breaking the tempeh, slice it into strips as thin as possible.
- In a large, shallow bowl or container, place the tempeh strips. Coat or brush both sides of each tempeh piece evenly with the marinade. Allow 30 minutes to marinate.
- Remove the tempeh from the dish and set aside any remaining marinade.
- On an air-fryer tray, arrange the tempeh slices. Preheat the oven to 325°F and air-fry for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
There are 8 grams of protein in 100 grams of chickpeas.
Hummus is a popular chickpea meal that’s a dippable side. If you're searching for something different than a hummus dip, consider chana masala, an Indian stew with a variety of spices and flavours.
Salads, burritos, or a veggie burger can all benefit from a handful of chickpeas.
Ingredients For The Salad
- Cucumber: 1 small
- Spring onions: 1 – 2 stalks
- Small bunch of parsley, chopped
- Cherry tomatoes: ½ cup
- Olive oil
Ingredients For The Bowl
- Chickpeas: ⅓ cup
- Olives: 7 – 8
- Tzatziki: 1 tbsp
- Hummus: 2 tbsp
- Quinoa: 2-3 tbsp, cooked
- Black pepper, freshly ground
- Salad: Wash and cut the vegetables, then combine them in a mixing dish. Toss in the olive oil, vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble your bowl as follows: Salad with chickpeas that have been rinsed and drained, olives, and quinoa. 2 tbsp hummus and 1 tbsp tzatziki
- Add freshly ground black pepper in the middle/on top.
The protein content of 100 grams of tofu is 11 grams.
Tofu comes in a number of different types, each with its own set of uses. Add a few cubes of silken tofu to your smoothies for extra protein. Then there's tofu that can be chopped into nuggets since it's extra firm.
Tofu, like tempeh, is flavourless and absorbs anything you feed it. Super-firm tofu is my go-to type since it gives a meaty mouthfeel to the dish.
- Firm tofu: 8 ounces
- Turmeric powder: ¼ teaspoon
- Vegan butter: 1 teaspoon
- Garlic powder: ¼ teaspoon
- Salt to taste
- Nutritional yeast: 1 tablespoon
- Tofu should be drained of any extra water. Tofu can be crumbled with your hands or a fork. Preheat a skillet over high heat. Toss in some vegan butter.
- Transfer the crumbled tofu pieces to the pan once the vegan butter has melted. Tofu should be cooked for 3 minutes.
- Toss the tofu with nutritional yeast, turmeric powder, garlic powder, and salt. Toss together the tofu and seasonings. Cook for 6-8 minutes more.
11. Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are high in protein and healthy fats, but they can be a choking hazard if served to young children.
According to the NHS, whole nuts and seeds should not be given to children under the age of five, therefore grind or crush them for preschoolers.
The amount of protein in a serving varies depending on the variety of nuts; almonds, for example, have roughly 7g of protein per 30g serving.
Despite the fact that peanuts are technically a legume, they are a good source of protein, with roughly 9 grams per serving.
Nuts and seeds can be consumed as a snack, added to cereal, salads, and stir-fries, or turned into a delicious energy bar.
Nuts Breakfast Smoothie
- Bananas: 3 medium
- Ice cubes: 1 cup
- Peanut butter: 3 Tablespoons
- Unsweetened rice milk: 3 cups
- Rolled oats: 3 Tablespoons
- Dates: 5 pitted
- Put all of the ingredients in the Vitamix container in the order stated, then close the lid.
- Begin with blending on the lowest setting, then swiftly advance to the highest setting.
- Blend for 45 seconds or until you have the desired consistency.
Four More Essential Tips For Your Vegan Kids
1. Increase Your Iron Intake
Iron is essential. It's necessary for the production of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen throughout your child's body to the cells. At six months, your iron stores start to run out. At every meal, include iron-rich meals like dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, or okra.
2. Consumption Of Fibre Should Be Limited
Make sure you don't overdo it on the fiber. While fruits and vegetables are an essential element of your child's diet, they are low in calories and lack energy. Avocado and hummus are high in energy and should be part of a vegetarian diet.
3. Combine Iron And Vitamin C For A Powerful Combination
Iron absorption is aided by vitamin C. With this in mind, serve an orange, tangerine, or satsuma to your youngster after their meal. At mealtimes, a modest glass of well-diluted fruit juice is another option.
4. Supplement Sparingly
Vitamin drops should be included in your child's meals on a regular basis until they reach the age of five. This will provide you with the assurance that your child is receiving all of the vitamins they require.
I hope you find this cheap vegan protein source information useful! As you can see, there are numerous methods to include a diverse range of plant-based vegan protein foods in your daily diet. Please leave a comment below if you think a protein source should be included in the list or if you have any questions about it!
I trust you enjoyed this article on the 11 Essential Cheap Vegan Protein Sources For Your Kids. Please stay tuned for more blog posts to come shortly. Take care!
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