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.