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The Role of Onions and Garlic in Children’s Health

Onions and garlic are common ingredients found in various dishes around the world. Offering distinctive flavours, they make significant contributions to the culinary world due to their versatility. However, beyond the kitchen, these bulbous vegetables provide tremendous health benefits that are essential for children’s growth and development. In this blog, we will discuss the valuable role that onions and garlic play in building children’s health.

Also read : Dietary supplements for toddlers

Onions – Nutritional Profile and health benefits

One medium onion (110 grams [g]) contains:

  • 44 Calories
  • 2 g of Protein
  • 3 g of Carbohydrates
  • 7 grams of Sugar
  • 9 g of Fiber
  • 1 g of Fat

Here are some health benefits of onions in children:

  • Boosts bone health
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Contains anti-cancer compounds
  • Improves heart health
  • Improves gut health
  • Boosts immunity
  • Enhances digestion
  • Prevents cardiac problems
  • Have antibacterial properties

Vitamins C and B6 present in onions help in

  • Brain development
  • Support the immune system

Biotin promotes

  • Healthy skin
  • Healthy hair
  • Healthy nails

Potassium helps with

  • Kidney functions
  • Nerve transmission
  • Muscular health
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Reduces cholesterol levels

Antioxidants help

  • Prevent diabetes
  • Lower the risk of heart attacks
  • Reduces the risk of cancer
  • Prevents osteoporosis
  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Protects against the formation of blood clots

Fiber and Prebiotics help

  • Boost gut health
  • Boost immunity
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Enhances digestive health

Also read : Teaching Kids About Leafy Greens and Their Iron Content

Ways to Add Onion to kids’ diet

  • Onion Soup: Soup is an excellent way of integrating onions into your kid’s diet. You can puree the onions, making them less noticeable if your kids reject them for their texture.
  • Onion Pancakes: Onion pancakes combine the goodness of onions with the delectable taste of pancakes. Sneak some finely chopped onions into the batter and cook to perfection.
  • Onion in Scrambled Eggs: Adding finely chopped onion to scrambled eggs enhances the flavour, and it is an easy way to get your child to eat this vegetable.
  • Onion Pasta Sauce: Puree onions and add them to your child’s favourite pasta sauce. The onions will enhance the flavour without making their presence overtly noticeable.
  • Onion and Cheese Sandwich: Grate an onion and mix it with cheese to make a sandwich. The strong cheese flavour can disguise the sharpness of the onion.
  • Onion Pizza: Chop onions finely and scatter them over the pizza before baking. The high cooking temperature will caramelize the onions, giving them a sweet and mellow flavour that most children enjoy.
  • Onion and Vegetable Stir Fry: Stir fry onions with other vegetables in a little olive oil. The wide variety of flavours will make the onions less pronounced.
  • Onion in Tuna Salad: Mix finely chopped onions with canned tuna, mayonnaise, and shredded lettuce for a delicious and healthy salad.
  • Onion Bread: Mix dried onion flakes in the flour when baking bread. This way, you can incorporate onions into their daily bread.
  • Onion in Mashed Potatoes: Add cooked and pureed onions to mashed potatoes. This combination will give the dish a delicate and flavour-enhancing touch.

Also read : 10 Tips to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

Garlic – Nutritional Profile and health benefits

One clove of raw garlic (3g) contains

  • 5 Calories
  • 0g Fat
  • 5 mg Sodium
  • 1g Carbohydrates
  • 1 g Fiber
  • 0 g Sugars
  • g Protein
  • 9 g Vitamin C
  • 04mcg Zinc

Here are some health benefits of garlic in children:

  1. Helps in balanced eating
  2. Reduces inflammation
  3. Lowers bad cholesterol levels
  4. Reduces cardiovascular risk
  5. Significantly reduces the risk of diabetes
  6. Improves gut health
  7. Boosts immunity
  8. Enhances digestion
  9. Has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties
  10. Improves brain functioning
  11. Reduces blood toxicity
  12. Balances sugar levels
  13. Aids in weight loss:
  14. Keeps off cold and cough

Compound Allicin helps

  • Boost the immune system
  • Prevent common cold and flu

Phytochemicals help

  • Protect from cell damage
  • Lower risk for certain cancers such as stomach and colorectal cancers
  • Reduces risk of chronic illness
  • Nitric acid compound helps
  • Relax blood vessels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Supply more oxygen to working muscles

Also read : Which nutrients help our muscle growth?

Ways to Add Garlic to kids’ diet

  • Garlic Infused Olive Oil: A simple way to introduce garlic into your child’s diet is by using garlic-infused extra-virgin olive oil while cooking their favourite dishes.
  • Garlic Bread: Introducing the taste of garlic in the form of bread makes it an easy sell for children, a universally appealing food item.
  • Garlic Pasta: Garlic builds a fantastic flavour profile when incorporated into pasta dishes, making it a very clever way to introduce this superfood.
  • Roasted Garlic Hummus: A perfect combination of taste and nutrition, roasted garlic hummus not only adds a flavour burst but also ensures your child benefits from the potent nutrients in garlic.
  • Garlic Fried Rice: Stir frying garlic in moderate heat and mixing it with rice will tone down garlic’s sharp flavour and simultaneously promote a complex flavour.
  • Garlic Roasted Vegetables: Roasting vegetables with a light sprinkle of minced garlic will subtly enhance regular meals while upping the nutrition quotient.
  • Garlic Soup: Incorporating garlic into soup dishes creates a comforting, delicious, and nutritious meal that automatically appeals to children.
  • Creamy Garlic Sauce: Drizzling creamy garlic sauce over veggies, boiled eggs, or pasta cleverly incorporates garlic into your child’s diet.
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Adding minced roasted garlic into mashed potatoes excellently introduces garlic to children without compromising on the dish’s overall flavour.
  • Garlic Baked Chicken or Fish: For non-vegetarian families, adding herbs and garlic while marinating the meat boosts the flavour while ensuring a healthy intake of garlic.

Onions and garlic are more than just flavour-enhancing food additives. They are rich in micronutrients and possess considerable health properties. Integrating them into children’s diets can significantly contribute to boosting their health and supporting their growth and development. This integration, however, should consider the gastric comfort and taste preference of the child to achieve the best results.

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