Walnuts are super healthy nuts that come with excellent health benefits. Hence most parents are keen to include walnuts for kids in chopped, finely ground, or other forms. They are great sources of healthy fats, essential nutrients and are also known to help manage a child’s blood pressure and digestion. Because of these and several other amazing benefits, these nuts add a lot of nutritional value and healthiness when included in your child’s meal plan. Keep reading to discover astonishing facts, health benefits, and more about walnuts.
Walnut Benefits For Kids – An Overview
Most pediatricians say that introducing allergens like tree nuts to babies before the age of one is not a good idea. Here are some important nutritional values of walnuts and the benefits as well.
Nutrient Value Of Walnuts
Walnuts boast of an amazing array of nutrients. Some special components include.
1. Omega-3 fatty acids:
Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are highly essential, as they help your kid maintain a normal blood pressure. Moreover, the nuts also help reduce your kid’s cholesterol level, reduce inflammation and keep his heart healthy (1). One of the most important walnut benefits for kids.
Walnuts are rich sources of Vitamin B1 and B6. These vitamins are essential for brain tissue development and promoting your nerve health (3).
Walnuts are good in the healthy fat, polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) and also contain monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) (4). These fats help lower your kid’s LDL or bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease later on in his life.
Benefits Of Walnuts For Kids
Walnuts contain high amounts of essential nutrients. Some of their health benefits include:
1. Improves Memory:
2. For Hair:
Walnuts play a major role in keeping your child’s hair lustrous and shiny, as they contain high amounts of biotin (6).
3. Strong Antioxidant Properties:
Walnuts exhibit strong antioxidant properties and help your kid’s body get rid of toxic substances and free radicals.
Walnuts Facts And Information
Here some interesting information and facts about walnuts to teach your kids:
- Walnuts are the oldest known tree food.
- Walnuts are a regular ingredient in many varieties of ice cream and chocolates, which is why they are known as Persian walnuts. Black and White walnuts originate from North America.
- Walnuts hail from a family of Brazil nuts, Cashew nuts, Hazelnuts, Pistachios, Pecans and Pine nuts. The nuts originated in India and the Caspian Sea region.
- Today, China is the largest producer of Walnuts in the world.
- There are about 30 varieties of commercially produced walnuts.
- A common culinary use of walnuts in the 17th-19th centuries was in salads, something we do even today.
Candied Walnut Recipe
Walnuts are one of the most nutritious snacks for your kids. However, if your kid seems to be put off by the weird shape or you can’t get him to eat walnuts, consider making some candied walnuts for him. Follow the recipe below and let your little one relish the crunchy goodness of these nuts.
You Will Need:
- Sugar (around ¼ cup)
- Honey (approx. one tablespoon)
- Water (around 2 cups)
- Salt to taste
- Walnut halves (around 2/3rd cup)
- Aluminum foil
- Baking sheet
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Mix honey, water, salt, and sugar in a bowl.
- Pour the mixture out into a pan and cook for around 3-4 minutes over medium or high heat, occasionally stirring.
- Add walnuts to the pan and reduce the heat
- Wait until the mixture turns golden brown.
- Proceed to spread this mixture evenly on a baking sheet.
- Once the walnut mixture cools down, break it into clusters.
- Refrigerate for an hour
- You can either store the clusters in an airtight container or add them to your kid’s favorite dessert.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How should I give walnuts to my four-year-old?
Whole nuts may be a choking hazard for children younger than five years. Therefore, if you wish to give walnuts to your four-year-old, make sure it is crushed or ground. You may also give them nut butter (7).
2. Are nuts suitable for two-year-olds?
According to the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Health and Human Services, nuts are a good source of protein for children (8). However, you should crush or grind them before offering them to toddlers to prevent choking (7). Moreover, avoid giving nuts if your child has nut allergies. Since many children outgrow their food allergies, consult your doctor about the best age to reintroduce nuts to your child (9).
The health benefits of walnut for kids are numerous and include enhanced memory, stronger hair, and detoxification. They’re also rich in critical nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and vitamins, which are important for children’s healthy growth and development. Hence, include walnuts into your child’s diet as snacks and as a regular element in their favorite foods and dishes, such as ice cream, chocolates, cakes, cookies, and pastries. However, regulate their walnut consumption and watch out for any nut allergy symptoms.
- Nuts health and kids.
- Simone Baltrusch; (2021); The Role of Neurotropic B Vitamins in Nerve Regeneration.
- Rogelio U Almario et al.; (2001); Effects of walnut consumption on plasma fatty acids and lipoproteins in combined hyperlipidemia.
- Balu Muthaiyah et al.; (2014); Dietary supplementation of walnuts improves memory deficits and learning skills in transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Vitamin H (Biotin).
- Foods to avoid giving babies and young children.
- Nutrition: Toddler.
- Feeding Your Toddler – Ages 1 to 3 Years.
- 17 Things You Never Knew About Walnuts