High protein vegetarian diet for sporty kids

  • Team Kidmish Jun 26, 2018

A healthy and well-balanced diet plays a critical role in a child’s growing and developing years. As most kids love playing some sport or the other, their dietary requirements also need to be altered according to their physical exertion. Healthy foods for kids who play sports should include meals rich in proteins so that it can build and repair muscles that get damaged during physical activities. Fruits and vegetables are plant-based sources of protein and, when consumed adequately, make up for the lack of animal derivatives. Doctors recommend that kids should consume around 0.5 to 1 g of protein per pound of body weight.

However, getting kids to eat healthily is easier said than done as most kids are picky eaters. Making healthy foods for kids look appetizing is an uphill task as kids cringe at the sight of veggies. There are several vegetarian recipes for kids that are rich in proteins and help them sustain and perform well during the physically-straining practice sessions and competitions.

We have enlisted five high-sources of proteins from veggies and included the perfect recipes for kids that will give your little munchkins all the energy required to play like a pro.

1. Source: Dry Nuts

Dry fruits like almonds and cashews are a high source of protein while also being rich in vitamin E and dietaryfiber. An ounce of yourfavoritenuts can give your child 4 to 6 g of proteins daily.

Recipe: Protein Power Bars

Protein bars will give your kid an instant boost of energy and is one of the recipes for kids that can be made at home with healthy ingredients. From dry fruits like walnuts, almonds, and oats, which are a rich source of protein, you can create something delicious (which is the most crucial parameter for kids). Check out the online recipe to create your very own protein power bars at home with minimal effort.


Method of Preparation

  • Melted butter or coconut oil - 150 g
  • Rice malt syrup or raw honey (sweetener) - 170 g (½ cup)
  • Raw cacao powder - 30 g (¼ cup)
  • Cinnamon powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Rolled quinoa or rolled oats or (half oats or half rolled quinoa) - 130 g (½ cup)
  • Raw nuts or seeds of your choice (e.g., almonds, walnuts, hazelnut, sunflower seeds) - 230 g (½ cup)
  • Grounded chia or flax seeds - 1 heaped teaspoon
  • Shredded or desiccated coconut - 80 g (1 cup)

  • Heat up the butter in a small pot and add the sweetener of your choice with cacao and cinnamon powder on low heat till all the ingredients are combined.
  • Toast all the nuts, oats, coconut, and seeds in a large pan for 5-10 minutes. Stir often until the coconut changescolor. Or else, combine all the above ingredients raw.
  • Let the mixture of nuts cool off a little (if heated earlier) and then grind in a food processor until the nuts are ground.
  • Add to it, the liquid mixture of the first step until it blends well.
  • Let it set into a small slice tin lined with baking paper. You can use a wet serving spoon to make it compact.
  • Let it set in the freezer for 10 minutes. Once done, remove the tin cover and cut into same-sized squares.
  • The protein power bars should be stored in an airtight container (to maintain its form and shape) in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Thermomix Method

  • Melt the butter at speed 4 for 1 minute at temp 90. To the butter, add cacao, cinnamon, and sweetener of your choice and mix at speed 4 for 1 minute at temp 90.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients at speed 4 for 10 seconds. Ground it well using the turbo button till it is of even consistency.
  • Continue with the same steps as given in the above method.


  • For vegan and dairy-free:

Use coconut oil in the place of butter

  • For gluten or grain-free:

Use rolled quinoa/millet instead of oats

  • For low-fructose:

Opt for honey instead of rice malt syrup

  • For nut-free:

Replace nuts with seed

2. Source: Legumes

Legumes are an indispensable part of the Indian cuisine. The variety of legumes available are vast and the ones like chickpeas, green peas, kidney beans, etc. are a rich source of protein. You can create healthy foods for kids using legumes like the hummus recipe given below.

Recipe: Hummus

Hummus is a creamy dip made primarily from chickpeas and sesame seed paste or tahini. The protein content of hummus is about 8 g per serving of 100 g which it mainly derives from chickpeas. Kids can enjoy the dip with theirfavoritecelery or carrots.


Method of Preparation

  • Chickpeas / Garbanzo beans rinsed and drained – 1 cup
  • Tahini - ¼ cup
  • Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Add all the ingredients together in a food processor and blend well until it forms a creamy texture.
  • Serve the dip instantly with vegetables like carrots, pita bread or pita chips.
  • Store in an airtight container for around 3 days.


  • Use olive oil instead of tahini.

3. Source: Cereals

Cereals, too, are a non-animal based source of protein. Examples include corn, barley, and oats which make up for a big chunk of a healthy and wholesome diet. Corns, especially, find use in many cuisines and is used in many staple diets for its high nutritional value.  

Recipe: Veggie burritos

Any mother will tell you that kids love fancy dishes with appealing names. It is a great way to disguise some nutritive vegetables and whip up something exotic like burritos.

Very similar to the Indian wrap, it makes use of corn tortillas, which can be found in supermarkets or even online, and a Mexican inspired filling. This recipe for kids will be enjoyed by them as they will discover new tastes andflavorsall the while ensuring that their protein requirements are met. One serving of burrito contains up to 30 g of protein based on the ingredients.


Method of Preparation

  • Boiled rajma - ½ kg
  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoon
  • Cumin powder - ½ tablespoon
  • Coriander powder - ½ tablespoon
  • Chilipowder - ½ tablespoon
  • Tabasco sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Lemons – 2
  • Onion -  ½
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Processed mozzarella cheese

For salsa sauce:

  • Tomatoes – 2
  • Onion – 1
  • Jalapeno – 2
  • Lime – 1
  • Coriander leaves –handful
  • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Chives of spring onion –handful
  • Corn tortillas – 4
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the burritos:

  • Add olive oil in a pan and heat for some time.
  • Add boiled rajma and softly mash them. Season it with salt and pepper as per taste.
  • Add cumin powder, coriander powder, andchilipowder and let the beans cook for a while.
  • To the mixture add tabasco sauce and half lime juice to combine flavours. Also, add chopped onions to the mix.
  • Take corn tortillas and add the rajma filling along with salsa sauce and some coriander leaves. Add salt to taste.
  • Add some olive oil into a baking dish and place the wrapped the tortilla in it.
  • Cover it with a layer of mozzarella cheese and microwave for 8-10 minutes at 180 degrees. Garnish with coriander leaves.

For the salsa sauce:

  • Chop tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos.
  • Mix tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, chives of spring onions together in a bowl. Squeeze in a lime for flavours.
  • Add cumin seeds, coriander powder, a dash of olive oil and salt and pepper for taste. Mix all the ingredients well.  


  • You can use red beans, black beans, and pinto beans instead or with kidney beans in the burritos.
  • You can also add cooked or leftover rice to the burrito filling.

4. Source: Dairy products

It is well known that dairy products like milk, cheese, andyogurtare loaded with proteins. Hence, mothers insist on their kids drinking a glass of milk every day as it contains about 8 g of proteins. Even low-fat fruityogurtcan make up for the deficiency by providing about 13 g of dietary protein. Paneer, which is made from milk, and is used prolifically in Indian cuisine has 7 g of protein per ounce.

Recipe: Smoothies

You can technically make a smoothie out of most combinations of fruits and veggies, and the taste will undoubtedly be delicious. Vegetables like spinach, broccoli, kale, etc. are rich in proteins and can be blended with kiwis, oranges, and bananas to create a vibrantflavorand appetizingcolor. Add a little milk oryogurtto enhance its texture and also increase the protein content of the smoothie. Slurping on these highly nutritious creamy creations will leave your young ones with a full tummy and help them with the added zing to give their best on the field.


Method of Preparation

  • Banana – 1
  • Strawberries - ½ cup
  • Raw broccoli florets - ½ cup
  • Non-fat Greekyogurt- ½ cup
  • Peanut butter - ½ tablespoon
  • Ice cubes (if preferred)
  • Dice the banana and strawberries into smaller pieces.
  • In a blender, add the fruits and broccoli florets and grind to a thick paste.
  • Add theyogurtand peanut butter in the blender for a creamy texture.
  • Serve with (or without) ice cubes as per preference.


  • The choice of fruits can vary depending on the season. You can add more fruits along with bananas and strawberries like pineapple (preferably juice), apple and ripe mango.  
  • Instead of non-fat Greekyogurt, you can use skimmed milk.
  • Avoid adding peanut butter in case of peanut allergy.

5. Source: Tofu

Also known as bean curd, tofu is a by-product of soy milk and is rich in proteins. Tofu can be incorporated in the vegetarian Indian cuisine as it is a plant-based source of proteins. It is known to be good for the heart for it contains polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega 3 fats.

Recipe: Veggie burger

Although it is a burger, the vegetarian patty is full of nutritional value. Veggie burgers made with tofu is a healthy food for kids as tofu increases its protein content and makes it an optimum choice for active kids. Plus your kid will love having a burger which will keep them satiated for a couple of hours.  


Method of Preparation

  • Tofu (firm and well-drained) - ½ container
  • Onion diced – 1
  • Green onions diced – 3
  • Wheat germ – 2 tablespoon
  • Flour – 2 tablespoon
  • Garlic  powder - 2 tablespoon
  • Soy sauce - 2 tablespoon
  • Pepper for taste
  • Oil for frying

  • Ensure that the tofu is well-pressed and well-drained. Crush it into small pieces in a big bowl.
  • To the tofu add onion, green onions, wheat germ, flour, garlic powder, soy sauce and pepper (for taste) and mix well.
  • Make round patties around 1-inch thick with this mixture using clean hands.
  • In a large skillet, splash some oil and fry the patties for 5-6 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  • Toss them between round burger buns and serve immediately.  


  • Mushrooms can be added to the mixture of burger patties along with tofu.
  • You can also add healthy beans (kidney beans, chickpeas, cannellini beans) to increase its nutritional value.

Probably, the most straightforward food for kids which is high in proteins is -

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich (PB & J)

Kids love their PB & J’s, and it is super easy for mothers to whip up for breakfast. Whole wheat bread contains twice as much protein as white bread and is around 4 g per slice. Add that to an ounce of peanut butter which contains 7 g of protein. One sandwich (with two slices) can give your kid a healthy dosage of 15 g of protein which is a good start for the day.


Method of Preparation

  • Whole wheat bread – 2 slices
  • Peanut Butter
  • Take a slice of bread and apply peanut butter as per liking.
  • Repeat the same with the other slice and make a sandwich.


  • Use white bread as a substitute for whole wheat bread.


Mothers of young kids are always on the lookout for appetizing recipes for kids that will keep them healthy and also boost their stamina while playing. With these high-on-protein vegetarian healthy foods for kids, they are sure never to skip a meal again. Sound off in the comments section and let us know if you have tried any of these recipes or if you have any suggestions/feedback.

Enrich Kidmish with Your Comments