Rich in dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals, chickpeas help improve digestion, prevent diabetes and can help you manage weight as well. This popular plant-based protein is perfect for growing kids who need strength and energy for their daily activities. So, are you wondering how to include these in your child’s diet? Well, kids usually love crunchy and crispy chickpeas coated with different kinds of spicy, sweet, and tangy seasonings. Instead of crackers or chips, these can be a healthy and filling snacking option too. Or, you can serve chickpeas with rice or roti to turn it into a meal. The good news is that, apart from the same old chole, there are many other chickpea recipes for toddlers that can delight their taste buds. Some are as follows:

Roasted chickpeas:

If you are using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse two cans of chickpeas. Spread them on a sheet and bake for about 40 minutes without applying any oil or seasonings. After baking, toss the crisp chickpeas with oil and any seasoning that your kids love. Bake them again for a few minutes until the spices become fragrant and the chickpeas get crispier. Serve them hot. Chickpeas lose crispness and turn soft when they cool down. In that case, you can make them crispy by heating them in the oven for 10 minutes.

The seasonings can usually be of four different types:

  • Cinnamon sugar: Mix one teaspoon of cinnamon and one tablespoon of sugar.
  • Cool ranch: Mix half a teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill, one teaspoon of dried parsley, and a quarter teaspoon of dried basil.
  • Sweet curry: Mix two teaspoons each of curry powder and sugar.
  • Barbecue: Mix one teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, sugar, and half a teaspoon each of cumin and chilli powder.

Peanut butter chickpea bars:

These are among the easy chickpea recipes for toddlers. You can pack these for school too. The bars are devoid of gluten, dairy, and are vegan. To make these bars, blend oats into a powder form. Add chickpeas and blend again. Blend again after adding peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, baking powder, and the water present in the canned chickpeas, until they are all well mixed. Place the sticky dough in the middle of a pan that is lined with a parchment paper. Wet your fingers and spread the dough evenly on the pan. Leave an inch of a gap on each side of the pan. Bake at a temperature of 350 degrees F, for 18 to 20 minutes. Let it cool down and then cut into bars. Drizzle some melted chocolate chips on the bars and sprinkle some sea salt.

Creamy roasted red pepper tomato pasta:

Roasted red peppers and sundried tomatoes form the base of the sauce which coats this pasta nicely. Ricotta cheese and chickpeas add on to the protein, calcium, and fibre content of the meal. Cook whole-wheat pasta and drain the extra water, reserving about half cup of the liquid. Meanwhile, to a heated pan, add sundried tomatoes, onion, garlic, roasted peppers, rosemary, and sauté. Cool it and transfer the mixture into a blender. Now, add ricotta cheese and chickpeas, and blend till you have a smooth puree. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the cooked pasta and coat with the sauce. Cook on a low flame for a few minutes. Serve hot.

Curried chickpeas salad sandwich:

Mix drained chickpeas, mashed avocado, lime juice, chilli powder, curry powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Blend this until you get a moderately smooth texture. Add some shredded carrots to the mixture. Toast bread slices and top them with some chickpea mixture. You can even top them with some micro-greens and shredded purple cabbage. Cover with another bread slice and serve.

Chickpea noodle soup:

This is a very comforting bowl of food and an easy chickpea recipe for children. To make this, sauté some celery, onions and carrots in olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and add some chopped garlic. Add some fresh herbs and paprika as well. Now, add vegetable broth, water, and chickpeas to this mixture. Pressure-cook for about 35 minutes and let it cool for about 15 to 20 minutes. Now, add some dry pasta to it and pressure-cook for an additional 4 minutes. Stir in some cooked spinach, black pepper and salt. Serve hot.

As mentioned before, chickpeas are a great source of protein for kids and have been a part of the Indian diet since old times. Half a cup of chickpeas gives 6 grams of fibre and is also packed with iron and zinc. They help lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure. Certain cancers might also be prevented by consuming chickpeas regularly. Chickpeas can be incorporated into a variety of recipes easily. If you kids do not like plain chickpeas, you can easily try the above recipes and watch them enjoy this legume without complaints.