Plain or fancy, hummus is a nutritious kid-friendly snack
Creamy and satisfying, hummus is among the rare truly healthy comfort foods – and as a bonus, it's also extremely kid-friendly. It's made from wholesome ingredients – chickpeas, tahini, olive oil and optional seasonings, like roasted garlic – and supplies health benefits that make it a nutritious addition to your diet. However, hummus can be high in calories, so portion control is key.
Basic Nutritional Information
Hummus is moderately high in calories, with a 1/4-cup serving supplying 109 calories. Those cals come from a healthy mix of carbs, fat and protein. Each serving of hummus has 12 grams of total carbohydrates, 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fat. The carbs and fat serve as sources of fuel, which can keep your kids energized at school or soccer practice. The protein supports lean muscles – also a benefit for those after-school soccer practices – and promotes healthy immunity to help your family fight off colds and other germs.
A Source of Fiber and Essential Minerals
The chickpeas used to make hummus are packed with fiber, so it's no surprise that hummus itself is a decent fiber source too. Getting enough fiber is important for your family's cardiovascular health, because fiber can help keep your blood cholesterol levels in check. Fiber also promotes satiety, so your kids will feel more satisfied between meals – and less likely to feel distracted by hunger pangs. Hummus supplies 3 grams of protein per serving – up to 16 percent of the daily fiber needs for your children, depending on their age, and 12 percent of your daily fiber intake requirements.
Benefits From Hummus Additions
Roasted pepper! Roasted beets! Roasted sweet potato! There are virtually limitless ways to use add-ins to make different types of hummus, and plenty of those add-ins offer nutritional benefits too. Beets, for example, are an excellent source of dietary fiber, so adding pureed beets to your hummus can up its fiber content. Sweet potatoes get that sunny orange hue from vitamin A – a vitamin important for vision and immune function – so a roasted sweet potato hummus would supply more of that eye-friendly nutrient.
Serving Healthy Hummus
Hummus is difficult to get wrong, so feel free to experiment in the kitchen, and use hummus' status as a family favorite to help introduce your kids to new flavors. Infuse your hummus with north African harissa or a spicy curry powder to teach your children about seasonings from around the world without overwhelming them with unfamiliar textures. Use hummus to sneak more veggies into your children's diets too – puree virtually any roasted veggie to "hide" it in the hummus itself, then use the result as a dip for your kids' favorite veggies, like carrot sticks and sugar snap peas.