April is Soyfoods Month, so what better time to get the whole family to try soyfoods. Much has already been written about the benefits of soyfoods for adults: cancer, osteoporosis and hot flash prevention and cholesterol reduction. But soyfoods are very important for kids as well.
Recently there was news about soyfoods for kids, especially girls. Research at the National Cancer Institute showed that Asian women who ate the most soy-based foods from ages 5 to 11 reduced their risk of breast cancer by 58%. Just one serving of soyfoods a day - 1 cup of soymilk, ¼ cup soy nuts or 4 ounces of tofu -can make this dramatic difference.
Soy makes sense for boys, too. National surveys consistently show that most US children fail to get enough calcium – essential for building strong bones. Calcium-fortified soymilks come in a variety of flavors and even kids who shun regular milk may be convinced to stick a straw into a box and sip chocolate, vanilla, strawberry or plain soy milk.
A big benefit for the whole family is the fact that soyfoods have high quality protein, no saturated fat and no cholesterol. They can replace high fat protein sources and help get weight off or keep it down – another important issue for kids and parents.
Soyfoods come in so many forms and flavors that there are countless ways to add it to family meals and snacks.
There are roasted soynuts in many flavors, green soybeans (edamame) for snacking or sides, soy yogurt, soy cheese, soy crumbles and other meat replacers, soy crackers, cookies and bars, soy frozen desserts and many more. And there are the traditional and very versatile soyfoods tofu and tempeh, that also come in a variety of forms and flavorings.
Recently the Soyfoods Council proved just how much kids love to be in the kitchen, by creating a unique competition pairing professional chefs with young partners – either their own offspring or young friends.
“We regularly work with chefs, and with adult consumers, to promote the many flavor and health benefits of soyfoods,” explains the Council’s Executive Director Linda Funk. “So, recognizing the importance of getting kids involved in healthy food choices, and healthy food preparation, we decided to ask chefs to team up with a young partner to show us what they could do with soyfoods. The results were amazing, and delicious.”
Recipes ranged from tempeh-filled gyozas (kids love dumplings) to Sushi (fun to roll to the rice) to Guilt-Free Brownies with canned black soybeans as the secret ingredient.
The Soyfoods Councilis a non-profit organization, created and funded by Iowa Soybean farmers, providing a complete resource to educate and inform consumers and the foodservice market about the many benefits of soyfoods. The Council represents nearly all facets of the food industry, including soyfoods product manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, state and national soybean checkoff boards, food retailers and distributors, health and foodservice professionals. Iowa is the country’s number one grower of soybeans and is the Soyfoods Capital of the world.