Should You Be Feeding Your Child Vegemite?
Vegemite is the Aussie version of peanut butter and jelly—there’s never a bad time to have some toast slathered with the gooey, thick spread.
Child will snack on it any time of the day. Breakfast? Smear it on toast and you’re set! Lunch? Have a Vegemite and walnut sandwich. After school snack? Vegemite along with some cheese slices on biscuits will do the trick. You name it!
And you’ll be pleased to hear that eating so much Vegemite can actually be good for your health!
Should you and your family eat Vegemite?
A single teaspoon (5 grams) of Vegemite provides 5% of your daily sodium needs. Because of the presence of sodium—which has been linked to heart conditions, high blood pressure and stomach cancers—that many people wonder if Vegemite is bad for consumption.
However, since people typically use only a thin scrape of Vegemite—typically—due to its incredibly rich and salty flavour, the chances of the presence of excessive sodium resulting from the consumption of the product is unlikely. Besides, it is noted that
sodium affects people differently. People who are most at risk of heart-related issues due to sodium intake are people with high blood pressure or salt sensitivity.
So is Vegemite good for you?
A study shows that people who regularly eat Vegemite and Marmite are a lot less stressed compared to people who don’t eat yeast based spreads.
Researchers at the Victoria University in Australia analysed the results of surveys from 520 participants, and asked them related to how much yeast based spreads they consumed, their dietary habits, and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress scores (DASS).
They found that Vegemite consumption helps to relieve stress and anxiety. However, it noted that consumption of these food doesn’t alleviate symptoms of depression.
The researchers concluded that the presence of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, and B12 were the reason for Vegemite’s calming effects. Vegemite made from yeast extract that’s leftover from brewer’s extract from beer—making it a great source of vitamin B.
The lead researcher, Vasso Apostolopoulos, explained how important vitamin B is to our bodies. “We know these extracts contain some of the world’s richest sources of B vitamins, which are essential in keeping our bodies energised and regulating the nervous system.”
In particular, vitamins B6, B9 and B12 were noted to be beneficial. They help to regulate neurotransmitters that are responsible for mood control, as well as inhibit the production of the amino acid homocysteine, which is positively attributed to stress levels.
On the other hand, vitamins B1 and B2 help your body’s metabolism and provides your body with energy to keep everything ticking over as it should be!
Other foods to eat with vitamin B
Ensuring your little one has a balanced diet is crucial for his/her holistic development! This means getting enough nutrients and minerals with every meal.
While Vegemite is a great source of vitamin B, you can also find it in other equally nutritious foods as well! Here are other things to include in your child’s diet if you need to up vitamin B intake.
1. Whole grain bread
Your choice of bread is also equally important as the spread! Whole-grain is packed with fibre to keep your little one fuller for longer, as well as regulate his/her digestive system. What a great superfood!
Consider switching out white bread for the whole-grain variety!
Not only does Salmon contain nearly half of your recommended daily intake (RDI) for vitamin B’s, it’s also a fantastic source of omega 3 fatty acids!
Omega-3 helps boost your child’s brain development, resulting in a smarter and happier kid!
Red meat is a great source of vitamin B12, where a portion of 186 grams gives you 200% of your RDI!
It’s also a great way to get enough iron in your diet which helps to carry oxygen around the body!
4. Dairy products
As well as keeping your bones strong, dairy products like cheese, milk, and yoghurt are rich in vitamin B12.
You can use yoghurt as a dip to help your little one eat more veggies (if they’re not covered in Vegemite, that is!).
Eggs are a complete protein, packed full of nutrients like folate, choline, iron and omega-3 fats and should definitely be included in your little one’s diet!
And the best thing is you can cook eggs in so many different ways!
If your little one seems to be hangry, a bit restless, or doesn’t want to sleep, try a slice of toast with Vegemite! Studies prove it helps lower stress and anxiety, plus it’s yummy to boot! But remember, everything in excess can be bad, too, so remember to keep Vegemite consumption in moderation.
Has your child had Vegemite today yet?