Why protein is important and how to add extra protein to your family’s diet.

Why is protein important?

Protein is essential for our bodies and enables it to undertake a number of tasks that keep us functioning at our best. Protein is used to repair the damage impacting the body every day. It repairs muscles and also builds enzymes, helps regulate hormones as well as provides a helping hand to antibodies used by our immune system. Plus, for a healthy and alert brain, we need to deliver protein to it.

Plus, protein is especially important for younger children, because their bodies are still growing and protein repairs and prepares.

Obviously, there are negative impacts from not eating enough protein, including a sluggish metabolism, moodiness, low energy and an inability to focus. With protein as an essential contributor to our bodies and mental agility, it makes sense to add more protein to our own, and our family’s diet, wherever we can.

How to add protein to your family’s diet?

There are three main meals per day, and two smaller ones for snacking, as opportunities to get protein into our bodies. It’s essential that at every meal protein is included to give the body the best chance of success.

Protein can be found in lean meat, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, peas and beans. It makes good sense to include a variety of these sources, if you can, to avoid boredom. Additionally, including a variety of proteins means that other essential nutrients and minerals will be delivered to organs and muscles.

Dieticians suggest protein be included at snack times because it ensures a steady supply of energy to muscles and brain. A small protein snack will increase attention and mental performance while also decreasing the need for unhealthy snacks.

A surprising source of protein are beans and peas, which are a nutritious way of getting protein into your diet without meat.  Chick peas are a high source of protein, low in cholesterol and saturated fat they make an excellent addition to any meal, particularly lunch and dinner and are a worthy afternoon snack.

Another healthy, nut, dairy and egg free protein alternative is the fava bean, high in protein, vitamins and nutrients – they keep the body functioning as its peak and regulate core functions. Fava beans are also known as broad beans and are high in dietary fibre. These beans are excellent additions to salads, can be mashed together as a potato replacement or, when roasted, can be an excellent addition to the lunch box.

Both chic peas and fava beans help satiety and improve focus, perfect for adults and children alike, who need focussed attention every day.

Five reasons to pack your child’s lunchbox

School is a heady combination of friends, frenzied playtime, and learning. Unsurprisingly children don’t just learn maths and English in school, they learn the habits that will often last a lifetime. Healthy eating habits are just one of the many children will learn during their school careers that will set them up as successful adults. The patterns set by the food they buy in tuckshops or find in their lunchboxes will stay for them for the rest of their lives.

Nowadays many tuckshops and canteens offer healthy solutions, in addition to the fried food, chips and high sugar drinks, but giving your child the choice of what to spend their tuckshop money on, can you rely on them to choose the more appropriate healthy option?

So while packing your child’s lunchbox is time consuming, and, as a parent, you will spend hours thinking about what to include and hope that they both consume and enjoy the delectable delights you’ve included. By preparing your child’s lunchbox you will most importantly prepare children, in the best way you know how, to take on any challenge.

So here are five reasons to pack your child’s lunchbox:

  1. Energy – School, in many ways, is like the first day of a new job, every day, for your child. Sure, there’s the stability of being in a classroom with the same kids, but the content is always different and the challenges vary daily. Then there’s sport, music and after school activities. A lunchbox packed by you filled with protein and sustained carbohydrates will help.
  2. Calorie control – Packing their school lunches means you can control their calorie intake from when they wake until when they go to bed. Plus, you can continue to mimic what they eat at home in the lunchbox. Of course, if you choose potato chips and chocolate, with a side can of fizzy, then some of the benefits of that control are lost, but if you’re packing a nutritious lunch, built around fruit, vegetables, seeds, peas and beans, then you know your child is eating properly throughout the day.
  3. Preferences – You can tailor your child’s lunches based on their likes and dislikes, and also what you think they should avoid. If your child should avoid dairy, wheat or nuts, then through packing their lunches, you can ensure they don’t consume foods that don’t agree with them. It’s much easier to pack the foods you want them to eat, rather than asking them to avoid the foods that may irritate them.
  4. Variety - You can change the main elements of their lunches at the frequency that you think your child requires – which is something a school canteen may not. When packing your child’ lunchbox you have the ability to change meals up as you please – and tailor each day to your child’s favourites and introduce new foods as well.
  5. Reduces waste at home – you can use leftovers in their lunchboxes. Putting lean protein into sandwiches or salads means less wasted dinners from the night before. Any snacks that haven’t been eaten around the home can be added to the lunchbox and use up any food in the house before the next grocery shop.

Packing school lunches, while time consuming , does have far more pros than cons particularly if you can find healthy and nutritious lunchbox solutions to help your kids achieve all they need each and every day.

Finding the right back to school snacks

If you are sending your children to school for the first time or if they are going back for another year, as a parent, you’re not doubt wondering what to pack into their lunchboxes to prepare them for learning.

The school lunchbox is difficult to maintain, because you know their taste buds get bored quickly and that what they eat during the day sets them up for success.

Studies show that a child who has had ample to eat is likely to learn more than one who is hungry – so it’s important that whatever is in the lunchbox is high in protein and low GI. High protein foods keep us fuller for longer, reducing the need for snacking a higher feeling of satiety.

Dieticians and government authorities recommend fruit, vegetables, bread – or a variation of bread, protein in the form of meat, chicken, tuna, beans, peas or dairy to be included in the lunchbox.

When preparing the lunchboxes of your kids, you will likely spend hours making different foods containing all food groups, to feed them throughout the day. It’s time consuming and requires constant thought and attention.

Then, if you run out of time, you scour the aisles of the supermarket trying to find food that is healthy, tasty and almost as nutritious as something you would make at home. There are so many options available – many including nuts, wheat, dairy, egg or any other foods the school or your family may be trying to avoid.

When buying snacks for the family, one key element to be aware of is the Five Star Health Rating. The rating is a labelling system that assesses the overall nutritional profile of packaged food and assigns a rating as an easy way for you to compare similar packaged food. Put simply, the more stars - the healthier the food choice.

Here are some tips for the right lunchbox snacks:

  1. Prepare your own healthy snacks – high in protein and ones that your children already love.
  2. If there is little time to cook your own, investigate the health food aisle of your local supermarket for a variety of healthy snacking options.
  3. Check health star rating of foods in the supermarket aisle and select, for further investigation, those with a Five Star Health Rating.
  4. Ensure bought lunchbox snacks contain ingredients that are closest to those that you find in the pantry – avoiding additives and food colouring.
  5. Test them on your family before popping into the lunchbox to ensure they will be devoured throughout the day.

Whether you make everything yourself or you hand select what goes into the lunchbox, you can find the best snacks by looking for a Five Star Health Rating, assessing the nutritional information and the ingredient list of all that passes your child’s lips to ensure the content fits with their dietary requirements and school restrictions on foods while ensuring their school days are productive.

source: https://elearningindustry.com/

The best foods for learning and development

As adults we know that sitting at a desk all day can be exhausting, which is why we painstakingly plan our meals so that we feel pleasantly full and can focus on the tasks at hand. Our children, however, don’t yet understand the importance of eating for performance and will only eat the food they like, regardless of the hours you’ve spent planning their lunchboxes. This can lead them to feeling drowsy in the afternoon.

As parents, we can control their breakfast and their dinners, but the morning tea, afternoon tea and lunch breaks are, in part, up to them as children select the best from their lunchboxes.

Morning tea is a good time for fruit and vegetables to increase the extra serving for the day, while the afternoons are good for adding protein to get children through the afternoon, with a full stomach, and ready for complicated lessons.

There are many benefits of including protein more frequently into the diet, here are three of the key reasons:

  1. The brain’s neurons communicate to each other via the protein we eat. Fats such as fish oil help, but the protein is what keeps neurons firing 1.
  2. Protein can increase the dopamine levels in the brain – which in turn can increase alertness1.
  3. Protein repairs the body after a long day of continuous operation – all body tissues undergo wear and tear throughout the day. Protein rebuilds the body2.

For optimum benefits, protein should be included in every lunchbox and plate. Protein can be sourced from foods such as seeds, peas, beans and legumes are high in protein, contain low GI carbohydrates and good fats, meaning that adding these to your child’s lunchbox will keep them not only fuller for longer but their sponge-like brains soaking up all the knowledge!


  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200301/brain-power-why-proteins-are-smart
  2. http://www.webmd.com/men/features/benefits-protein#1


What are the best lunchbox food to stave off the afternoon slump?

Planning and preparing the daily lunchbox for kids is an exhausting grind. You want to keep the contents interesting, satisfying and also fulfilling to keep the kids operating at their best. For children, who are busily learning, the lunchbox needs to be filled with all they need to get through the day and stave off the afternoon slump.

To improve performance and increase attention, dieticians recommend five meals per day, not just the big three, so mid-morning and afternoon eating is important.

So why do dieticians recommend five meals per day? The top three reasons are:

  1. Distribute energy better through the day.
  2. Keeps glycaemic index levels steady.
  3. Stops overeating at other times of the day1.

It’s basically a way of improving attention and activity.

If you decide to pack the lunchbox ready for these extra meal times, it’s important to select the right snacks for improved performance during the afternoon. To keep energy and attention levels high, it may be wise to consider as snack high in protein and fibre.

Foods with high protein keep us feeling fuller for longer, meaning that the need for future snacks are reduced. Additionally, being full means we can focus on the task at hand, rather than a rumbling in the stomach, increasing attention and productivity, particularly important for children in the classroom1.

Thankfully, for variety and our physical and mental health, there are number of sources of protein and these include seafood, poultry, lean meat, eggs, soy, nuts, seeds, peas and beans.

Protein combined with low GI carbohydrate foods create a steady rise in the level of glucose in the blood, avoiding the spikes that can leave you feeling lethargic, hungry and in need of something else to eat – the effect otherwise known as the slump.

What foods contains protein and low GI carbohydrates?

Among a variety of sources are chick peas and fava beans (also known as broad beans) contain high fibre, high protein and small amounts of fat for a healthy afternoon snack.

These beans and peas are part of the legume family and are nature’s wonder food. Nutrient dense, containing low GI carbohydrates, each contains beneficial vitamins and minerals for the high performance of the body and brain.

Fava beans contain vitamin B6 and Vitamin B1 they also contain iron, copper, calcium, magnesium and manganese2.

Chick peas are high in soluble fibre and help digestion. They contain iron, phosphorus, thiamine, B6, magnesium and zinc – a solid power-pack of nutrients2.

Chic peas and fava beans can be added to lunches in salads or as burger patties or roasted for snacking. The extra boost of protein will help kids remain engaged throughout the afternoon and avoid that slump that everyone dreads.

While planning the lunchbox seems like an endless – and thankless task – with the right foods, your children will be more productive and focused and you know that long term, their bodies will benefit too.


  1. http://www.newhealthguide.org/What-Does-Protein-Do-For-Your-Body.html
  2. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/280244.php

The Importance of Gratitude

Being grateful for all that we have in life is one of the keys to true happiness. By recognising all of the wonderful things we have to be appreciative for, rather than dwelling on the negative, often those ‘not so wonderful’ things don’t seem so bad after all. Recent studies have found that counting your blessings on a regular basis not only leads to feeling more optimistic and enjoying a greater overall satisfaction with life, it can also have some pretty amazing physical and emotional benefits.

What is gratitude?

Being grateful doesn’t imply you’ve got your rose-coloured glasses permanently on. Nor does it mean that everything is necessarily wonderful, it simply indicates that you’re aware of your blessings, appreciate the small things and acknowledge all that you do have. Being grateful shifts the lens from what is lacking or not ideal to what is already present and good.  A lot of the time we tend to take for granted everything that’s actually great in our lives and instead dwell on what we perceive is wrong, what we don’t have or what we don’t like.

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognising and appreciating what we do have.” Frederick Keonig

The benefits of being grateful

Studies have shown that being grateful can increase happiness levels by up to 25%1. The practice of being grateful, not just for a day, but as an established habit, has been linked with numerous physical and emotional benefits and as such, has been shown to improve overall quality of life. Here are just some of the benefits:

  • Improves overall physical health2,4
  • Improves mental health2
  • Improves relationships and social interactions3
  • Stronger immune system1
  • Improves quality of sleep2,4
  • Enhances empathy and reduces aggression2
  • Increases self esteem2
  • Lower levels of depression1
  • Increases resilience, better able to cope with stress1
  • Improves mental alertness1
  • Higher levels of physical activity1
  • More likely to make healthier choices – less likely to smoke, eat poorly5
  • Less self-centred and materialistic3

A recent study split several hundred people into groups and all of the participants were asked to keep a daily diary, writing down unpleasant experiences in one group, pleasant in the next, and neither good nor bad specifically in the third group. The results indicated that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher levels of energy, optimism, determination, enthusiasm, and alertness. In addition, those in the grateful group experienced less reported levels of depression and stress, exercised more regularly, made greater progress toward achieving personal goals and were more likely to help others in need.

Furthermore, research shows that those who practice gratitude are more creative, bounce back more quickly from adversity, and have stronger social relationships than those who don’t practice gratitude. 1

Ways to incorporate gratitude into your life

Incorporating more gratitude into your daily life is simple and one of the most accessible tools for improving your quality of life. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your gratitude journey.

  • Keep a gratitude journal

You’ve probably heard of keeping a gratitude journal and it’s really as simple as just jotting down a few things at the same time each day so that you establish a routine. It may seem a little strange at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it doesn’t take much thought or effort to reflect on the positives. What you’re effectively doing is training your brain to look for the positives and to start or finish your day with feelings of thanks and gratitude, rather than dwelling on the negatives.

  • Practice an ‘attitude of gratitude’

Maintaining a positive attitude takes practice and persistence. When something bad happens, it’s easy to revert to old negative patterns and internal language – “I knew something bad was going to happen”. “Why do things like this always happen to me?” You have to make a conscious effort to retrain your thinking, and when something does happen that’s not ideal, instead of focusing on the obvious negatives, find something to the thankful for. For example, if you’re driving to work and you get a flat tyre, instead of getting upset try putting a positive spin on things – “Oh well. I’m thankful that it was just a flat tyre and not something more serious - easy fixed”. And you’re moving on with your day instead of making it into a major issue. When faced with a challenging situation ask yourself: “What can I learn from this?”, “What’s good about this?” or “How can I benefit from this?”

  • Reach out

Have a think about a time when someone did something really special for you or supported you when you really needed it and you didn’t take the time to properly thank them. Take a moment to write them a note or give them a call and convey how appreciative you were. This will not only make the person receiving the thanks feel great, but you will also feel the benefits for expressing your appreciation.

  • Meal time thanks

Start a meal time tradition with your family of talking about what you were grateful for today. It could be as simple as – “I was thankful that it didn’t rain today because it was our sports day”. Once you establish a routine it will be easy to continue. Leading by example and encouraging children to be thankful from an early age will mean that they too will reap the benefits of being grateful, and set them up to be happier adults long into the future.


  1. http://www.thechangeblog.com/gratitude/
  2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2014/11/23/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-of-gratitude-that-will-motivate-you-to-give-thanks-year-round/#74f618506800
  3. http://happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/
  4. http://time.com/4124288/thanksgiving-day-2015-thankful-gratitude/
  5. 5. http://www.michellealva.com/8-health-benefits-of-being-grateful/

Tips for nurturing your happy child

The most we can ask for as parents is for our children to be healthy and happy. We know what to do to ensure they are as healthy as possible, but is it enough to assume they’ll be happy kids and hope for the best, or is there more we could be doing to actively help their happiness along as well?

Any parent can successfully lay the foundation for long-lasting happiness with a little patience and perseverance. Here are some proven tips to help your child flourish.

Foster connections

It’s extremely important for kids to feel connected throughout childhood and it’s one of the true keys to happiness. Fortunately, we are able to firmly establish our child's primary and most crucial connection - to us as their parents - simply by perpetually offering our unconditional love. However providing opportunities for children to form relationships with extended family members, family friends, school teachers, neighbours, caregivers and even pets allows them to build a strong foundation of security and a sense of connectedness which promotes long lasting emotional well-being. 1

A study involving 90,000 teens, revealed that "connectedness" - the feeling of being loved, wanted, understood and acknowledged, emerged as being the biggest protector against such things as emotional distress, suicidal thoughts, smoking, drinking, and taking drugs. 1

Be a happy parent

Our moods and temperament as parents have a direct impact on our children, so it’s critical to try and be mindful of this. Research indicates that optimistic, happy children are the product of optimistic, happy homes. Conversely, children whose parents are depressed are more likely to suffer with twice the average rate of depression.1

Tending to your own emotional well-being is one of the best things you can do for you and your child. Be sure to take time out for a break and relax, spend time with your friends and partner and keep up your hobbies. The happier you are, the happier your children will be. That’s not to say you have to be ‘walking on sunshine’ every minute of the day – it’s normal to have bad moods and to react to challenging situations, but if you can show your child that you can find the silver lining out of a difficult situation instead of reacting badly you’ll teach him how to positively tackle adversity.

Practice emotional intelligence

Emotional Intelligence or ‘EQ’ can be defined as - ‘The capacity to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically’.2 Emotional intelligence is arguably the key to personal and professional success2 and is therefore an incredibly important tool.

Emotional intelligence is something we learn, it’s not something that we’re born with. Assuming kids will automatically make sense of their emotions, and those of others, isn’t always the best course of action. Sometimes a little help can go a long way. 3

When your child is angry or upset take some time to reflect with them. The steps are to firstly empathise with what they’re feeling – “I understand you’re upset with me – let’s talk about it.” Secondly, label the emotion they are experiencing and validate that emotion. “Are you feeling a little angry and disappointed that I didn’t let you go to your friend’s house this afternoon? I can appreciate that”. 3

By encouraging your child to label her feelings and express them verbally, you allow her to gain a whole new ability to recognise and handle her feelings contextually as well as gain a strong sense of being heard and understood.

Praise their efforts not their results

In order to be most effective, praise needs to be given in a specific way. Research consistently indicates that the most effective way to praise children is for their efforts, planning and techniques, rather than their natural ability or achievements. 3

Praising a child for scoring a winning goal is fleeting, and not something they may be able to easily replicate again. Children can become fearful that if they don’t achieve this level of success again they won’t please you or they’ll fall off the pedestal. Praise children for their hard work, their preparation and problem solving, so when they come across something tricky in the future, you can remind them how effective they’ve been at working things out previously. 4

Try not to inflate the importance of winning - when a strong emphasis is placed on

achievement above all else, children are more likely to have high levels of anxiety, depression and substance abuse when compared with other children3.  Allow for their success and their failure and build their self-esteem not through their athleticism or their looks but through their hard work, persistence and drive.

Give them some responsibility

As humans, we have an innate desire to feel needed. Our happiness is dependent upon feeling that what we do is important and is valued by other people. So by letting your child know that he is making a valuable contribution to the family as early as possible, the stronger his sense of self-worth and happiness. When children are given responsibilities that help their family, classmates or team, they’re more likely to display moral behaviour and feel good about themselves. 5

Children as young as three can be given some responsibility, whether it's refilling the dog’s water bowl or sweeping the floor. Where possible, give them a role that plays to their strengths. For example, if they like to organise things, give her the job of sorting the cutlery. If he loves looking after his siblings, ask him to watch his little sister while you prepare dinner. Acknowledge that they are making a contribution to the family that is valued, and you will increase your child's confidence and feeling of connection – pre-requisites for lasting happiness. 1

Encourage an ‘attitude of gratitude’

Happiness studies consistently link feelings of gratitude to emotional well-being. Whether you are a religious family or not, the happiest families tend to actively reflect on what they’re grateful for and what’s good in their life. Just sharing with each other at dinner time what you were grateful for today encourages communication between family members but also fosters an ‘attitude of gratitude’ in children from an early age. Being grateful has been linked with numerous benefits such as improving both mental and physical health, increasing empathy and lowering levels of aggression and better sleep.

Have some good old-fashioned fun

Be sure to allow time for just having fun. Planned, extra-curricular activities are great in moderation but there needs to be a balance both scheduled activity and free time. Allowing children to just play, imagine and create helps them discover creative talents and rely on their own inner resources to have fun.


  1. http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/fear/raising-happy-children/
  2. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/emotional_intelligence
  3. http://time.com/35496/how-to-raise-happy-kids-10-steps-backed-by-science/
  4.  http://www.lifehack.org/290148/11-things-every-parent-should-know-raise-happy-child
  5. http://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/style/how-to-raise-happy-kids/
  6. http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-to-raise-a-happy-child-12-to-24-mo_1492315.bc?showAll=true

10 interesting chickpea facts

The humble little chickpea is a pretty special legume. Eaten for centuries, there’s very good reason these guys have been on the menu for so long. Here are some interesting chickpea facts you may not know about.

  1. There is strong evidence that chickpeas were first cultivated in the Middle East a staggering 7500 years BC. The popularity of the chickpea quickly spread all over the world, and they were soon grown and consumed in many ancient civilisations such as Egypt, Greece and Rome.
  2. Chickpeas are known by many different names all over the world. Other names include garbanzo beans, a popular term in the US, bengal grams, egyptian peas, ceci beans and kabuli chana. Chickpeas come in a variety of different types and colours, not just the beige variety we are used to seeing in cans. Chickpeas can also be black, green, red and brown.
  3. Chickpeas are an agricultural wonder. Not only do chickpeas produce a valuable crop but at the same time they also provide a natural organic method of breaking the disease cycle in wheat and barley crops. This means less fungicide and less insecticide, resulting in a cleaner, greener environment. Pretty amazing.
  4. Legumes are included in the Australian Government recommended eating plan for a balanced diet in two categories! Legumes and beans are categorised with both vegetables and meat, making legumes an important part of a healthy balanced diet. For more information on recommended daily servings, visit our health centre: http://happysnackcompany.com.au/health-centre/importance-balanced-diet/
  5. These clever little plants actually restore depleted soils and are powerful nitrogen fixing legumes. Their deep root system plays an important role in stabilising soils and preventing erosion, they may use little or no fertiliser while enhancing the fertility of the soil, and, they are a dry land agricultural crop, using no agricultural water. To add to their incredible talents, the chickpea plant even has a natural insecticide in its leaves, which keeps the bugs away. Incredible stuff!
  6. Chickpeas are a great source of both soluble and dietary fibre, important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Soluble fibre may assist with reducing the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream and helps maintain blood sugar levels, which may help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and also aid in managing diabetes. The dietary fibre in chickpeas and their low glycemic index (GI) may also assist with weight loss by making you feel fuller for longer.
  7. Chickpeas are an incredibly versatile ingredient to cook with. You can eat them canned, dried or roasted, hot or cold and they are inexpensive. Chickpeas can be used for making much, much more than just good old hummus. Try adding to soups instead of croutons, salads and stir frys for extra crunch, make delicious meat free patties or make a tomato chickpea stew to have with your Sunday bacon and eggs. There’s a plethora of chickpea recipes out there just waiting for you to discover.
  8. Ground chickpeas have been used as a coffee substitute since the 18th century and are still commonly used as a caffeine-free alternative today. Widely available, the taste is said to be delicious – why not give it a go!
  9. Chickpeas contain a huge number of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including folate, magnesium, vitamin b6, vitamin c, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and zinc. They are also high in protein so are a fantastic alternative to meat for vegetarians.
  10. India is the world’s number one leader in chickpea production, with a staggering 8,832,500 metric tons reportedly produced in 2013. Interestingly, the country coming in second place was Australia! With 813,300 tons produced in the same year. “Production of chickpea by countries” UN Food & Agriculture Organisation 2014.

Chickpeas for weight management

Finding a healthy, tasty snack that could actively help you lose weight and keep it off – sometimes seems impossible. While there is no perfect solution, chickpeaa could be close.

How do chickpeas help with weight management?

Chickpeas have long been linked with a wide range of health benefits, however, there are several reasons why chickpeas can help with weight management specifically.

Firstly, chickpeas are a rich source of dietary fibre. Many people believe diets high in fibre are the key to weight loss. Fibre actually slows the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream.
What this means is that your blood sugar levels are better stabilised instead of spiking with a huge rush of sugar, which can make you feel hungry soon after eating, leading to a higher caloric intake and potential weight gain.

Foods high in fibre are much more filling than those with low amounts of fibre, as they act as a ‘bulking agent’, resulting in you feeling fuller for longer. Not to mention that fibre helps maintain a healthy digestive system, promotes good bowel health and helps to lower cholesterol levels.

Chickpeas are also high in protein – critical to the overall growth, repair and functioning of a healthy body. Protein promotes an increase in muscle mass, which assists the body in burning fat. Protein also has the highest thermic effect, meaning the body burns more calories when processing protein than when eating any other food source and takes time to digest, curbing hunger.

Chickpeas have a very low glycemic index. The glycemic index is a ranking of carbohydrate in foods, in accordance of how they affect blood glucose levels. Low GI foods are more slowly processed and metabolised, causing a much slower rise in blood sugar levels, thereby controlling appetite and reducing cravings.

Including chickpeas in your diet

Chickpeas are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. You can, of course, buy the canned variety or they can be bought dried, roasted or ground, and eaten hot or cold. Try adding chickpeas to soups, stir-frys, curries and salads, or make delicious, healthy patties with chickpea flour. Make home-made hummus as an alternative to butter or mayonnaise, or whip up some delicious chickpea fritters with your favourite veggies.

There are so many ways to use these incredible legumes, type ‘chickpea recipes’ into your browser - get inspired and start getting the benefits today.

Or try Happy Snack Company Chic Peas and add them to your lunchbox for a mid-afternoon snack.

Healthy snacks for healthy kids.

A quick infographic we put together.