5 Ways to Add Soy to Your Kid’s Meal

Last Updated on December 26, 2023 by Richard

In the past few years, soy has become a more common protein in school lunches. It’s also become the go-to source of protein for parents looking to add it to their kids’ meals. This nutritious food can help kids grow stronger bones and teeth, prevent anemia, and even reduce the risk of developing cancer later in life.

Research suggests that soy is a healthy way to get additional protein. In fact, studies show that it can have positive effects on bone health in both human andanimal nutrition. Unfortunately, kids react differently when introduced to new things.

Two handsful of soybeans

Some kids may immediately like it and enjoy their meal, while others may take time to familiarize themselves with the new food. Even though these unfortunate incidents are usually rare (and often endearing), they can make parents hesitant to introduce more soy into their child’s diet again for a long time.

We all know that introducing new foods to our kids requires a lot of patience and creativity, but there are so many ways you can add soy to your kid’s meal without them even knowing! Here are five ways you can add soy to your kid’s meal:

1.  Serve Edamame as an Appetizer

Edamame is a great way to introduce small amounts of soy to your child’s diet. Edamame is soybeans served fresh in the pod. It’s a healthy, nutritious snack with tons of nutrients like iron and fiber, ideal for human and animal nutrition.

Bowl of edamame on a wood table.

It’s easy to find fresh edamame in grocery stores and many quick-service restaurants. Edamame makes a great snack or appetizer with a dipping sauce, and it’s easy to add one or two pods to your child’s meal without them even noticing. Sprinkle some salt to add a little flavor, and serve them warm for a delicious starter that’s easy to make.

While most edamame is steamed, you can also buy frozen edamame seasoned with salt. For a kid-friendly meal, pair edamame with a whole-wheat pita and hummus for dipping. You can also serve edamame as a side dish to almost any meal.

Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame, Sea Salt, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Kosher, and Non-GMO, Crunchy Snack for Healthy Snacking, 4 oz. Bag (Pack of 12)
  • High-Protein All-Natural Vegan: Our edamame is dried and processed to preserve its nutrients and has 14g of protein per serving. Naturally gluten-free, low in calories, vegan, non-gmo, and an excellent source of protein, fiber, potassium and iron.
  • Flavor: Sea Salt (vegan) – Lightly dusted with the perfect amount of sea salt. Our crunchy Dry Roasted (never-fried) Sea Salt Edamame is non-GMO and is made with just 2 ingredients: soybeans and sea salt.
  • Healthy Eating: Our Dry Roasted Edamame is perfect for healthy eating. It’s heart healthy, low in calories, high in protein, with no trans-fat or cholesterol and each serving has a good source of iron to keep you energized throughout the day.
  • Great On-The-Go Snack: Our Dry Roasted Sea Salt Edamame travels great and is perfect for on-the-go snacking, traveling, hiking, working out, and all of your snacking needs.
  • Perfect Culinary or Snacking Addition: Not only does our Dry Roasted Edamame taste amazing straight out of the bag, but it also works wonders as a salad topper or trail mix addition.

2.  Add Tofu to a Stir Fry or Curry Dish

Tofu is an excellent source of protein, so adding it to a stir fry or curry dish is a simple way to increase the protein content in your kid’s meal. In a stir fry, you can marinate and cook the tofu before adding it to the dish.

Three pieces of tofu and some vegetables.

 You can also crumble and cook it with vegetables. In a curry dish, tofu works great in a masala sauce. You can add it to a vegetarian dish or a vegetable stir fry. Another easy way to add tofu to your kid’s meal is to make a cheesy tofu sandwich.

Tofu is an excellent source of protein and calcium, and it contains no saturated fat, so you can feel good about serving it to your kids. You can make the sandwich by crumbling tofu, sprinkling it with nutritional yeast, and mixing it with shredded cheese for a better taste.

Mori-Nu Silken Tofu Extra Firm | Velvety Smooth and Creamy | Low Fat, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Made with Non-GMO soybeans, KSA Kosher Parve | Shelf-Stable | Plant protein | 12.3 oz x 12 Packs
  • A good source of complete protein.
  • A protein alternative for grilling, stir frying & sautéing.
  • A velvety smooth and creamy tofu that contains no preservatives and is free of saturated fat.
  • Long shelf life with no refrigeration required until opened, low fat and certified gluten-free.
  • Dairy-free, vegan, KSA Kosher Parve, non-GMO & made in USA.

3.  Add Soy Sauce to Sautéed Veggies

Soy sauce is a flavorful addition to any stir fry or sautéed vegetables. You can use it to marinate meat or seafood before grilling or roasting. You can also drizzle it on steamed vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.

 While some soy sauce varieties are high in sodium, lower-sodium and reduced-sodium varieties are available. When adding soy sauce to sautéed vegetables, keep portions in check.

 Because soy sauce is high in sodium, it’s easy to overdo it. For kids who are wary of soy, you can mix it with low-sodium tamari soy sauce. This type of soy sauce is less salty than regular soy sauce.

I suggest buying the lower salt soy sauce shown below:

Kikkoman Lite Soy Sauce, 64-Ounce Bottle
7,867 Reviews
Kikkoman Lite Soy Sauce, 64-Ounce Bottle
  • 1 – 2 qt. bottle of Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce
  • Kikkoman users around the world know that this seasoning enhances not only Asian cuisines, but Western dishes as well
  • 38% less sodium, with all the same rich, umami flavor
  • Brewed in USA; Made to the highest standards of quality that consumers have come to expect from Kikkoman
  • Certified Kosher

4.  Substitute Cow Milk with Soy Milk

Many kids drink cow’s milk as part of their daily nutritional intake. One way to add soy to your kid’s meal is to substitute cow’s milk with soy milk. One cup of soy milk contains 6 grams of protein, compared to only 3 grams in a cup of cow’s milk.

Bowl of soy beans and a mug of soy milk. Using soy milk with cereal is an easy way to add soy to your kid's meal.

You can also add soy milk to your kid’s cereal or oatmeal. But be careful to choose a low-sugar variety. Add a bit of fresh fruit to round out the meal and make it more nutritious.

Silk Shelf-Stable Organic Soy Milk, Unsweetened, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Non-GMO Project Verified,32 Fl Oz(Pack of 6)
  • ADD ORGANIC SOYMILK TO YOUR PANTRY: Certified organic Soymilk is delicious whether poured over cereal, added to coffee, or enjoyed on its own
  • SHELF-STABLE: Comes in special packaging for convenient, non-refrigerated storage
  • DELICIOUSLY WHOLESOME: Dairy-, lactose-, and casein-free; absolutely no carrageenan, gluten, egg, peanut, MSG, or added sugar
  • A NUTRITIONAL POWERHOUSE: A good source of heart-healthy soy protein; low in saturated fat; zero cholesterol
  • NON-GMO PROJECT VERIFIED, VEGAN-FRIENDLY Soymilk with no artificial colors or flavors

5.  Try Tempeh as a Meat Alternative

Tempeh is a fermented soy product that’s full of protein and fiber. It can be used in place of meat as a vegetarian protein source. You can add it to a stir fry or a vegetable stew to increase the protein in your kid’s meal.

You can also crumble and mix it with spices to make a tasty vegetarian burger patty. If you’re serving tempeh to your kids, use it in moderation. Because of the fermentation process, it contains higher levels of the chemical isoflavones than other soy products. This can result in a higher estrogenic effect in kids.

Lightlife Original Organic Tempeh, 8 Oz
  • LIGHTLIFE ORGANIC ORIGINAL TEMPEH: A versatile and delicious plant-based protein source
  • HIGH IN PROTEIN: 18g of protein per serving
  • EASY TO PREP, EASY TO COOK: Tempeh requires little preparation for quick and easy plant-based meals
  • SUBTLE FLAVOR AND FAMILIAR TEXTURE: Our Original Tempeh naturally takes on the flavors you are cooking with to complement your meal
  • A TASTY MEATOR TOFU ALTERNATIVE: Enjoy Original Tempeh in grain and rice bowls, salads, and more


Soy is a nutritious addition to your kids’ meals that offers a healthy source of plant-based protein. Introducing soy to your kid’s diet can be an uphill task. Remember to keep trying, and don’t give up if your kid doesn’t like it immediately. This can take time and patience. All you need to do is keep trying different ways and eventually find a way that works best for your kid and their tastes.

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