Benefits for Babies
& Big Kids
Hemp Seeds (Hemp Hearts):
Benefits for Babies & Big Kids
by: Tiny Sprouts Foods
Medically Reviewed by: Kerry Jones, MPH, RDN, LDN
Hemp hearts are the strongest of all seeds you can offer your little one…and by strength we mean it’s packed with a good amount of plant protein which offers many benefits to a developing child. From supporting full body growth, to building brain function and even playing a role in mood and sleep, hemp hearts are a great addition to your little one’s diet. Unlike flaxseeds and chia seeds, they don’t need to be ground or milled for optimal nutrient absorption - simply add into almost any food or beverage and enjoy!
Hemp seeds and hemp hearts stem from the annual hemp plant called Cannabis Sativa, which is one of the fastest growing plants in the world1. While hemp has only recently gained more popularity, hemp seeds and hemp hearts have been used as food and medicine for hundreds of years due to their high nutrient composition and healing abilities2. Currently the largest producers of hemp are Canada, Australia and China.
Is hemp safe for children? How is it different from marijuana?
Hemp hearts are completely safe for children and an excellent addition to their diet. Many mistakenly confuse hemp with cannabis/marijuana. While they both do come from the same plant species, they are different in several ways:
- Chemical Composition: Hemp seeds are not a drug and do not contain THC (or may contain trace amounts that have zero impact on the body). THC is the psychoactive compound that induces a ‘high’ feeling2. Marijuana on the other hand is a drug and has THC levels ranging from 1- 20%3.
- Usage: Hemp has so many uses! Not only is it a nutrient-rich food through its seeds and oils, but other parts of the hemp plant are used to make clothing, shoes, paper, insulation and even biofuel4. Marijuana on the other hand can be used for medicinal purposes and most commonly for recreation.
- Cultivation: Hemp is always densely grown outdoors, and the crops are predominately made of male plants. On the other hand, marijuana is also grown indoors in greenhouses and the predominately female crops are quite spaced apart5.
Medically Reviewed by:
Kerry Jones, MPH, RDN, LDN is a pediatric & maternal registered dietitian, nutrition consultant for Tiny Sprouts Foods, and owner of Milestones Pediatric & Maternal Nutrition. Her goal is to help transition women into motherhood and then continue to support them and their children as they grow. Learn more about nutrition for your family at www.milestonesnutrition.com.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is based on the experience of the author and science-based research. It is not intended to replace medical advice or diagnosis from a physician or other medical provider. This blog is not intended as a substitute for a consultation with a physician or other healthcare provider. The author is not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any suggestions discussed in this blog. It is important to talk to your doctor or your child’s pediatrician prior to starting any new medications or supplements.