How To Use Hemp Seeds

How To Use Hemp Seeds resource article by Starting Solids Australia

What are they? Are they nutritious? Are they a seed or allergen?

Hemp seeds have only recently burst into mainstream nutrition and can now even be found easily at your local supermarket (Woolworths even has their own brand!).  Hemp seeds are also known as hemp hearts, and they are filled with protein, fibre, omega 3 and omega 6 as well as lots of vitamins and minerals (folate, iron, magnesium and thiamine to name a few!). There are unhulled and hulled hemp seeds- the hulled are what you are most likely to find at your supermarket and the easiest for bub to tackle. Unhulled have the outer shell and are much harder to eat.

Hemp seeds pack a whopping 30g of plant protein per 100g and to put that into context red meat has about 25g per 100g. A serving is about 20-30g depending on the brand, which provides roughly 8-10g of protein, 2.4mg of iron and 1.2g of dietary fibre. 

You’re probably wondering… is it safe? Isn’t hemp some sort of cannabis? Hemp seeds have been legalised in Australia since 2017 and although it belongs to the cannabis plant family it does not contain any significant levels of THC, the active ingredient that has psychoactive properties, so it is completely safe to consume. FSANZ, the organisation responsible for ensuring our food is safe in Australia, has completed significant testing and researching into the safety of this food before allowing it to be sold here. The full report is in our references but also easily searchable on their website.

Hemp seeds are an excellent way to boost the nutrition of your little one’s meal. They have a nutty flavour that adds to the taste of your meal. Hemp is not a common allergen and it is a great option to boost the iron and protein intake of bubs and toddlers who are dairy and soy free. You can also get hemp flour, which makes a good replacement for wheat free kids too. 

When compared to other health food aisle seeds, like your chia and linseed, hemp contains a lot more protein than the others. Chia, however, contains calcium and more fibre. For dairy and soy free bubs looking for a calcium and protein boost adding chia and hemp to your dairy free yogurts is perfect! 

There are also hemp oils and milks available, but if you want bang for your buck the seeds are the best option. Be mindful of hemp containing products with big nutrition claims. Many “health foods” claim to pack the punch of hemp as a “superfoods” but beware of nutrition buzz words on labels! They often carry a bigger price but not necessarily more nutrition, with only a small amount of hemp actually in the product. To get the hemp seed boost you’re better off buying the seeds and just adding them into foods yourself.  


How to use them:

  • Sprinkle them over your little one’s breakfast. Check out these Raspberry Hemp Porridge or Pear and Ricotta Mash recipes.
  • Add into dishes like pasta sauces.
  • Add to smoothies or into yogurt.
  • Roll slippery food like avocado, pear, or mango in the seeds to help with grip and boost the protein.
  • Add to hommus or other dips like our Hemp Seed Pesto.


The take home:

Hemp seeds are not something you HAVE to use and at approximately $40 per kg there are cheaper ways to get your protein, fibre and iron in! But, when it comes to vegetarian sources of protein they really are good value and a bag will last you a long time. An excellent addition to vegetarian dishes, for allergies bubs or just to boost the protein when your little one is going through a fussy phase, this is one food in the health food isle that lives up to its reputation.