Have you even been to an exclusive dry fruits and nuts shop? Recently I visited a store (Ajfan, Frazer Town, Bangalore) that sells only nuts, all types of dried fruits and dates. It was like visiting a store in the middle east. There were huge sacks of all this, like you would find rice at a grocery store.
I didnt know so many types of dates existed, best part was that I could taste before buying, finally I picked the one which was least sweet. Brazilian and Macadamia nuts that I have only seen on Masterchef was right there. I picked up dried mangoes, kiwi, blueberries for my LO to chew on.You can also find dried apples, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries and almost all fruits in a dried form.
Anyways let my story be, nuts are a great source of good fat and protein. You can introduce babies to nuts when they are 6 months in their baby cereal, do see my recipe here. Its an excellent snack for school going kids, do fill their snack box with some nuts and dried fruits for them to chew on. Everything costs from Rs 500-1900 per kg.You can buy 100 gms of each and mix, its one of the best nutritional diet you can give your kidos.
Here is a short brief of some nuts that you find in India (from wikipedia):
Almond: The almond is a nutritionally dense food and is a rich source of vitamin E, containing 26 mg per 100 g. They are also rich in dietary fiber, B vitamins, essential minerals such as magnesium, copper, manganese, calcium, and potassium as well as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.
Brazil Nuts: High Source of Omega-3
Macadamia: omega-7, palmitoleic acid. They also contain 9% protein, 9% carbohydrate, and 2% dietary fiber, as well as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, selenium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.
Pecans are an excellent source of manganese and a good source of protein and unsaturated fats. Like walnuts, pecans are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, although pecans contain about half as much omega-6 as walnuts.
Peanuts are rich in nutrients, providing over 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients. Peanuts are a good source of niacin, folate, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium and phosphorus. They also are naturally free of trans-fats and sodium, and contain about 25% protein (a higher proportion than in any true nut).
Pine Nuts – High source of protein, but not good for bad eaters as it suppresses appetite (i need this for myself).
Pistachios have antibacterial activity against the intestinal pathogens. It significantly reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) while increasing antioxidant levels in the serum of volunteers
Raw walnuts contain glyceryl triacylates of the n-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA),which is not as effective in humans as long-chain n-3 fatty acids,and (mostly insoluble) antioxidants. <Roasting reduces antioxidant quality>.
Dates and dry fruits are a good source of iron and vitamins.
Please note: Though Nuts are very high in nutrition, they are high allergens too, so please introduce one variety at a time.