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Fibre is what keeps stomachs running and digestive systems working. If your child is facing bouts of constipation, chances are that she’s running low on fibre. Hydration and fibre, combined together, are what constitute a healthy digestive system. Keep reading to learn about fibre-rich foods for kids and how you can add them to your child’s diet.
Why Add Fibre to Your Child’s Diet?
If you’re thinking why to bother adding more fibre to your child’s diet, you’d be glad to know that for starters, it may prevent diabetes since it’s filling. Fibre makes the digestive tract work better and treats constipation, which will make life much easier for you since you don’t have to wake up to the cries of your toddler in the middle of the night.
What Is the Daily Recommended Fibre Intake?
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends children between one to eight years should consume between 14 to 31 grams of fibre a day. There are plenty of fibre-rich foods in the aisle of your grocery stores that can help meet this requirement, and we’ll discuss them below.
As a rule of thumb, if you’re planning to calculate fibre intake, take your kid’s current age and add 5 grams of fibre to it. That’s their total fibre intake according to their age.
Can You Give Your Kid Too Much Fibre?
Too much of anything good becomes bad, and you’ll quickly realise that adding too much fibre to your kid’s diet will cause pain, bloating, and lead to many trips to the bathroom. Technically speaking, fibre is a non-digestible carbohydrate and improves bowel regularity in the human body. Your child may have constipation if she consumes too much fibre and too little water, so make sure she’s staying hydrated throughout the day for enhanced digestion. Pair fibre with glasses of water to make sure that the proteins, vitamins, and minerals present in foods are absorbed properly. Fibre intake should come from different food-sources for optimal health and growth.
High Fibre-Rich Foods for Children
Kids are picky eaters and carefully selecting the right foods for them becomes a chore for many. If you’re scratching your head wondering how to get them to consume the recommended dose of fibre, you’ll be glad to find some foods to stock up on that they’ll happily eat.
Mornings and oatmeal go hand-in-hand. One cup of cooked oatmeal gives you up to 4 grams of fibre. Make it your child’s favourite go-to recipe by throwing in some sliced walnuts, cinnamon, maple syrup, and raisins.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away! One apple delivers up to 3.6 grams of fibre, and you can spruce things up by adding some peanut butter on top, which brings another 1.6 grams of fibre. Apple and peanut butter – a combo your kid wouldn’t be able to resist.
Low in calories and super-healthy, three cups of popped popcorn gives you 2 grams of fibre.
High in potassium and fibre, one medium banana packs 3.1 grams of fibre.
Berries are good for the brain and the stomach. Pack up some blueberries for lunch and throw in a mix of raspberries and strawberries. 1/2 cup of raspberries gives 4 grams of fibre while blueberries and strawberries of the same quantity deliver 1.8 grams and 1.5 grams of fibre, respectively.
Pears are ideal for fruit bowls and school lunches because they’re super filling. A medium pear (with the skin intact) contains approximately 5.5 grams of fibre.
7. Sweet Potatoes
High in protein, fibre, and other heart-healthy nutrients, you get exactly 3.8 grams of fibre in a medium-sized sweet potato. Swap out those greasy french fries with some delicious baked sweet potato fries or mashed sweet potato for a healthy snack.
Packed with vitamin A and fibre, half-a-cup of carrots gives you 2.9 grams of fibre, and you can top it with some cinnamon for scoring some extra brownie points with the kids.
9. Green Peas
Green peas are a good source of protein and fibre. Give your kids 1/2 a cup of cooked green peas daily in their salads and sandwiches to increase their fibre intake by 4.4 grams.
Half a cup of cooked corn delivers up to 1.8 grams of fibre. It is a delicious fibre-rich source that makes for the perfect snack. Fun fact: Corn is good for your eyes too as it contains lutein and zeaxanthin. Good eyesight with a healthy digestive system – isn’t that a win-win?
How to Add Fibre to Your Kid’s Diet
If you’re looking for healthy snacks or anything that comes packaged on the aisle of grocery store shelves, it’s always a good idea to check the nutrition label and see how much fibre there is per serving. Other fibre-rich food sources include brussels sprouts, figs, brown rice, applesauce, oranges, pistachio nuts, and pecans.
Here are some recipes you can try to add fibre to your kid’s diet-
1. Chickpea Salad Wraps
Salads and chickpeas make for a filling fibre combination. Give it a shot and your kids will love this delicious meal option.
2. Lentil Salad
Stock up on black beans, plump cherry tomatoes, salt, vinegar, chopped basil, and garlic. Whip them up together into a salad, and you’ve got one of the best high fibre recipes for toddlers.
3. Kale and Farro Salmon Salad
Farro is loaded with healthy Omega-3, and kale is good for the eyes. Both of them are high sources of fibre, and if your kid’s in the mood for fish and salad, give this a go. Sprinkle with sesame seeds as a garnish.
4. Marinated Tempeh Salad
We’re going gung-ho on salads, we know. Tempeh salads bundled with diced sweet potatoes gives kids their full-fibre intake with just half-a-serving! Sizzling tempeh, piping hot potatoes, and an ocean of veggies surrounding them – doesn’t that make your heart skip a beat?
Keep your kid’s diet healthy, with a lot of variety, and make sure they get their daily dose of fruits and vegetables (with nuts and seeds included). Don’t forget to throw in a bit of carbohydrates and we’re sure they’ll easily meet their daily fibre intake. Try to avoid high-calorific or carbonated beverages since they deliver empty calories and little to no fibre. Fruit and vegetable juices are a healthier and viable option if your kids love drinks.
It’s no magic; you have to eat to get your fibre. Make mealtimes fun for young ones, keep distractions to a minimum, and socialise at the dinner table. When eating becomes fun, you’ll see your kids reaching out for those carrot sticks in no time!
Also Read: Calcium Foods for Children