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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, together combined, are what constitute a healthy digestive system. Keep reading to learn about fibre-rich foods for kids and everything else to know about it.
Why Encourage Fibre in Your Child’s Diet?
If you’re thinking why bother adding more fiber 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 Daily Recommended Fiber Intake?
The National Institute of Diabetes And Digestive And Kidney Diseases recommends children between one and eight years old 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 and we’ll discuss them below.
As a rule of thumb, if you’re planning to calculate fibre intake, just 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 Fiber?
Too much of anything good becomes too bad and you’ll quickly realize that adding too much fibre to your kid’s diet will cause pain, bloating and very many trips to the bathroom. Technically speaking, fibre is a non-digestible carbohydrate and improves bowel regularity in the human body. Constipation also happens if your child consumes too much fibre and too little water, so make sure they’re staying hydrated throughout the day for enhanced digestion. Pair fibre with glasses of water to make sure that the proteins, vitamins, and minerals, 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 appropriate 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 know some foods to stock up on, that they’ll happily eat.
Mornings and oatmeal go hand-in-hand. One cup ofcooked 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 – a combo your kid simply can’t resist.
Low in calories and uber-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.
5. Whole-Grain Bread
Whole-grain bread give you an average fibre intake of 2 grams for every slice. Some may give you 3 grams depending on the brand but when you pair it with some peanut butter and jelly, you further boost your child’s fibre intake.
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.
7. Whole-Grain Pasta
It’s good to eat some pasta from time to time since it packs 2 grams of fibre for every 1/2 cup.
Pears make for filling fruit bowls and school lunches. A medium pear (with skin intact) brings approximately 5.5 grams of fibre.
9. Sweet Potatoes
High in protein, fibre and other heart-healthy nutrients, you get exactly 3.8 grams of fibre in a medium-sized one of those. Swap out those greasy french fries with some healthy baked sweet potatoes and maybe even serve them mashed for your next Thanksgiving.
High in vitamin A plus fibre, half-a-cup of carrots gives one 2.9 grams of fibre when you top it with some cinnamon for scoring some extra brownie points with the kids.
11. Green Peas
Green peas are a good source of protein plus fibre. Give your kids 1/2 a cup of cooked green peas daily in their salads and sandwiches to up their fibre intake by 4.4 grams a day!
1/2 cup cooked corn delivers up to 1.8 grams of fibre. There. You have a fibre-rich source. Fun fact: Corn is good for your eyes too as it contains lutein and zeaxanthin. Eye health plus digestive health – isn’t that a win-win?
How to Add Fiber to Your Kid’s Diet?
If you’re adding healthy snacks or anything that comes packaged on the aisle of store shelves, it’s always a good idea to check the nutrition label and see how much fibre per serving of the number of the servings in the container it packs. Other fibre-rich food sources include graham crackers, Brussels sprouts, figs, brown rice, applesauce, oranges, pistachio nuts, rye bread 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.
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
Salad is loaded with heart-healthy Omega-3s and Kale’s 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 for a finish.
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! Think about it. 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, varied 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 carb at the end of the day 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 to drink a lot.
It’s no magic, you have to eat to get your fibre. Make mealtimes fun for young ones, keep distractions to a minimum and literally socialize at the dinner table. When eating becomes fun and fun equates to eating, you’ll see your kids reaching out for those carrot sticks in no time!
Also Read: Calcium Foods for Children