Do you get enough fiber in your diet? Personally I know that I don’t get enough. It’s not that I don’t want to. I just get so busy sometimes that I forget to eat, or don’t have time to prepare a decent meal (referring more so to breakfast and lunch). I’m guilty of just grabbing something (anything) I find in my fridge or pantry that is quick and easy to make – regardless of it’s nutritional value.
As a mom I try to do what I can to make sure my family eats healthy and has plenty of good food choices available to them at all time. I really need to “practice what I preach” and make sure that “I” eat as well as I encourage my family to do.
I am fortunate that my kids eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. They also get enough dairy through milk, cheese and yogurt. The one thing that I have a hard time making sure they get enough of is fiber.
It’s important to offer your children (and all family members) foods that are high in fiber so that you can reach your daily requirements each and every day.
Did you know that 9 out of 10 children do not get enough fiber in their diet, and this could lead to kids becoming occasionally constipated? My son has always had issues with being constipated. As per the pediatrician it’s because he doesn’t get enough fiber, drink enough water or get enough exercise.
Occasional constipation is reportedly the cause for almost 5 percent of all pediatric outpatient visits. I can believe that. I have experienced that with my son too. He even ended up in the emergency in the middle of the night when he was about 3 years old due to constipation. We were not sure what was wrong. He complained of severe stomachache and was in a lot of pain and very miserable.
Is your child or grandchild getting enough fiber in his/her diet? Do you even know how many grams of fiber they need every day? Nutrition professionals recommend an “age plus five” approach to fiber intake. That means a five-year-olds should strive to get at least 10 grams of fiber per day.
One way to get fiber into your child’s diet is with fruit. The only catch is that the fiber is found in the skin. Often kids want the skin removed before they eat it (such as an apple) or prefer to drink fruit juice. Those two options don’t contain as much fiber as fruit with the skin left on.
To get your kids to enjoy fruit with the skin on cut the fruit into small pieces or offer a yummy “dip” to go along with the fruit (such as yogurt or peanut butter). Or you an make a fruit smoothie and incorporate the skin into the smoothie too.
Whole grain or whole wheat breads are a great choice but they are often not “kid-friendly”. To make them more enjoyable for children try topping them with things like hazelnut spread, peanut butter or jam/jelly.
Instead of whole grain/whole wheat cereal you can try whole grain crackers or tortillas. Kids would enjoy having a sandwich made out of a tortilla or made with crackers. They probably won’t even notice that it’s made with whole grains. They will just see it as something fun and different than bread.
Whole-wheat English muffins are enjoyable to eat (especially if you make an egg white breakfast sandwich). They have about 4.4 grams of fiber per serving.
Beans are also high in fiber, especially edamame, lentils and black beans. I honestly can’t give any suggestions on how to get kids to eat these beans, except maybe in a dip, soup or chili. Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo beans) also have fiber in them. My kids have always liked them (thankfully). Hummus is made from chickpeas. Maybe children will enjoy that on whole grain crackers.
Pasta is available in whole grain and whole wheat. Many kids like pasta. Mac and cheese made with whole grain pasta has about 4 grams of fiber per serving.
Cereal is also a great option to get some fiber into your child’s diet. Many cereals have several grams of fiber per serving, including many “kid friendly” cereals. For example Kellogg’s® offers more ready-to-eat cereals that are a good source of fiber (3-6 grams) than any other U.S. food company. Some of their cereals, such as Kellogg’s Froot Loops, Apple Jacks and Mini-Wheats have between 3-6 grams of fiber per serving, making them a good to excellent source of fiber that kids love. Mini-Wheats are also available in yummy flavors like blueberry, strawberry and chocolate. I happen to be a big fan of Mini-Wheats and we almost always have a box in our pantry.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of fiber found in family friendly cereals visit www.LoveYourCereal.com.
Other kid friendly options that contain at least 3 grams of fiber per serving include;
- Spaghetti O’s – 3 grams
- Popcorn – 3 grams in 1 oz
- Whole wheat waffles – 3 grams
How do you get our child or grandchild to eat enough fiber every day? Do you have any special tips you care to share with others?
*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers.