10 Sneaky Ways To Include Healthy Fiber In Your Child’s Meals

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The biggest deficit in your child’s meal isn’t minerals or vitamins, but could well be fiber, is the latest research statement. The fiber standards are set at 25 grams a day for an adult woman, whereas her counterpart should ideally consume 38 grams in a whole day.

The concern here is that children aren’t up to any better as well. Maximum diets do not provide even close to what is actually required by children during their growth and formative years. Unfortunately, there may be no reason blaming parents for all that is happening. Some kids can be very finicky with what’s being put on their plates and a few parents do not understand how intricately fiber and a good digestive health are connected.

In fact, the very foundation of healthy digestion and thus general well-being is made up of three elements- fluid, fiber and exercise.

This article emphasizes on the second element of the thread- fiber.

  1. That brings us to the important question- Why fiber?

You will find reasons aplenty to include more fiber in your champ’s meals and making sure you’re around the mark as well. To start with, fiber fills you fast that helps avoid overeating and may ward off lifestyle disorders such as diabetes in the long run. Surely, most benefits that accrue concern your digestion. When coupled with sufficient intake of water, fiber smooths the way the gut functions, keeping it in the best of health. This not only prevents, but also remedies constipation (you don’t want to wake up in the wee hours of the night with your baby being unable to poop).

  1. This again brings us to the second question which is just as important- How much is adequate?

Research conducted by institutes all over the world state that kids in the age group of 1 to 18 should ideally be consuming anywhere between 15-38 gms of fiber every day. Let’s be precise:

  1. For toddlers: 15-19 gms of fiber/day
  2. For kids: 21-25 gms of fiber/day
  3. For pre-teens and teenagers (girls): 25-27 gms of fiber/day
  4. For pre-teens (boys): 28-31 gms of fiber/day
  5. For teenagers (boys): 32-35/36 gms of fiber/day

Best fiber rich foods your baby will gorge on

Whole foods are generally the best bet as some of these can be good to your baby’s taste buds. Below is a comprehensive list of high fiber foods along with their approximated fiber count.

  • Oatmeal

Start your child’s morning breakfast with oats. Cooked oatmeal contains about 4-5 gms of fiber (each cup). Adding maple syrup, cinnamon and raisins will only increase the yum quotient of this healthy cereal grain.

  • Apples & Pears

The crunch of an apple just gets a child. Each of these has about 3.5-3.8 gms of fiber; the time honored adage of ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ still holds strength. Peanut butter on top will add about 1.6 grams more and make it a delectable treat your baby will want more of. Want to know what a medium pear can do to the fiber meter? A whopping 5.5 grams; yes, that’s what it does. Don’t forget to leave the skin on.

  • Carrots

Don’t worry about carrots being vegetables and whether your child will scoff at the very idea of having them for breakfast. Bake a few carrots topped with cinnamon and the bland vegetable suddenly becomes a healthy treat to reckon with. Half a cup of this packs approximately 3 gms of fiber.

  • Popcorn

Three cups of this fun movie snack packs about 2 gms of fiber.

  • Bananas

Being 3.1 grams rich in fiber, a banana can really be what you need first thing in the morning before hitting the jog track. You can also snack on one during the afternoon to ease those intermittent hunger pangs we often get around the mid-day hours.

  • Bread made of whole grains

A slice of whole grain (or whole wheat) bread and we are talking about 2.1 gms of fiber. Having said that, other variants are also available which have about 3 gms or more in each slice. A jelly and peanut butter sandwich during lunchtime will certainly make you your kid’s favorite.

  • Berries

Half a cup of berries, especially raspberries, packs as much as 4-4.2 gms of fiber. The same amount of strawberries and blueberries pale just a little bit in comparison; with the former clocking at 1.5 grams and the latter, 1.8 gms of fiber.

  • Pasta made of whole grains

Now, how cannot your baby warm up to some delectable homemade pasta or macaroni? Half a cup of this delicacy has a fiber count of 2 grams (just make sure they’re the whole grain variety).

  • Sweet potatoes

Almost 4 gms of fiber in a sweet potato of medium size, and you thought this humble starchy root crop was just fit for Thanksgiving! You could also try baking potatoes (don’t skin them) and top them with all the right kinds of dressing; sour cream, fine shredded cheese, onions or greens (chopped) or broccoli.

  • All kinds of beans

Each serving of the three types of beans; kidney, black and pinto, packs a solid punch at the fiber counter with about 16 gms of roughage.

Honorable mentions

  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Almonds
  • Artichokes
  • Green peas
  • Raisin biscuits
  • Fig bars
  • Prunes

Recipes that are a winner

While it is heartening news to a mother to know that she can pack a pear for her baby’s lunch and start him on his fiber loving journey, there are a few recipes that you can’t absolutely go wrong with; also because all of these are rich in proteins as well.

  • Blueberry muffins
  • Bean and cheese toast
  • Homemade cookies for breakfast
  • Chicken quinoa balls
  • Oat muffins
  • Chia banana biscuits
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Carrot and oatmeal bars

Is there anything as too much of fiber?

While drawing to a close, it’s good to not forget that loading up on fibers beyond a certain limit isn’t the wisest thing either, both for you as well as your munchkin. This plan is almost sure to backfire, resulting in diarrhea and stomach aches. Nevertheless, studies claim that a moderate step up in your baby’s daily fiber intake could only do her good.

A fibrous diet is crucial for a healthy and active style. Call 1800-121-2323 to learn more.

 

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Sreedevi Madhavan manages the content at Portea. She has 6 years of experience writing and managing medical content relevant to the patient and physician community. She also writes blogs for self-development, a handiwork of which can be seen at: www.sreedevi96.blog Sreedevi’s motto in life is “Keep learning, as learning keeps us young and dreams keep us alive.”

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