Kids & Fiber: 4 Easy Ways to Sneak Some Fiber Into Your Kid's Diet by Felicia Stoler
Sure, we know we need more fiber, but here’s a news flash: Our kids probably need more fiber, too. In fact, most children are consuming just half the recommended daily amount. (Six chicken nuggets only have about 1 gram of fiber). We’ve come up with ideas for boosting your little ones’ fiber intake. And best of all, you won’t even have to tell them that their favorite snacks are now super good for them. How much fiber does your child need?
Children’s daily fiber requirement:
- 1 to 3 years – 19 grams
- 4 to 8 years – 25 grams
- 9 to 13 years – 26 to 31 grams
- 14 to 19 years – 26 to 39 grams
The average 6- to 11-year-old consumes just 11 grams of dietary fiber per day. That is just half the recommended daily amount.
There are many great dietary sources of fiber: beans, whole grains, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables. But few of these are kids’ favorites. Here’s some sneaky ways to boost your children’s fiber intake, while still serving them the foods they know and enjoy.
- Pile on the berries. Raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are rich in fiber. Sprinkle berries on their yogurt or gelatin. Add berries to their favorite breakfast cereal to double or even triple its fiber content.
- Give them popcorn and nuts as snacks. Just 2 cups of popcorn contain two grams of fiber, four times the amount of fiber in their favorite cheesy crackers. Add some nuts – almonds, pecans and walnuts are highest in fiber – to really rev up this snack’s fiber content.
- Add Regular Girl to their favorite foods. Mix a scoop of this soluble fiber and probiotic supplement into their fruit dip, pudding or smoothie. It won’t change the food’s color, odor, flavor or texture. Even your boys won’t notice this Regular Girl! Each scoop contains five grams of soluble fiber, helping the little ones meet that fiber requirement without any fuss. And unlike some fiber supplements, there are no painful or embarrassing side effects with Regular Girl.
- Add pureed beans and lentils to dips and sauces. If your kids aren’t fans of these high-fiber foods, you can still incorporate them into your everyday meals. Just puree the cooked legumes with a small amount of chicken or vegetable stock before adding them to your guacamole or salad dressing. But be careful: Quickly boosting your fiber content this way may cause uncomfortable gas or bloating.
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