Are Your Children Getting Enough Fiber in Their Diet?
People of all ages can benefit from eating a diet that is high in fiber. Fiber rich foods can be particularly beneficial to children because they are filling and help discourage overeating, which is an important tool in the battle against childhood obesity. Your children, however, are probably not going to be inclined to sit down to a meal loaded with fiber. It is therefore important that you find ways to incorporate fiber into their everyday diet.
Here are some simple ways you can add more fiber to your family’s diet:
- Serve your children oatmeal topped with fresh fruit.
- Choose whole-wheat or whole-grain cereals with whole wheat or oats as the first item in the ingredient list.
- Mix your child’s favorite cereal with a fiber-rich one or add a tablespoon of bran.
- Make pancakes or waffles using whole-wheat flour and top them with apples, berries or bananas.
- Offer whole-wheat bagels or English muffins instead of white toast.
Lunch and Dinner
- Make your family’s favorite sandwiches on whole-grain breads, such as rye, oat or wheat, instead of white.
- Use whole-grain spaghetti and other pastas, instead of white.
- Create healthy veggie wraps using whole-wheat tortillas or pita pockets.
- Serve wild or brown rice, instead of white rice.
- Add beans, such as kidney, black and pinto, to rice dishes for even more fiber.
- Add lentils or whole-grain barley to your child’s favorite soups.
- Create mini pizzas by topping whole-wheat English muffins with pizza sauce, low-fat cheese and vegetables.
- Add shredded or finely chopped vegetables to soups, hamburgers, or meatloaf.
- Eat baked potatoes with their skins.
Snacks and Treats
- Top low-fat ice cream or yogurt with whole-grain cereal and fresh fruit for a healthy dessert.
- Replace some or all of the flour in cookie and muffin recipes with whole-wheat flour. Add raisins, berries or bananas to the mix for extra fiber.
- Top whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter or low-fat cheese.
- Snack on unbuttered popcorn when you are watching a movie with your family.
- Make a fruit salad with pears, apples, bananas and berries topped with crunchy almonds.
- Leave the skins on fruits and veggies served as snacks.