High fiber foods for kids can make all the difference. With many kids being overweight or obese, and with many adults also dealing with a weight problem, it is no wonder that so many children are dealing with such a problem. However, diet and nutrition are not always as easy as some people make it out to be. There are many hidden truths when it comes to what is good for our bodies. The bottom line is that many traditional child s meals (in America anyway) do not have much fiber: rice cakes, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, and pizza.
So, many kids are getting less fiber than they need every day, not to mention those picky eaters who rely almost exclusively on low-fat, low-calorie, high fiber substitutes. And where do we turn? Dr. Atkins’ diet is an option but it is quite extreme. Also, there are only two real options for increasing your fiber intake significantly without drastically changing your food choices: buy fiber supplements or take fiber supplements.
Surprisingly, vegetables are the best source of dietary fiber. On a per-cup basis, vegetables provide about two grams of fiber per cup, which is one-third as much as you get from coffee, tea, or fast food. Vegetables also supply most of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs, which are missing from many other common food choices. Fruits and vegetables are also good for you, so adding them to your diet can add a great deal to your overall health and well-being.
The best vegetables to include are dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, mustard greens, and Swiss chard, as well as dark, fresh vegetables such as potatoes, peas, and carrots. Kale, spinach, mustard greens, and Swiss chard are available at regular markets, and the nutritional benefits of avocado (yes, even the avocado skin!) can be availed of by simply grinding up avocado and adding it to a salad, or pureeing avocado and adding it to mashed potatoes. If you’re serving ham or bacon, put some sliced ham (or strips) on the plate next time.
One very tasty way to enjoy fruits and vegetables is to snack on raw nuts or nut butter. Again, choose dark nuts or peanuts, whole almonds, orrazil nuts. Sweets such as soft drinks, raisins, dried figs, or dried fruit are better eaten in their raw form rather than after they’ve been cooked.
Some fruits and veggies are easier to digest than others, so consider how your child would prefer his or her food before deciding how many servings to include in a meal. For example, apples are very high in fiber and are an excellent fit for a breakfast food, but they can also be enjoyed as a snack. Similarly, bananas have a low-glycemic index, but will fill people up in less than a minute. Other fruits that are high in fiber include broccoli, carrots, celery, garlic, peas, and roasted sunflower seeds.
Dried beans, Lima beans, garbanzo beans, chickpeas, radishes, squash, and tofu offer more fiber and fewer calories than most fruits and veggies, although the former should only be eaten with plenty of water. Toast is another good choice, since it is rich in both carbohydrate and protein. Nuts are high in fat and therefore should be eaten sparingly, especially combined with other high fiber foods for kids like nuts. Whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, can be sprinkled on snacks and breads without putting extra salt, sugar, or calories into the mix. Eggs are another great alternative, although many parents find that adding egg whites to oatmeal can make it richer and healthier.
If you serve fruit at meal time, try serving apples, bananas, cherries, blueberries, pears, peaches, oranges, strawberries, or any other fresh fruit that your little one likes. There are also some fruits that you can add to a salad, including grapes, kiwi slices, honeydew, and grapes, bananas, cantaloupe, pineapple chunks, raisins, or other dried fruits. Try serving yogurt or cottage cheese with your fruits. Other dairy options include soy milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, or rice milk.