Parenting is tough; there’s no doubt about it. Every parent has their own unique challenges, but one struggle seems to unite many of us: feeding the kids healthy food!
A little fast food here and there won’t cause any harm, and it sure is easier than whipping up a home-cooked meal for the whole family. It’s tempting not to choose it for every meal!
But healthy food is essential for development, digestion, and disease prevention. Fiber plays an especially important part in all three!
Fiber, a complex carbohydrate found in plant foods, is a nutritional necessity. To find out why it matters and learn more about foods high in fiber for kids, read on!
Do Kids Need Fiber?
When you think of fiber, you might think of supplements and mix-ins. Fiber is for middle-aged adults and older folks, after all. Right?
Wrong! Kids need their fiber just as much as the rest of us do. How does fiber help build those little bodies?
- Fiber keeps kids feeling full long after they eat.
- Fiber promotes the regularity of the digestive system.
- Foods high in fiber are usually loaded with vitamins and other essential nutrients.
All in all, do kids need fiber? Absolutely!
Benefits of Fiber for Kids
We know now that kids indeed need fiber. But how, specifically, does fiber help kids and keep them healthy?
Here are the benefits of fiber for kids:
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. To help maintain your child’s weight, it’s important to incorporate soluble fiber into their diet.
Soluble fiber is fiber that retains water. Because it passes through the digestive tract at a slow pace, food takes more time to be absorbed. The longer it takes for food to absorb, the longer you’ll feel full after eating.
When your child feels full, they’ll be less likely to overeat—and gain excess weight. As processed, packaged meals and fast food continue to be an easy mealtime alternative, it’s crucial to fill your kids with soluble fiber!
Did you know that one in twenty children’s medical appointments are related to constipation? Constipation is a pretty common problem for kids!
With the help of insoluble fiber, your child can keep things moving. Unlike soluble fiber, insoluble fiber does not retain water. It bulks up and softens bowel movements, which makes food pass through the digestive tract more quickly.
Reduces Risk of Disease
Because foods high in fiber typically contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, frequent consumption of these foods may reduce kids’ risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even certain types of cancers.
Keeps Cholesterol Low
In addition to managing their weight, soluble fiber can also keep your child’s cholesterol low. Having low cholesterol reduces the risk of your child developing cardiovascular conditions in the future.
High Fiber Foods for Kids
Wondering how to infuse more fiber into your kiddo’s diet? It’s easier than you might think!
Here are some high-fiber foods for kids:
Naturally high in fiber, whole grains are an easy addition to the menu. In fact, there are probably plenty of grains your family already eats that you can swap for whole grain alternatives!
Here are some options:
- Whole grain cereal, like Cheerios or Frosted Mini-Wheats
- Whole wheat bread
- Whole wheat pasta
- Brown rice
All fruit offers health benefits, but there are a few that contain more fiber than others. Avocados, bananas, mangos, and raspberries are some of the better sources!
If your child isn’t interested in eating these fruits on their own, try these options instead:
- Bake raspberries or bananas into a treat, like muffins or bread
- Mix bananas, mangos, and raspberries together in a smoothie
- Slice up avocados or bananas and serve them on whole wheat toast
- Smash avocados into guacamole
- Mix bananas, mangos, and raspberries into yogurt, oatmeal, or whole grain cereal
Vegetables are renowned for being loathed by kids just about everywhere! But boy, the good they can do for growing bodies.
If your child isn’t a big fan of fiber-rich broccoli, carrots, peas, or sweet potatoes, here are some ways you can sneak them into a meal:
- Blend broccoli and peas with bananas and other fruits to make a green smoothie
- Slice and bake sweet potatoes into sweet potato fries
- Dip broccoli into cheese or carrots into ranch
- Add broccoli, carrots, and peas to a salad
- Mix peas into macaroni and cheese
Legumes are loaded with fiber. But like vegetables, they’re not a fan favorite among children.
Here are some ways you can add legumes to your kiddo’s diet:
- Blend chickpeas into hummus for fruit and chips
- Smother refried beans over nachos or onto tacos
- Grill black bean burgers
- Cook pasta made from lentils, chickpeas, or beans
- Mix lentils or beans with rice and vegetables
Snack time is the best time! (And something that kids always ask for.)
Here are some snacks that are filled with fiber:
- Fig bars
- Granola bars
- Popcorn, lightly buttered
- Trail mix
Maintain Healthy Habits with Troomi
Troomi believes in balance. While we specialize in keeping kids safe on the screen, we empower kids to achieve balance in every area of their lives. From tech diet to food diet, we’re here to help your kids build healthy habits!
Click here to find out how Troomi can help your family.