Home Children's Health Guide Best sources of essential fiber for growing children

Best sources of essential fiber for growing children

One of the most vital and inevitable elements of a child’s diet is the inclusion of the correct quantum of essential fiber to it so as to ensure his overall healthy growth and development in the most crucial years of his early life which would lay a strong foundation for an erect and upright future well being. Including sufficient quantity of fiber in the daily supplements of your child keeps him away from constipation, obesity, diabetes, cholesterol and other health issues. Processed meals which are low on fiber content get digested very quickly thereby making your child feel hungry sooner. This ultimately leads to larger quantity of food intake by the kid making him gain weight and become obese in the long run. In order to avoid these complications, the best option is to include natural supplements and foods which are rich in fiber content and high on nutritional value.

To ascertain the right amount of fiber for your child aged between 3 to 18 years simply add 5 to his age to get the daily required grams of fiber. For eg: a child aged 5 years would require 10 grams of fiber intake everyday.

Whole grain foods

Whole grain cereals and bread make for an excellent fiber-rich food option for your growing child which provides optimum nutrition as well and can be conveniently replaced by low quality high calorie processed foods. You can include them in his morning meals in the form of oatmeal or a sandwich made with whole wheat bread with banana topping to suffice for his full day’s fiber requirement. They can even be incorporated in soups as evening snacks. Whole grains can prove to be quite filling, are low on calories and even assist in discouraging overeating in children. Some other fiber-rich whole grain foods include bran, cereal, oats, barley, quinoa and brown rice. Popcorn is also a very good source of fiber which is even loved by all kids.

Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables like cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, collard greens and mustard greens are great examples of fibrous vegetables which assist in moving the food through the digestive tract thereby improving the process of digestion and bowel movement and even helping in keeping many diseases like cholesterol, gut cancer and constipation at bay. A cup of cooked peas can sufficiently provide 8.8 grams which can prove enough to fulfill your child’s daily quota of fiber. Load your kid’s plate with broccoli, corn, carrots, turnip greens, brussels sprouts and encourage him to eat them raw as salads. You can even prepare them as soups, sauces and serve them as interesting recipes in bite sized pieces along with preservative-free dips.

Fruits

Fruits play a very important role in fulfilling your child’s daily consumption of fiber content. They are replete with minerals and essential vitamins and contain both soluble and insoluble fiber mixtures. Fruits like a cup of raspberries, an average sized pear and apple contain high fiber content, offering around 7.6 gms, 5.5 grams and 4.4 grams respectively. Other good fiber sources include strawberries, bananas and figs which can be included in your child’s morning breakfast along with oatmeal or shredded on wheat cereals. However, the best is to encourage the child to have fruits in their raw form, without peeling them, as in case of apples, figs and oranges as their skin is the main fiber-containing ingredient. Fruits have been acclaimed as the central pillar of optimal health which promote bowel health and act as a natural remedial source of many diseases.

Legumes

Legumes are one of the most delicious sources of fiber as a lot can be experimented with them. They are a rich provider of both soluble and viscous fiber elements which aids in lowering serum cholesterol and in normalizing blood sugar levels. With the growing percentage of obesity and diabetes cases in children, the inclusion of legumes in their daily diet seems inevitable. A wide variety of beans in different dimensions and hues are available which can be combined in innumerable ways to create an interesting and appealing recipe much loved by kids. Legumes containing the maximum count of fiber include navy beans, rajma and split peas as well, to mention some. However, you can soak them overnight and cook them into delicious delicacies or can even incorporate them in lip-smacking soups, salads and quesadillas. One cup of cooked black beans provides a hearty 15 grams of fiber while a cup of canned baked beans adds 10.4 grams to your daily fiber intake.

Raisins

Raisins are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. One cup of raisins can add 5.3 grams of fiber to your kid’s daily nutrition count. They provide an easy and convenient option to boost the essential fiber group in your child’s diet. You can simply sprinkle some raisins on a serving of oatmeal or cereals, encourage eating them raw or as an added attraction with a handful of other favorite nuts of your child’s choice for a fibrous trail mix.

Flax seed

Other than being a good source of soluble and insoluble fibers, flax seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids which is a vital nutrient component for brain development of a child and also consists of ingredients which prevent cancer. You can simply sprinkle some flax seeds on your child’s bowl of yogurt, cereal or salads which can add a nutty flavor to your child’s dose of dietary fiber and even keep his nutrition count completely balanced.

Split peas

Only one cup of split peas can makeup for 15 grams of soluble fiber intake for your child. Soluble fibers help in slowing down the absorption rate of starch and sugar in your little one’s intestines, thereby ensuring lower levels of cholesterol and improved toleration of glucose levels which assist in diabetes conditions. Make sure to include this vegetable in the form of boiled salad or cooked to taste for a sumptuous and healthy meal consumption.

Lentils

Lentils stand second, only after split peas, as one of the most effective and easy forms of vegetable fiber supply to the child’s body. A wide variety of lentils can be prepared to incorporate different delicious Indian daal recipes for a flavorsome and tasteful fibrous retreat. Ensure to include one bowl of cooked lentils for lunch everyday in order to make up for a healthy wholesome fibrous diet for your child.

Squash

Winter squash is believed to consist of 5 to 7 grams of fiber in every cup of serving. It is a very nutritious and healthy form of supplying fiber to your child’s body as it comes in the category of one of the most essentially recommended daily serving of vegetable for growing children by nutritionists worldwide.

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