Are Your Kids Getting Enough Fiber?
The average American only gets 15 grams of dietary fiber, merely a fraction of the recommended 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. It makes sense that if we as adults are not getting enough, than surely our kids are also lacking. Dietary fiber comes packaged within Mother Nature’s bounty (think whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables) and brings plenty of health benefits along with it. Fiber helps to keep our digestive tract moving, clean out our arteries, and fill us up faster – ultimately causing us to eat less and feel more energized. Yet if it does all of these great things, why aren’t we getting enough?
Time is a precious commodity in most households and as a result many parents opt for processed convenience foods where the fiber is actually ‘processed’ right out. Thankfully there are plenty of ‘convenient’ fiber-rich foods that can easily be introduced into your hectic routine. Check out this list for a few of our own kid-approved ideas and see how you can help your family reach their daily fiber needs:
- Serve blueberry filled pancakes (2 grams per ¼ cup)
- Make Rice Krispies® treats with Fiber One® (7.5 grams per ¾ cup)
- Offer fresh orange slices in place of orange juice (3 grams per orange)
- Build a sandwich using whole grain bread (up to 8 grams total)
- Create your own trail mix with almonds, peanuts, cashews, and dried cherries (2-4 grams per ¼ cup). Boost the sweetness by adding a few Frosted Mini Wheats® (2. 5 grams per ½ cup)
- Serve a plate of raspberries on toothpicks to dip into a yogurt-cool whip dip (8 grams per 1 cup)
- Replace one of the noodle layers in lasagna with thin slices of summer squash and eggplant (2.5 grams per 1 cup)
- Serve tortilla chips with a black bean and corn filled salsa (4 grams per ½ cup), plus avocado slices for even more flavor (2 grams in 1/5 avocado)
- Offer whole grain rotini or penne pasta with a veggie filled marinara-dip for a fun hands on meal (6 grams per 1 cup of pasta)
With these amounts in mind, see what it would take to reach the recommended daily intake of 19 grams of fiber or more for your toddlers and 25 grams for your 4-8 year olds. Be sure to check out the Nutrition Facts on your food packages to learn the fiber content of the food in your own cupboards.
How are you helping your family to reach their fiber needs? Let us know what fiber-rich treats make the grade in your home?