Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds are the main sources for dietary fiber. Fiber is beneficial for our bodies because it slows the rate at which food is digested, decreasing the spike in blood sugar after eating. This provides a slower increase and decrease in blood glucose, which helps decrease the "crash" after eating high sugar foods.
Fiber is non-digestible carbohydrates and categorized as soluble (dissolves in water) and in-soluble (does not dissolve in water). We need both in our daily food intake as these types can do different things. Soluble fiber will move food through your intestines faster. In-soluble fiber will act as a brush, cleaning out your colon and riding it of bad gut bacteria. Fiber is also essential for helping regulate bowel movements and we talked about what causes constipation and how to help alleviate and prevent constipation in recent posts.
Here's our top ten great high-fiber food to give your children. We chose these foods based on the amount of fiber available in the food item and the ease at which young children will (hopefully) eat them.
1. Pears: Soft and sweet, this fruit is easy for littles to eat and usually well received. Pears contain about 5.5g fiber for 1 medium pear.
2. Avocado: most babies have avocado as one of their first foods with it being soft enough to mash and full of amazing nutrients. Fiber is also packed in these gems with 10g in 1 cup of sliced avocado.
3. Raspberries: sweet, soft, and delicious, these red beauties are an easy choice with 8g of fiber found in 1 cup.
4. Carrots: Usually a pretty "safe" vegetable for kids, carrots contain a good amount of fiber as well with 3.6g in 1 cup.
5. Apples: This fruit is one that all (of our current 4 children) always want to eat. They usually choose it over every other fruit. At about 4.4g in 1 medium apple, it's a great choice to get that fiber in.
6. Brussel Sprouts: contain about 4g of fiber per cup. Our favorite way to eat this vegetable is roasted or sautéed with bacon!
7. Lentils: considered a legume, they pack 15.6g of fiber in 1 cup. These little guys resemble miniature beans and are easily consumed in sauces in our home. Try this lentil spaghetti recipe from Cookie & Kate blog for an easy entry for lentils.
8. Quinoa is a delicious grain alternative to rice, is gluten free (GF), and contains several nutrients including 5.2g of fiber in 1 cup cooked.
9. Oats, another gluten free (as long as packaged in GF environment) option have 16.5g of fiber per 1 cup raw oats. Try our Banana Oat Muffins for an easy and delicious way to include oats in your child's diet.
10. Chia seeds: sprinkle these little seeds on yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, avocado toast or mix into smoothies, muffins, granola, or pancakes for a huge increase in fiber! In 1 oz of chia seeds you'll get a whooping 10.6g of fiber.
Which of these high fiber foods are among your child's favorites? Let us know in the comments below!
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