By Anne Marie Kuchera, RD
Part I of Fiber for Kids reviewed what fiber is, recommendations for kids, and the best sources. Now it’s time for application, and ways to include more fiber-containing foods in a child’s daily eating plan.
It might seem like you’d have to be sneaky to get kids to eat fiber. But adding fiber to your child’s meals can be easy. Below are some examples of ways to incorporate more fiber into each meal of the day.
Fiber for Breakfast
- Whole grain waffle and Greek yogurt topped fresh berries
- Whole wheat toast and apple slices paired with peanut butter
- Bowl of oatmeal of cold cereal (with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving) paired with banana slices
Fiber for Lunch
- Whole wheat macaroni noodles mixed with peas and cottage cheese, and a fresh fruit salad
- Sandwich made with whole wheat bread, and baby carrots and sliced apples.
Fiber with Dinner
- Roasted chicken served with brown rice and steamed broccoli
- Whole wheat pasta tossed in olive oil with cherry tomatoes, sliced olives and white beans and tuna
Snacks can be a great source of fiber too, if you make the right choices. Again, fresh fruit (and vegetables) top the list. Giving your child half of a Fiber d’Lish bar can satisfy his or her sweet tooth while providing 6 grams of fiber! With the texture of a soft-baked cookie and ten flavors with varying levels of sweetness, Fiber d’Lish bars are convenient and crowd-pleasing high fiber snacks to carry around.
Fiber for Picky Eaters
Even children who are more selective with food choices can get the fiber they need, often from preferred foods like fresh berries, baby carrots, and whole grain crackers. And keep in mind that kids who are involved in shopping for, selecting, and preparing their food are often more willing to brave new foods. The following “fiber boosters” are often enjoyed by children.
Fiber Booster Snacks for Children
- Medium apple – 3 grams fiber
- 1 cup Multigrain Cheerios – 3 grams fiber
- 1 cup brown rice – 3 grams fiber
- 1 slice whole wheat bread – 2-3 grams fiber
- ½ cup oatmeal – 4 grams fiber
- Whole grain waffle – 3.5 grams fiber
- ½ cup peas – 4 grams fiber
- ½ cup lentils – 5 grams fiber
- ½ cup black beans – 6 grams fiber
- 3 cups popped corn – 2-3 grams fiber
Offer a variety of foods everyday, including plenty of plant-based foods, and your kid(s) will get the fiber they need.
American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide; Roberta Larson Duyff, M.S., R.D.
Fiber Content of Foods in Common Portions. Harvard University Health Services
Anne Marie Kuchera, MS, MA, RD, LPC is a registered dietitian, and both a licensed nutritionist and licensed professional counselor. She manages community-based obesity prevention and preventive health and wellness initiatives through Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.