How to Boost Your Children's Fiber Intake

How to Boost Your Children's Fiber Intake

Here are four, easy ways to increase the amount of fiber in your kid's diet.

Nowadays, it's so much easier to order a pizza rather than planning your family meals, especially if your kids have allergies or are just generally picky eaters. But with childhood obesity on the rise, it's always important to make sure your kids are getting nutritious meals. Dr. Felicia D. Stoler shares her tips for how you can skip the fuss and make your child's food a little healthier.

Sure, we know we need more fiber. But here’s a news flash: Our kids probably need more fiber too. In fact, most children are consuming just half the recommended daily amount. (Six chicken nuggets only have about 1 gram of fiber). We’ve come up with ideas for boosting your little ones’ fiber intake. And, best of all, you won’t even have to tell them that their favorite snacks are now super good for them. 

How much fiber does your child need?

Children’s daily fiber requirement:

Ages 1-3: 19 grams

Ages 4-8: 25 grams

Ages 9-13: 26-31 grams

Ages 14-19: 26-39 grams

The average 6- to 11-year-old consumes just 11 grams of dietary fiber per day. That is only half the recommended daily amount.

There are many great dietary sources of fiber: beans, whole grains, nuts, fresh fruits, and vegetables. But few of these are kids’ favorites. Here are some sneaky ways to boost your children’s fiber intake, while still serving them the foods they know and enjoy.

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Pile on the berries.

Raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries are rich in fiber. Sprinkle berries on their yogurt. Add berries to their favorite breakfast cereal to double or even triple its fiber content.

Give them popcorn and nuts as snacks.

Two cups of popcorn contain 2 grams of fiber, four times the amount of fiber in their favorite cheesy crackers. Add some nuts—almonds, pecans, and walnuts are highest in fiber—to really rev up this snack’s fiber content.

Add a quality fiber supplement to their favorite foods.

Mix a scoop of soluble fiber, such as Regular Girl, into their pudding, or smoothie. It won’t change the food’s color, odor, flavor, or texture. Each scoop contains 5 grams of soluble fiber, helping the little ones meet that fiber requirement without any fuss. And unlike some fiber supplements, there are no painful or embarrassing side effects.

Add pureed beans and lentils to dips and sauces.

If your kids aren’t fans of these high-fiber foods, you can still incorporate them into your everyday meals. Just puree the cooked legumes with a small amount of chicken or vegetable stock before adding them to your guacamole or salad dressing. But be careful: Quickly boosting your fiber content this way may cause uncomfortable gas or bloating.