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Jump on the Bran Wagon and increase Your Child’s Fiber Intake

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Few kids would say they crave a good fiber-rich meal. However, numerous appetizing foods are actually great sources of fiber — from fruits to whole-grain cereals. Fiber has mounting research that shows we need to have fiber in our diet every day to fight off disease and promote overall well-being. kids who eat a broad variety of fiber-rich foods will likely continue with this healthy practice later in life, so jump on the bran wagon now!

What is Dietary Fiber? Fiber is part of the plant food that our body does not digest. You can find dietary fiber in the following plant foods: fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, seeds, nuts and whole grains. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Both are essential for a healthy diet. Soluble fiber acts like a sponge. It absorbs water in the intestines and forms a gluey gel that picks up cholesterol and carries it out of the body.Insoluble fiber acts like a broom because it doesn’t dissolve in water. It adds bulk and softness to the stools and keeps them moving along conveniently avoiding constipation.

Fiber has the following health benefits: It keeps your child’s intestines working comfortably.It protects against constipation when combined with enough water.It fills up your child’s tummy so they will be satisfied and not overeat.It reduces the risk of numerous diseases including diabetes and certain cancers.It reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).

How much Fiber Do kids Need?The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dietetic Association both recommend a easy guideline of thumb: The total number of fiber grams a child ought to consume each day ought to equal the child’s age plus 5, starting at age 2. A 6-year-old, therefore, ought to have 11 grams of fiber a day.

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Fiber intake ought to be enhanced gradually. This is essential to reduce potential adverse side effects such as abdominal distress, bloating, flatulence, cramps and diarrhea. remember to encourage kids to drink much more fluids, especially water, as they eat much more fiber.

What Foods Are High in Fiber?A high-fiber food has 5 grams or much more of fiber per serving and a good source of fiber is one that offers 2.5 to 4.9 grams per serving. Here’s how some fiber-friendly foods stack up:

Lentils, cooked (1 cup) = 15.6 grams dietary fiberArtichoke, cooked (1 medium) = 10.3 grams dietary fiber Raspberries (1 cup) = 8 grams dietary fiberPear (1 medium) = 5 grams dietary fiber

How to increase Your Child’s Fiber Power help your child meet their daily fiber needs, by gradually enhancing fiber in their diet with the following tips:

Breakfast suggestions choose 100% whole grain cereals for breakfastHave cut up fruit in the cereal or as a side dish

Lunch suggestions use 100% whole grain bread, rolls, wraps, or pita for sandwichesAdd fresh fruit and/or vegetables with low fat dipping saucesAdd a small bag of nuts or seeds in with their lunch

Dinner suggestions replace white rice, white bread and white pastas with brown rice and whole grain productsInclude a fruit or vegetable salad with the skin onAdd seeds and nuts to liven up the saladsReplace a side dish with dried peas or beansMake a pizza by topping a whole wheat tortilla with pizza sauce, low fat cheese and vegetables toss in extra vegetables in home-made or low sodium canned soups

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Snack suggestions offer a bowl of air-popped or low fat popcornMake a baggie of 100% whole grain crackers

Changing your child’s diet ought to be a positive experience. discuss to them why fiber is essential for the whole family to feel healthy. You don’t want to get upset and frustrated with your child if they don’t want to try higher fiber foods. just be positive with your encouragement and keep introducing higher fiber foods.

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