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Fiber and Your Child: How To Increase Fiber At Every Meal

Michelle Mirizzi • MS, Registered Dietitian • Sep 07, 2011

Fiber, also called dietary fiber, is an overlooked nutrient that most people and children don’t get enough of. We are learning more and more that dietary fiber is a very important part of a balanced and healthy diet.

So how do you make sure you child is getting enough fiber?

Through some simple changes in your meal planning, you can easily improve the amount of fiber your child eats with high fiber foods.

This article will give you specific facts and tips to help you increase your child fiber intake.


Tips For Increasing Your Child's Fiber During Meals And Snacks

Breakfast tips
  • Choose 100% whole grain cereals for breakfast.
  • Select cereals with at least 3 grams of fiber or more per serving.
  • Have cut up fruit in the cereal or as a side dish.
  • Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices. Whole fruit has more fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Plus an apple or a handful of berries will keep your child feeling full longer than a glass of fruit juice.
Lunch tips
  • Use 100% whole grain bread, rolls, pita or bagels for sandwiches.
  • Add fresh fruit and/or vegetables with low fat dipping sauces.
  • Add a small bag of nuts or seeds in their lunch.
Dinner tips
  • Replace white rice, white bread and white pastas with brown rice and whole grain products.
  • If your kids resist the whole grain version at first, try mixing in half whole grain and half processed food. For example, mix half brown rice with half white rice and gradually each week add more whole grains and less processed.
  • Cut back on refined foods.
  • Include a fruit or vegetable salad with the skin on.
  • Add seeds and nuts to liven up the salads.
  • Replace meat once a week with legumes, a great source of fiber and protein.
  • Replace a side dish with dried peas or beans.
  • Have your child make their own trail mix using raisins, peanuts, and oat bran cereal.
Snack tips
  • Give half a sandwich made of 100% whole grains.
  • Have fresh fruit or vegetables washed and cut on table.
  • Make a fruit smoothie.
  • Serve up a cup of beans with 100% whole wheat crackers.
  • Give them a handful of nuts or seeds.
  • Give them a bag of dried fruits such as apricots, figs or raisins..
  • Offer a bowl of low fat popcorn.
  • Make a baggie of 100% whole grain pretzels or crackers.
Changing your child’s diet should be a positive experience. Explain to them why fiber is important 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. There is a nice variety of foods high in fiber so help your child find the ones they enjoy. Gradual changes are always best and don’t forget to celebrate the small changes as they occur. Before you know it, your whole family will be used to a healthy high fiber diet!










See All Our Nutrition Articles


Written by Michelle MirizziWritten on Sep 07, 2011Last updated on Oct 16, 2013


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Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 @ 09:09 AM

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