Kids need fiber in their diet. However, it is very likely for them to munch on some lentil salad or eat Brussels sprouts instead of fried chicken or French fries. That is the reason why most children, especially toddlers, do not get enough fiber in their daily diet, which is why if you’re a parent or a guardian, you must find a way to sneak fiber into your kid’s diet if you want them to meet their daily fiber requirement and help with their tummy troubles, too. Here’s how you’ll do it.
- Add more fruits and vegetables to their diet – Any foods that come from plants, including vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes, are a great source of dietary fiber. According to experts, toddlers must consume at least 2 to 5 cups of fruits and vegetables every day. Take note that not all products are packed with fiber, but some of the standouts are dried fruits, artichokes, avocadoes, baked potatoes, carrots, and pears.
- As much as possible, do not peel fruits and vegetables – The skin of pears, potatoes, apples, and other fruits and vegetables contains most of the fiber. That is why as much as possible, we suggest that you should serve them unpeeled. You just have to rinse it well because probably several people may have touched it since it was harvested, and it may be sprayed with pesticide.
- Go for whole-grain bread and cereals – Whole grains contain more fiber compared to processed grains. Whole grain cereals and bread are also packed with vitamin B, E, folic acid, and other nutrients. Not only that, but they are also one of the quickest and easiest but healthy breakfasts that you can fix for your toddler.
- Switch to whole-grain pasta – If your toddler loves eating pasta, then we suggest that you switch to whole grain pasta because they are the most natural option, and they are packed with a lot more fiver compared to the basic pasta available in the supermarket. Your toddler would not notice that you switch pasta when the spaghetti is swimming in his favorite sauce. But, if your toddler sees the difference between standard pasta and whole-grain pasta, then we suggest that you pump up the fiber in the sauce. You can try to add peas or sneak in some shredded carrots or zucchini into the spaghetti sauce.
- Add beans to their food – Lentils and beans are the perfect sources of B vitamins, protein, iron, and fiber. In fact, just a quarter cup of kidney beans can give your child a hefty dose of fiber. If you’re too busy to wait for the beans to cook, then you can use canned beans instead. Just remember to go for the low-sodium versions or strain the contents into a can and rinse the beans off before serving.
- Go for high-fiber snacks – Always keep celery sticks, carrot sticks, popcorn, fresh fruit, or dried fruit in your fridge so that when your toddler gets hungry, you can serve it to them as their snacks. If they like cookies, then you can offer them an oatmeal cookie, raisin biscuit, or a fig bar. Aside from that, you can also give them whole wheat crackers that do not contain any hydrogenated oils and have them dip them in crunchy peanut butter.
One of the best things you can do to keep your toddler healthy is to make sure that they consume the right amount of fiber every day. Not only that but most fiber-packed foods also contains a lot of other vital nutrients that can keep them healthy. Do not pressure yourself or your toddler to increase their fiber intake immediately. It would be best to introduce it to them slowly because it also takes time for your body to adapt to extra roughage. Besides sneaking fiber into your toddler’s diet, do not forget to encourage them to drink more water and stay hydrated every day.