How to Get Your Kids to Eat High-Fiber Foods
Eating highly refined, processed foods can lead children on a path to obesity. One in three children in the U.S. is obese. Unchecked, overconsumption of refined, “empty calories” can result in high blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels and increased risk for developing cardiovascular diseases.Eating high-fiber foods will help regulate blood sugar levels and contribute to feelings of satiety to stem overeating. Insoluble fiber found in the skins of fruits and vegetables will help your children remain regular in bowel habits. Soluble fiber found in whole grains such as brown rice, millet, oats, quinoa and other grains, provide complex carbohydrates that take longer to digest—keeping energy levels from spiking.
Begin with a heart-healthy breakfast. Whole grain pancakes made from whole wheat or oats and topped with sliced bananas and real maple syrup is hard to resist. On school days, serve instant oatmeal with sliced apples and soy milk and whole grain English muffins slathered with peanut butter and (if they don’t look), sprinkle on wheat germ and swirl honey on top.
Pack sandwiches made from whole grain wheat and add packages of unsalted nuts. Celery and carrot sticks and small apples and boxes of unsulfured raisins are all good high-fiber choices.
Replace all refined flour products at home. Make your own pancake and waffle recipes by blending whole grain wheat, oat, soy and brown rice flours with baking powder and baking soda. Store in airtight plastic or glass containers. Simply add liquids, eggs and sweeteners when needed.
Bump up the fiber at every meal. For example, serve whole grain pastas with stewed whole tomatoes. Coarsely chop potatoes and bake with onions, rosemary and garlic salt. Grind your own peanut butter at the health food store and do not add any sugar to it.
Add chopped, unsalted, raw nuts to cookies, breads, sweet breads and brownies. Adding one-quarter cup of wheat germ or rice bran to all homemade baked goods will instantly increase its high fiber content without changing the taste of the final product.
Prepare yummy high-fiber snacks. Insert raw walnuts into the center of raw, sliced dates. Slather peanut butter on apple slices. Mix nuts with air-popped popcorn and sparingly add salt or shake in a larger dry paper bag, adding only a small amount of olive oil. These are only a few examples of delicious, high-fiber foods that children of all ages can enjoy.