Obesity has become a common problem among children across the globe. Kids today love to indulge in fatty foods with a low fiber content. Such eating habits may lead to several health problems. Hence, it is important for kids to have fibrous foods.
Children love to gorge on chocolates, cookies, burgers, and pizza. Given an option, they would like to eat such food items throughout the day. However, eating such foods everyday is not considered healthy. They must have healthy foods that are necessary for proper growth.
Healthy foods must have the necessary nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Fibrous foods are beneficial for preventing constipation, boosting digestion and for cleansing the digestive tract. As foods high in fiber are filling, eating even a little would fill the stomach, thereby preventing overeating. This in turn prevents obesity.
Dietary fiber or roughage is found in vegetables, whole grains, beans, fruits, lentils, etc. It is made up of non-starch polysaccharides, such as cellulose, dextrins, inulin, lignin, chitins, pectins, beta-glucans, waxes, and oligosaccharides.
Importance of Fibrous Foods
Fibrous foods do not add calories, and are opted by people who want to lose weight. The main advantage of fibrous foods is that they help in cleansing the digestive system by regularizing bowel movements. This is beneficial for preventing constipation, which is common in kids.
Having a high-fiber diet right from childhood would help them in building a healthy eating habit. It also lowers the risk of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart diseases during adulthood.
Children may not enjoy fiber rich foods. So, try to include them in those dishes that your kids love. Babies in the age group of 1 to 3 must have around 20 grams of dietary fiber per day. Children aged 4 to 8 years need 25 grams per day. Older boys (9 to 18 years) should have 38 grams of fiber per day, while older girls (9 to 18 years) require 26 grams.
Fibrous Food for Children
Given is a list of fibrous foods that are essential for kids to stay healthy ► Dates ► Artichokes ► Raisins, almonds and peanuts ► Whole-grain breads ► Broccoli, Spinach ► Green peas ► Raspberries, Bananas ► Whole-wheat pasta ► Tomato soup, Oatmeal ► Potatoes ► Prunes and Pears ► Apples, Oranges ► Brown rice, Kidney beans
Meals and Snacks:
On some days, you can go for oatmeal with soy milk and fruits. Pancakes made of whole-wheat flour; and whole-grain or muffins cereals topped with sliced bananas, apples and raisins, etc., are ideal for a high fibrous breakfast.
Evening snacks may include cranberries, raisins, peanuts, whole-wheat cookies, popcorn, nuts, etc. Pizza made with lots of vegetables, low-fat cheese, and pizza sauce is also a perfect high-fiber food for kids.
Vegetable sandwiches made of brown bread, whole-wheat pasta or baked sweet potato would be suitable for lunch or dinner. You may also include fresh carrots, apples (with the skin), and pears. Fruit juices can be included in your kid's diet.
You can experiment with different types of dishes or search the Internet to gather more recipes. Do not overfeed your children, because too much of fiber can cause bloating, gas, and severe discomfort in the stomach.
Disclaimer: Information shared here should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.