The smart mom’s way to sneak fiber into your kids’ diets

November 6, 2014

Kids need fiber, too, according to an Oklahoma State University (OSU) extension educator. Dietary fiber is important for individuals of all ages, but children’s fiber needs are sometimes overlooked, writes LaDell Emmons in a recent issue of the McAlester News-Capital.

Fiber helps prevent constipation and provides important nutrients and vitamins, advises Emmons. A child’s fiber needs depend on that child’s age, notes Emmons. She writes that a three year-old child needs about 8 grams of fiber per day.

Emmons cites fruit, beans, peas, nuts, whole-grain breads and whole-grain cereals as good sources of fiber; as well as apples, oranges, broccoli and carrots. Five servings of fruits and vegetables are a good way to provide adequate fiber in a child’s diet, notes Emmons.

Strategies are identified by Emmons for encouraging fiber consumption by children. These include adding lightly steamed vegetables to salads; leaving peels on apples, potatoes, cucumbers and other fruits and vegetables; tossing poppy, sesame or pumpkin seeds on salads; and adding beans or alfalfa sprouts to sandwiches. Emmons adds that popcorn is a delicious and fiber-rich treat that children like.

Comprehensive information on dietary needs, including fiber, for children of various ages can be found at the Mayo Clinic’s website.

Meet the Experts

  • Derek Timm, PhD, RDN is more than your typical nutrition expert. In addition to being a registered dietitian nutritionist, Timm has earned a PhD in nutrition science. He is also a Monash University FODMAP-trained dietitian with expertise in how a high FODMAP diet impacts the symptoms of IBS.

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