Monday, 25 July 2016

Fibre for Kids - What’s the Best Way?

Not many kids would say they crave a fibre rich meal. The mere thought of foods typically containing fibre (for many children) brings groans and kicking feet. However, many appetising foods are actually a great source of fibre, from their favourite fruits to a morning bowl of porridge.
In the UK, studies have shown that adults aren’t getting enough fibre in their diet, so it probably means that our kids aren’t either.
Why is fibre so important for a kid's diet?
Fibre has so many health benefits. High fibre foods fill tummies up on fewer calories, so eating plenty of them is key to keeping a healthy weight. This roughage has also been shown to lower bloodstream cholesterol levels and reduce heart attack danger.
Obviously, these aren’t big threats to a 10-year-old, but developing great eating habits now will set kids up for a lifetime of good health. The bottom line is, one simple way to help kids thrive is to increase fibre consumption.
Figuring out fibre
Dietary fibre is found in plant foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A high-fibre food has 5 grams or more of fibre per serving; a good source of fibre is one that provides 2.5 to 4.9 grams per serving. 
 The best way to get kids involved with more fibre is to begin slowly, since it takes time for the digestive system to adapt to extra roughage. Too much too quickly can cause gas and bloating. But which are the most kid- friendly sources of fibre?
Fruits and Vegetables
Apples and pears are some of the best kid- friendly fibre foods, but make sure you keep the peels on because they are stuffed with fibre. A medium pear contains about 5.5g and just a small apple with skin has 3.6g
If your child resists them, try making them fun by spearing fruit and veggie slices onto a kebab, or making a face with sliced-up fruits and veggies.
Whole Grains
Whole grains contain significantly more fibre than processed grains.  They're also great sources of essential vitamins and important nutrients. One of the quickest and healthiest breakfasts you can fix for your child is porridge, which provides over 5g of fibre. It’s really important to be vigilant and read the labels to find porridge brands such as MOMA that do not include added sugar.
Food for thought
For a particular fibre fuelled start today try combining some of these fruits with their morning porridge. Not only is porridge incredibly nutritious and full of fibre, but the fruit will satisfy your child’s sweet tooth with its natural, healthy sugars.
Small chunks of apples, pears and a small handful of raisins will not only taste sweet but will also provide that bit of extra texture when stirred in. For the really young ones, mash in some banana or try making a face on top of the porridge with all the items. Raisins for eyes, apple slices for mouth and pear chunks for the nose.
What else your child can do?
Drinking plenty of fluids will help their gut. All that fibre and no liquid could cause problems, so plenty of water is important. If your child is active or plays a lot of sports, then it’s best to avoid sugary beverages and stick to water to replace any fluids lost through exercise.  

Exercise is great for your fibre intake as it just helps keep things moving along. Physical activity will stimulate movement in little tummies and helps digest food quicker, avoiding tummy aches and pains.

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