Fibre for kids
Fibre for kids. Fibre is like the F word of nutrition and often has parents flinging their hands up in the air. Oi! We know it’s important, but it is just not that easy to get our little ones to enjoy it.
Why should my child eat more fibre?
It may not sound super-exciting but fibre is super-important for a healthy lifestyle. Fibre improves digestion, prevents constipation and helps fight a variety of diseases. Any mother who has experienced a constipated child will tell you it’s not a pretty sight.
A lack of fibre could result in children feeling sluggish. Additionally, a blocked intestine is excruciatingly painful for a child. For this reason, it is best to keep yourself and your children regular.
How much fibre should my child get per day?
Research has shown that most children are not getting enough fibre in their diet. This is as a result of the fast-paced life which we are living and families tend to grab more takeaways and refined foods than they should.
The amount of fibre a child needs each day depends on his/her age. (For example, 9-year-old boys need more fibre than girls.)
- Children 1-3 years: 19 grams
- Children 4-8 years: 25 grams
- Tweens 9-13 years: 31 grams for boys and 26 grams for girls
- Teens 14-18 years: 38 grams for boys and 26grams for girls
10 Ways to increase fibre for kids
1. Serve more fruits and vegetables – While not all fruit and veg are created equal, in the world of fibre, artichokes, avocados, dried fruit, baked potatoes with the skin, pears, and carrots are a great place to start.
2. Avoid removing the skin –The skin of apples, pears, potatoes, and many other fruits and veggies this is where most of the fibre is found.
3. Choose whole-grain cereals and bread as they contain significantly more fibre.
4. Treat your children to bran muffins with added seeds – This is a great way to add to your daily quota of fibre for kids.
5. Replace all processed grains with whole grains – These contain significantly more fibre than processed grains.
6. Include grains like – Oats, millet, buckwheat, barley, brown rice and bulgur these are some fibre-rich options.
7. Replace normal pasta with wholegrain pastas, the kids won’t even notice. Tee hee.
8. Add beans and lentils to any dish with minced meat – These are a fantastic sources of fibre.
9. Always pack high-fibre snacks – Like dried fruit, seeds and nuts, especially almonds which have 3.5 grams of fibre in just one handful.
10. Reduce unhealthy, lower fibre snacks – Such as sweets, chips, cakes and biscuits.
Montagu has a range of delicious, innovative snacks that are very high in fibre, like the Montagu Fruit Flakes (no preservatives and no sugar added), which has a whopping 5.3 grams of fibre in a 40-gram serving.
Here are 5 delicious snacks that range from very good to excellent sources of fibre:
- Mixed Nuts 20g serving: 5.2 grams
- Almonds 25g serving: 3.5 grams
- Montagu Fruit Flakes 40g serving: 5.3 grams
- Dates 40g serving: 4.3 grams
- Dried Apple wedges 40g serving: 4.1 grams
*Foods that are an excellent source of fibre have 5 or more grams of fibre per serving, whilst good sources have at least 3 grams per serving.
Fibre is found only in plant foods. If you start with your five-a-day, you are well on your way. Natasha Kisten-Skuce @fitlikemummy believes that if your children are eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day along with other foods that are good sources of fibre, there is really no need to count fibre grams.