‘Fibre-rich foods’ is a term quite often heard in reference to adult diet and meal plans. However, what many might not know is that fibre-rich foods are equally important for babies and toddlers.
Fibre content in optimum quantity plays a vital role in your little one’s development as it improves digestion and enhances the absorption of nutrients in the body. According to research by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, ‘Children between the age group of 1-18 months should have minimum 14-31 grams of fibre intake in a day’s meal.’ Practically it is not possible to calculate the quantity of fibre intake in every ounce of food served. However, you can always ensure that some fibre-rich foods are added to your kid’s meal plan on a daily basis to provide them the health benefits of fibre.
Benefits of fibre-rich foods every parent must know
#1. Fibre-rich foods are filling
They keep the child satiated for longer period and prevent untimely hunger pangs. So there will be no overeating and frequent trips to the kitchen.
#2. Aid digestion
Fibre rich foods aid digestion as they take time to chew and also produce a feeling of fullness. These foods also help to prevent constipation as they bulks up the stool and help retain water. Keeps the bowel movement of kids regular and proper due to the presence of roughage.
#3. Enhance immunity
Helps in fighting diseases like diabetes or heart problems by reducing glucose level and lowering blood cholesterol.
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10 must-have fibre-rich foods for kids
Apple is a very good source of fibre as one medium apple offers 4.4 grams of fibre. It can always be improvised by making a fruit salad, apple pie, or as dessert.
Banana is one fruit, which is considered as every child’s favorite fruit. Toddlers can be given banana as one of the most hassle free fruit. It can always be transformed as banana shake or banana with chocolate syrup. These innovative ideas will not only tempt the kid to eat but also develop their interest towards it. A medium banana has 3.1 grams of fibre in it.
This can be considered as one of the easiest breakfast for school going kids. Addition of chopped dry fruits and seasonal fruits will add more to the taste of the meal. One cup of cooked oats can provide up to 4 grams of fibre.
Kids simply love corn. Whether it is boiled corn kernels or popcorn. So, what better way to incorporate fibre in their diet than with something they love. Although not advisable for kids below 1.5 years of age, popcorn works great with toddlers. You can make the caramelized and cheese versions for added flavour and interest. Alternatively add boiled corn to their veggies, omelette, and pasta.
#5. Whole wheat bread
Whole wheat breads contain 2-3 grams of fibre per slice depending upon the variant you pick. They can be teamed with fruit butters, cheese, and peanut butter to enhance the taste and nutrition quotient for the child.
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Salads are quite handy for toddlers as well and what can be a better teether than a long piece of carrot! It can be served as part of the salad mix with cucumber and beetroot, can be grated to stuff in a parantha or can be mixed with yogurt for a yummilicious filling. Half cup of cooked carrots provides 2.3 grams of fibre where as a small baby carrot can cater up to 2.9 grams of fibre.
Juicy pears are delicious treats that kids love. They are also packed with fibre and infact are a must-have when suffering from constipation. Make sure you give your kids pears with the skin. A medium-sized pear offers almost 6 grams of fibre besides being a good source of vitamin C.
These are one of the healthiest dry fruits. They not only serve the fibre content but also help in enhancing the immune system and boosting up the memory power of children. Almonds can be made into dry powder and used in all the foods for toddlers. One serving of almonds can provide 3.5 grams of fibre.
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These fibre rich fruits can always be taken with a spoon full of honey or a bowl of yogurt. Half cup of Raspberries is equal to 4 grams of fibre, while blueberries and strawberries provide 1.8 grams and 1.5 grams, respectively.
#10. Green Peas
These fibre rich options can be used in various ways to be a part of kid’s meal platter. They can be served as dry roasted snacks or can be boiled and served in thick gravy form. All of these make a yummy meal.
Kids take their own time to adjust to any new introduction of food. However, innovative thinking and persistence without insistence often helps build long term good eating habits. It’s never too late to start.
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