Thursday, August 25, 2011

High Fiber Fruits and Vegetables for Kids

Now-a-days kids like to eat cookies, fast food, pizzas, cake, chocolates, chips and burgers that are high in fat & sugars as well as low in fiber. These types of foods are not healthy and lead to obesity which is the main cause of several health problems. So these unhealthy foods should be balanced with healthy foods which are needed for a growing body. Fiber is vital ingredient for overall health of your child. It keeps the kids fuller for longer period of time so there are fewer chances that they will snack unhealthy foods all through the day. Fiber is found in many foods such as beans, nuts, lentils, fruits, seeds, vegetables and whole wheat grains. Here are listed some of the high fiber fruits and vegetables for kids.

Insufficient fiber consumption in kids increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other serious diseases. Adequate fiber consumption prevents constipation, cleanses the digestive track, lower cholesterol levels, ensures regular bowel movements and helps in digestion. Two types of fiber are there such as soluble and insoluble. Both types of fiber are essential for a healthy diet. Daily recommended fiber amount for children aged between 4 to 8 years old is 25 grams, for boys aged between 9 to 13 years old is 31 grams while for girls aged between 9 to 13 years old is 26 grams.

High Fiber Fruits and Vegetables for Kids

1) Strawberries Strawberries are great source of soluble fiber. They contain fiber in meat as well as in the seeds. They also contain high amount of water (more than 75%). Strawberries are high in Vitamin C, magnesium, Vitamin B5, iron, folic acid, Vitamin B6, copper, riboflavin, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. They are available in fresh, frozen or dried form. You can eat them alone or add them in salads, yogurt or cereals. Always consume them in moderation for best results.
2) Broccoli Broccoli is one of the highest sources of fiber. It also contains high amount of vitamin K, magnesium, vitamin C, B vitamins, folate, vitamin A and calcium. It is very low in calories. 3/4 cup of cooked broccoli provides 7g fiber. You should try to consume broccoli raw but if you want to eat it in the cooked form then go for steamed, boiled, and baked broccoli. You can toss it with little olive oil, salt, and pepper.
 3) Apples Apples also have lots of fiber. They contain both types of fiber - soluble and insoluble. Consume apples with their skin as their skin is rich sources of fiber. 1 medium apple provides around 3 g to 5 g of fiber depending upon the size. Apples do not contain fat, sodium and cholesterol. They are natural source of phytonutrients and antioxidants like flavonoid and polyphenols. They contain minerals, pectin, malic acid, vitamins and tartaric acid.
4) Carrots Carrots are an excellent way to boost fiber amount in your kid’s diet. Carrots contain lots of fiber & water but low in calories. 1 cup raw carrots provide 4 g of fiber. They are also rich in protein, iron, vitamin A, alkaline calcium, beta-carotene, sulfur, glutathione, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and chlorine. Try to consume raw carrots served on the side to preserve essential vitamins and minerals.
5) Avocados Avocados are an excellent source of fiber but they are also high in fat. The fat contained in avocados are healthy but you should eat them in moderation. Medium size avocado contain 10 to 13 grams of fiber. The fiber amount can vary depending on the size and type of avocados. They are rich source of Vitamin A, iron, folate, carotenoids, potassium, Vitamin C and calcium. You can consume avocados alone or add them on salad or just make guacamole for dipping.
 6) Spinach Spinach also carries lots of fiber and water. 10 ounces of frozen spinach provide about 8g of fiber while 1 cup cooked spinach gives 14 g of fiber. Spinach are also high in calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin K, zinc, folic acid, vitamin B6, iron, sodium, selenium, vitamin C and potassium. It also contains lutein, inositol and choline. You can consume raw spinach salads or it can be eaten steamed, boiled, or sautéed.
7) Peaches Juicy and delicious peaches are very high in dietary fiber. Compared to fresh peaches, dried peaches contain more fiber. 1 medium fresh peach gives 2g of fiber while dried peach gives 3g. They are also high in potassium, Vitamin A, calcium, niacin, Vitamin C and carbohydrates. You can consume this fruit alone or make smoothies of it or add to the breakfast oatmeal.
8) Banana Banana is a great way to include fiber into the diet of a kid. 1 medium banana provides 2 - 4 grams of fiber. Banana also contains vitamins and minerals like potassium, niacin, protein, riboflavin, carbs, thiamine, sodium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium and magnesium. Just eat the fruit or add it in the cereal.
9) Artichoke Another vegetable which is high in fiber is artichokes. They are low in fat, calories and sodium. 1 medium artichoke provides around 10.3 g of fiber. They are also high in vitamin C, magnesium, folate and potassium. Frozen artichokes also provide fiber as much as fresh. You can cook artichokes by baking, steaming and grilling. Add artichoke to salad or eat steamed fresh artichokes with a small amount of olive oil.
10) Peas Green peas are great source of fiber whether you select fresh, frozen or canned. 1 cup cooked green peas provide 8.8 g of fiber. Green peas also contain thiamin, carbohydrates, iron, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, zinc, Vitamin C and niacin. Just eat them by the spoonful or add them to soups, casseroles, salads, pasta, rice and pot pies.


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