by Sharanya Munsi
Children deserve the throne when it comes to picky eating. Their volatile food preferences are hard to keep up especially when you are trying to be the good parent who wants to provide wholesome nutritious food. As a parent, the temptation to give in to their food tantrums always reigns high until the virtues of parenthood pull you back and remind you to be responsible. But the struggle need not always be that dramatic when it comes to providing fiber foods to your children. Mother nature in her delectable ways has provided a wide range of high fiber food for babies that need to be creatively prepared to appeal to your little one’s taste buds. Here’s a look at seven high fiber food categories that can be palatable for kids to enjoy.
The world right now is chasing exotic millet found across the world but little do Indian parents know that our ancient millet are just as good and are ranked as one of the best fiber foods due to their numerous health benefits. Their versatile nature and usually neutral taste means these traditional millets like dalia, oats and foxtail millet can be easily turned into delicious meals like risottos, khichidi, salads, Persarattu pops and others.
The fruit kingdom gets the crown in the search for high fibre foods for babies. It is always a wise idea to introduce children to the taste of fruits at a young age to increase their fibre in-take. Fruits such as bananas, apples, berries, pears are some of the best options to go for as they are high on fibre and wholesome to the taste buds. Rotate their intake and merge them with other items like pancakes, custards, yoghurts and you will have a happy kid who enjoys their fruits rather than see them as torture food.
Vegetables, though mostly abhorred by children, actually are high fibre food that pack in all the benefits like keeping the digestive tract active, preventing constipation and others. Luckily, veggies like green peas, sweet potato, carrots, beets fall in the fibre food category and can be easily cooked to make interesting items like soups, cutlets and be accompaniments to main dishes.
Children are not big fans of lentils. Usually seen in their bland yellow colours, an upturned nose is the usual reaction from them but it is pertinent to note that lentils are a rich source of protein, vitamins and minerals. This means, even a small serving of lentils like split peas, chickpeas, cowpeas and others can go a long way to keep your child healthy.
When it comes to fibre foods, mung beans, kidney beans and others are nothing short of magic beans. When eaten adequately, they are a powerhouse of protein, fiber, folate, magnesium, iron, and potassium. Parents can creatively incorporate beans as burger patties, cutlets or sandwich fillings.
When kids snack right, there is little to be worried about. Thankfully, fibre food options exist in the form of popcorn, whole grain pasta and corn chaat. These are easy to make and fun to eat. So make sure your child has a healthy serving of these in case he or she has been refusing the other categories of servings of high fibre food.
7. Flour mix
If your child refuses to eat fibre foods when served stand alone, you can always opt for indirect ways of incorporating it in their diets. Having the right flour or atta mix can be a key to unlocking this challenge. Don’t blindly go for store bought wholegrain atta, instead, opt for a balanced mix of flours like ragi, barley, buckwheat and others at the local wheat grinder. This keeps the mix fresh and pure.
Including fiber foods in your child’s diet goes a long way in helping build their immunity and strength. So take some time to plan their meals to include it in varying quantities and in various forms.