BY SHARANYA MUNSI
Children deserve the throne when it comes to picky eating. Sugar-laced, and salty food, low on fiber and nutrients is every parent's worst nightmare. Our children's volatile food preferences are hard to keep up especially when we 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 high 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.
7 Fiber foods for kids and adults:
The world right now is chasing exotic millet found across the world but little do Indian parents know that our ancient millet is just as good and is ranked as one of the best fiber foods due to their numerous health benefits. Their versatile nature and usually neutral taste mean these traditional millets like dalia, oats, and foxtail millet can be easily turned into delicious meals like homemade risottos, khichdi, salads, Persarattu pops, and others.
2. Fruits high in fiber
The fruit kingdom gets the crown in the search for high-fiber foods for babies. It is always a wise idea to introduce children to the taste of fruits at a young age to increase their fiber intake. Fruits high in fiber include bananas (fiber in a banana is 2.6 gram), apples, berries, pears are some of the best options to go for as they are high in fiber and wholesome to the taste buds. Rotate their intake and merge them with other items like pancakes, custards, yogurts and you will have a happy kid who enjoys their fruits rather than see them as torture food.
3. Fiber-rich vegetables
Vegetables, though mostly abhorred by children, actually are high fiber food that packs 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 fiber food category and can be easily cooked to make interesting items like soups, cutlets, and be accompaniments to main dishes.
4. Lentils - Good fiber foods
Children are not big fans of lentils. Usually seen in their bland yellow colors, an upturned nose is a 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.
5. Beans - One of the best fiber foods for kids
When it comes to fiber 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.
6. High-fiber snacks
When kids snack right, there is little to be worried about. Thankfully, fiber 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 fiber food.
7. Flour mix
If your child refuses to eat fiber foods when served stand-alone, you can always opt for indirect ways of incorporating it into their diets. Other than fruits and vegetables high in fiber, having the right flour or atta mix can be a key to unlocking this challenge. Don’t blindly go for store-bought whole grain 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 good sources of fiber 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 them in varying quantities and in various forms.