Fiber is one of the important components of the food pyramid. It is important since it helps with the proper digestion of the food that we eat and also helps with better absorption of such foods. Many a times, food containing dietary fiber are overlooked by children. Hence, as a parent it is an important duty to incorporate such dietary fibers in their kid’s diet. But choosing a good source of dietary fibers is also important.
Amount of fiber needed by preschoolers
There are many factors that affect a preschooler’s need for dietary fibers such as age, sex, extent of activity.
- Making healthy food choices is the simplest way to make your child strong and healthy. What is meant by making healthy food choices, is to make sure that your child gets ample amount of food containing dietary fibers which are present in fruits and vegetables. If 4-5 servings of fruits are consumed each along with rest of the foods then required amount of fibers would be met.
- Counting dietary fiber can also be taken as a food goal for keeping track of the diet and nutrients of the children. To count daily fiber intake ratio, simply add 5 to the age of the child. For example, a 3 year old would need about 8 gms of fiber each day. The total daily recommended amount of up to 25 grams for adults can be used as a general guideline for children.
Importance of fiber
The most important feature of fiber is that it keeps the food moving in the digestive tract which good for our metabolism. Half of the population today suffers from constipation due to consumption of a lot of fried and junk food. Fibers taken in proper amount helps in preventing constipation. Risk of diseases such cancer or heart diseases can be prevented since these foods contain certain vitamins and minerals which are important to maintain a healthy body and keep the person safe from such infirmities.
Good sources of fiber include:
- Fruits (such as mango, pineapple, watermelon)
- Vegetables (lady fingers, spinach, peas)
The image is a description of a nutrition facts chart labeled on a food item.
Nutritional Facts are mainly the ingredients and their nutritional properties, enlisted at the backside of a food item. With the help of nutritional facts the right food which suits a person’s needs can be easily sought, including fiber. In the above image dietary fiber is listed under total carbohydrates which is also highlighted.
- 5 or more grams of fiber are excellent sources in food
The image shows the constituting ingredients in a whole grain food.
- Food labeled as whole grains do not mean that they will be rich in fiber. Since the fiber content in grains vary widely. Whole grain wheat contains more fiber than brown rice or oats. The brand can also affect the amount of fiber.
- Food containing whole grain wheat, rice, rye, maize should be taken as they are good sources of whole grains rich in dietary fibers, which are good for the child’s health.