Do you and your kids consume the recommended 25 to 38 grams of fiber each day (19 grams for children 1 to 3 years old)? Fiber is good for digestion, lowers blood cholesterol, keeps blood sugar in check, plays a role in maintaining a healthy body weight, and is the “food” of choice for the trillions of beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. Despite all the positive health benefits of fiber, on average, most people consume just 15 grams a day.
I’m all about baby steps, so if your diet falls short on fiber, boost your intake by adding just 5 extra grams a day. In Part #5 of my 5-part series on Easy Ways to Improve Your Family’s Diet, I have 5 surprisingly easy ways to eat those 5 extra grams.
PART: Add 5 Extra Grams of Fiber to Your Diet
Bean Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce
Black Beans: Your gut is home to more than 100 trillion bacteria, and they thrive on a fiber-rich diet. So turn to beans for an excellent source. Incorporating just a third of a cup of black beans (or any bean variety for that matter!) into your meals and snacks brings you 5 grams closer to meeting your daily fiber goals. Toss beans into your family’s favorite soup, use as a filling in our black bean enchiladas, add to an omelet, or incorporate into a favorite salad.
Almonds: Crunchy, versatile, and delicious, almonds are a fiber-lover’s dream with 5 grams of fiber in just a third of a cup. Nibble on almonds as a snack, layer into a breakfast parfait with Greek yogurt, fresh berries, and whole grain cereal, stir into a grain salad, or use as an ingredient in trail mix.
Broccoli: This bright green cruciferous vegetable is popular with families. Even picky eaters seem to love it, especially the florets (AKA “trees”). One cup is all it takes to get those 5 extra grams of fiber. Steam broccoli florets and serve with a drizzle of olive oil, toss into stir fries, add to casseroles, serve raw florets with a yogurt-based dip, add to soups, or adorn with a delicious dressing.
Pears: 1 small pear has an impressive 5 grams of fiber. (By comparison, 1 small apple has 2.5 grams.) Naturally sweet and juicy, you can add a pear to a fruit smoothie, nibble on one at snack time, use in a healthy dessert crisp, use as an ingredient in homemade applesauce, or dice into a fresh fruit salad.
Avocados: Did you know that avocados are technically a fruit and that they’re rich in healthy monounsaturated fat and fiber? Eating half a medium-size avocado brings 5 grams of fiber to the table along with a luscious flavor and texture that’s hard to resist. Mash avocados for guacamole, slice and add to omelets, wraps, or a sandwich, blend into a green smoothie bowl, or use as a topping for a chef salad. Heck, you can even make a creamy chocolate pudding or frosty with avocados.
What’s your secret to adding more fiber to your family’s diet?
Read the previous posts in my series:
– How to Market Good Nutrition to Kids
– Weave One (or more!) Nutrient-Rich Ingredients Into Everything You Make
– Give Snacks a Healthy Makeover
– Slash Added Sugar from Your Diet
– Add 5 Extra Grams of Fiber to Your Daily Diet