Kids need fiber: Why and how to boost their intake

Florasophy blog: Kids need fiber

Kids need fiber in their diets for all the same reasons adults do. And just like adults, most kids don't get enough, especially the hard-to-come-by-in-diet alone 🌟soluble🌟 fiber. It's essential for digestion, and even more important for kids that struggle with regularity or for picky eaters that get less variety of plant-based foods.

Want to know more? Fiber can help kids feel fuller longer. And by taming glucose spikes and helping maintain steady blood sugar, kids can focus longer and better between meals.

The transition back to school can be tough. Changes in routines and schedules mean more parental planning and organization as we reinforce earlier bedtimes, time for extracurriculars and homework, and regular mealtimes. This is no small feat, but parents aren’t the only ones that have to get their head back in the game. After 3 months of summer vacation, kids are adjusting to the classroom again, demanding more focus, attention and self-control.

One of the most impactful ways we can support our kids’ success in school is by helping them maintain a healthy energy balance. This means they are fueled with food that provides sustained energy all day, without blood sugar spikes and dips. Increasing soluble fiber intake slows digestion and absorption of sugars and starch not only leading to more consistent energy and focus, but better satiety between meals.

Boosting soluble fiber for breakfast and lunch gives your child an advantage, but it’s not always easy. Here are 5 hacks that will get the job done without a fight.

Apples and fiber-filled nut butter

This tried-and-true snack is already a winner when it comes to keeping kids fueled. The combo of apples and nut butter provides a healthy balance of carbs, fat and protein. And in recent years, food manufactures have expanded options that go well beyond peanut butter, offering countless nut and seed butter alternatives. Our personal “fave” is the NuttZo organic nut & seed combo that boasts chia and flax (two great sources of soluble fiber) but we don’t stop there. We suggest mixing 1 tsp Florasophy into 2 tbsp Nuttzo. This high-soluble fiber treat is a fantastic breakfast snack for your returning students. Recipe

Fiber-boosted oatmeal cookies

Oatmeal is already a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, but with this delicious treat, your kids can get over ½ of their daily soluble fiber in one cookie, alone. In fact, this cookie is so good (and good for you) that we “wow” our kids by letting them eat these for breakfast. Each cookie provides over 8g fiber (6 g soluble fiber). Recipe

Better banana bread

Looking for the perfect breakfast or after school snack that you can prepare on Sunday and serve all week? This is it! This fiber-boosted banana bread not only offers almost 8 grams of fiber, but each slice also provides over 9 grams of protein. This is a fan favorite in our homes and is a perfect high-fiber option for families on the go. Recipe

Pancakes with purpose

Pancakes don’t have to be reserved for relaxed weekends. This little trick will keep you on track with your morning routine while without fighting your kids to eat before school. Before the week starts, pre-prep your batter by following the instructions on your favorite pancake mix and storing in the fridge. When you’re ready to fry up a delicious pancake for your kiddo, add ¼ cup milk or water and 1 tbsp. Florasophy for every 1 cup batter you use. Mix well, and fry. The added fiber will keep your kids’ focused and energized without a mid-morning hunger crash. Recipe

Quick and easy protein bites

Having an easy-to-grab and ready-to-go snack or breakfast option is essential in our homes. These bites can be stored in the freezer or fridge and are ready for a high-fiber, minimal glucose spike addition to any day. Recipe

Megan Barnett on KATU talking about kids and fiber

Megan recently appeared on KATU talking about kids and fiber. Watch the segment

About Megan Barnett, MS, CNS

Megan Barnett, MSMegan Barnett is a functional medicine practitioner in Portland, Oregon. In her clinical practice, she helps patients identify the root cause of their health problems, then designs individualized and evidence-based approaches to alleviate symptoms and help their bodies heal. She has a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Kansas State University and a Master of Science in Nutrition and Functional Medicine from University of Western States.