Fiber is something all kids need in their diets but most aren’t getting enough from foods like fruits and vegetables and those with whole grains.
In fact, 9 in 10 kids don’t eat enough vegetables, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and 39 percent don’t eat any whole grains.
If you’re trying to get your kids to eat more fiber-rich foods, the good news is that you don’t have to resort to gritty bran cereal, sneak vegetables into their meals or force them to drink a fiber supplement.
With plenty of opportunities to taste and explore new fiber-rich foods, kids can grow to accept—and even crave them.
These 10 picks are healthy, delicious and super-easy to incorporate into any meal or serve as snacks.
When you think of high-fiber foods, apples are usually the first to come to mind.
With more than 4 grams of fiber in one medium apple, they’re also a great source of vitamin C, and have quercetin, an antioxidant that may improve cognitive function, a March 2017 mice study in the journal Behavioral Brain Research suggests.
2. Chia seeds
With a whopping 10.6 grams of fiber in every ounce, chia seeds are a standout when it comes to fiber-rich foods for kids.
Chia seeds are also high in protein, a good source of calcium, and the highest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, which studies show support cardiovascular health, lower inflammation, prevent chronic disease, and support brain health.
A word of caution: due to the risk of an obstruction in the esophagus, avoid feeding chia seeds to little ones.
All types of berries are high in fiber, but with more than 6 grams of fiber in a 1/2 cup, raspberries are one of the best.
Raspberries are also loaded with antioxidants and rich in vitamins C, K, and magnesium, and they’re low glycemic so they won’t spike your kid’s blood sugar.
Avocado is a superfood for kids, thanks to almost 2 grams of fiber in every ounce.
Real figs (not the cookie kind!) are one of the healthiest foods you can feed your kids.
A 1/2 cup of raw figs contain nearly 3 grams of fiber while the same portion of dried figs have more than 9 grams.
Figs are also a great source of calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin K.
If you’re looking for a crunchy kids’ snack with some fiber, serve up some popcorn.
A cup of popcorn has more than 1 gram of fiber, which isn’t a ton but it’s much better than a bag of chips for example, and it’s a whole grain. Unlike refined carbohydrates, whole grain carbohydrates keep blood sugar steady and help stave off hunger.
7. Rolled oats
With 6 grams of filling fiber in a 1/2 cup, rolled oats are a good source of whole grains as well as iron, selenium and manganese.
When buying rolled oats or oatmeal, always read labels and compare brands because the amount of fiber can vary.
With nearly 3 grams of fiber in one ounce, almonds are fiber-rich and filling.
Almonds are also a great source of protein and iron, and make for a quick and easy kids’ snack.
9. Sweet potatoes
With more than 3 grams of fiber in a 1/2 cup, sweet potatoes are one of the best high-fiber foods to feed your kids.
Sweet potatoes are also loaded with antioxidants and lend themselves to almost any meal.
You can’t go wrong with beans, which are high in both fiber and protein, and an excellent source of folate, zinc, iron and magnesium. They’re also rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that fights inflammation.
Navy beans and small white beans are some of the highest in fiber—more than 9 grams in a 1/2 cup.