It’s important to realize and meet the challenge of getting enough fiber in your child’s new diet, and it’s easy, too.
Why is that it’s more difficult to get enough fiber in a gluten-free diet? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, grains which are high in fiber. Rice flours and the starches commonly used in gluten-free diets are lower in fiber than many gluten-containing grains. Luckily, you can still get plenty of fiber from other sources than whole wheat.
One grain I highly recommend is quinoa. It is a great source of fiber and can be used in many tasty dishes your child will be sure to enjoy. Not only is quinoa high in fiber, yielding seven grams of fiber per serving, as an added bonus, it’s also high in protein with a whopping fourteen grams per serving. Check out quinoa flour which is great for making pizza dough and bread.
Brown rice is also a great alternative to gluten-containing alternatives with three grams of fiber per serving. Brown rice retains the most nutrients of any variety of rice; whereas white rice loses some of the nutrients while it’s processed, brown rice holds onto its nutrients and fiber. This high-fiber substitute can be enjoyed in soups, puddings, and stir-fries, as well as on the side.
An important way to provide enough fiber in your child’s diet is by feeding him lots of fruits and vegetables, which are thankfully gluten-free. A simple salad, containing spinach leaves, broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes, adds seven grams of fiber to your family’s dinner. Apples make a great, high-fiber snack for your celiac child at school. For dessert or along with a meal, a fruit salad can add three to five grams of fiber. I also recommend dates, which have around four grams of fiber per serving.
So how much fiber is recommended for your child? Your child needs daily the number of his age in years plus 5 to 10 grams. For example, a 5-year-old would need between 10 and 15 grams of fiber (5 years plus 5 to 10 grams).
From our home to yours, Tina Turbin.