Eat This: Focus on Fiber

Making simple dietary changes and substitutions

You've jumped on the whole-wheat bandwagon, but after repeated dinner fiascos with brown rice and pasta, you're ready to let them eat the white stuff. But despite the grumbles and leftovers you may initially face, it's well worth the effort to find ways to boost your family's fiber without causing a mutiny.

Adding fiber is one of the simplest ways to upgrade your child's diet, says Jaimie Davis, a Ph.D. and registered dietitian who helps Los Angeles families fight obesity. Fiber, found in the germ of most grains and the seeds and skins of fruits and vegetables, is a nutritional superstar that helps adults and kids maintain a healthy weight.

Why Fiber?

Digestive Wonder
Fiber helps food move efficiently through the body and keeps you regular.

Belly-Filler
Fiber adds bulk to foods, filling you up faster and keeping you satisfied longer. This can help prevent overeating other less nutritious foods, as well as keep active kids fueled until the next meal. Many high-fiber foods are also naturally low in calories and fat.

Heart Protector
Help your child adopt a taste for fiber now, and it will do her heart good for all her years ahead. Research suggests diets high in fiber can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Next: Top 5 Fiber-Rich Foods (that kids will eat too!)

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