What are you feeding your family?
I'm always looking for ways to improve my family's health. The little changes we make can really add up.
One of my latest finds is a particular food that blocks the absorption of fat and keeps you fuller longer. Wow! What is it? It's fiber, of course. Now the trick is to find fibrous foods that your family will enjoy eating. I've tried a few this week, and while some were a big hit, others were, honestly, sort of bland.
We started off with homemade apple cinnamon muffins. The recipe is on the back of the Hodgson Milled Flaxseed box, with added flaxseed and gluten for additional fiber as well as Omega 3 oils (the "happy" oils are what they call them in the health food store). Everyone loved them, ate them up and stayed full for several hours.
Another high fiber food we've been munching on that I love to toss in a bag as a snack are Quaker Oatmeal Squares Cereal. These are so tasty, with a hint of brown sugar, and really keep me from getting hungry during the day. They have five grams of fiber per one-cup serving; that's 19 percent of your daily required intake, so if you eat two cups throughout the day, then you're really getting quite a bit, not to mention that it's a great dieter's snack (I've lost five pounds already).
We've also tried "Fifteen Bean" soup since beans are such a great source of fiber as well as protein. I liked it well enough, but the kids found it to be a little bland; nothing a little added ham won't help next time!
Here's a list of high-fiber foods that you may want to try working in to your family's diet: Navy beans (super high), lentils, garbonzos, black beans, kidney beans and refried beans. Have you got the idea yet? Eat beans for the carbohydrate side of your dinner frequently.
More sources of fiber include whole grain breads, peanuts, oatmeal, oat bran, bran cereals, Honey Nut Cheerios, couscous, brown rice or brown pasta (that's what we've switched to for the last few months and the kids love it; try the angel hair), potatoes with the skin on, apples with the skin on, raspberries, strawberries, pears, dates, raisins, apricots, prunes, applesauce, spinach, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green peas, carrots, tomato soup and celery.
I scanned several lists of these on the computer and these were the ones I found. Remember, to be listed as a "high fiber" food, it is supposed to have five or more grams per serving.
Also, keep in mind your sugar intake in some of those foods that claim to be high fiber. They are all right, but they may be high sugar, too, like the Quaker Oatmeal breakfast bars, which have a whopping 19 grams of sugar per serving. That's almost five teaspoons of sugar packed into that little bar! (Well it should be tasty, my goodness!)
Four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon, so when I see people drinking their "vitamin" water, I just laugh. It's more like sugar water with 26 grams of sugar per bottle. That's 13 grams per 10-ounce serving. Since there's four grams for every one teaspoon, that makes six and a half teaspoons of sugar per bottle.
Well, I hope you can get some great food ideas for your family since fiber also helps fight cardiovascular disease as well as keeps your digestive tract healthy.
Ruthie Davidson is a mother of four children, ages 5 to 10. She lives in South Daytona and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.