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Teaching kids about healthy fiber and whole grains. Kid-friendly food tips for pasta + get coupon, enter giveaway

Posted on Jan 30, 2012 by Maggie LaBarbera

Enter to WinAbout GrainsTeach Kids about Grains and Fiber | Learn About Fiber | Thanks to Sponsor/Supporters | Find Giveaways-Links

This week our healthy goal of the week continues with a pledge to help kids eat more fiber rich foods. We have more information about fiber and tips for parents, and tools for teachers about the Grains Food Group and Fiber.

And, of course, fun online tools, games, puzzles and printable activity pages for teaching kids about fiber and whole grains

We are excited to share a new giveaway- join this week's healthy goal and enter to win Dreamfields Pasta ($30 value).

*You also get a coupon and our NEW 'healthy pasta food ideas for kids' tip sheet for joining this week's goal for healthier kids to help support your goal to help kids make one healthy change a week!

fiber goal and enter to win giveaway for pasta

It is because of sponsors committed to supporting our free nutrition education website that more children, families and schools can benefit from our new interactive educational tools and healthy online games.

Please take a moment to show your appreciation by visiting this week's healthy pledge sponsor Dreamfields Pasta to learn more about them and the food they offer- be sure to check out their fantastic recipes and get a printable coupon to save $1 on Dreamfields Pasta! 

Every entry this week gets our special PDFs to support to your healthy goals! We have 5 special PDFs you can print out 1 or all 5.

(*Teachers, youth centers, and nutrition professionals are encouraged to print and copy to give to students or families.)

 get free healthy food tips enter to win goal giveaway             

Here's some facts about fiber and grains for families and fun printables and games to teach kids about fiber and the Grain Food Group.

Together we can help give kids the facts and skills to make healthier choices!

What Is The Grains Group

The grains group is made up of all foods that are made of whole and refined grains.   This food group provides energy and can be a great source of fiber and vitamins.

Grains are dry foods that are found in packages usually on the shelf of the grocery store.

learn about grains food groupGrain foods can be purchased as whole grains or refined grains.  

Whole grains means that the foods are made from the entire grain.  Whole grains have all the natural fiber, vitamins and minerals and is the healthiest way to eat whole grains.  Look for the words "100% whole grains" or "100% whole (name of the grain)".

Refined grains have been processed where the outer part of the grain called bran and then germ that provides nutrition to the grain is removed.  This gives the grain product a finer texture.  Most foods made from refined grains have lost a lot of their nutrition during the processing (also called milling).  These foods are often enriched, meaning the food manufacturers will add back in some of the vitamin Bs and iron to the food product.  The package will say "enriched".

Some food products are made from a mixture of both whole grains and refined grains.  You can check the ingredients list.  You may also see words like "contains" whole grains.  But unless it says "100% whole grains" than part of the grains used in the food product has been processed.

​Fun ways to help kids learn about about Grains and Fiber:

fiber food list for kids printableWhat Is Dietary Fiber?

Fiber is part of the plant food that our body does not digest. You can find dietary fiber in the following plant foods: fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, seeds, nuts and whole grains. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Both are important for a healthy diet.
  • Soluble fiber acts like a sponge. It absorbs water in the intestines and forms a gluey gel that picks up cholesterol and carries it out of the body.
  • Insoluble fiber acts like a broom because it doesn’t dissolve in water. It adds bulk and softness to the stools and keeps them moving along comfortably preventing constipation.
  • Print our Fiber Rich Food List! Learn about high fiber foods and take it with you on your next trip to the grocery store
Children’s diets tend to be higher in grains that have been stripped of its fiber called refined grains. Examples of refined grains that no longer have fiber are white rice, white bread, non-whole grain pasta and many cereals.
This is why it is important to look for 100% whole grain foods. Fiber is high in natural grains like oats, barley, bulgar, quinoa, rye, spelt and wheat.
Tips for increasing children's daily fiber:
  • Plan your meals ahead to include at least half of your grains are 100% whole grains.
  • Give your child plenty of water.
  • Cut back on refined foods.
  • Encourage your child to use the Nutrition Facts label to find out how much fiber is in each serving of food. A good rule of thumb to remember is if the food has 5 grams or more per serving it is considered high in fiber.
  • Be a positive role model; children learn many of their behaviors by watching what older siblings and grown-ups do. The next time the fresh vegetables are passed to you, take a serving and say, “I love fresh vegetables!” Soon your child will be eating it and saying they love it too.

General Guidelines - Daily Fiber Dietary Needs

Here are the most recent daily recommendations from the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI’s):

The Health Benefits of Fiber

Fiber has mounting research that shows we need to have fiber in our diet every day to fight off disease and promote overall well-being. Eating high fiber foods is a healthy habit for kids to form at a young age that will benefit throughout their lives.
Fiber has the following health benefits:
  • It keeps your child’s intestines working comfortably.
  • It protects against constipation when combined with enough water.
  • It fills up your child’s tummy so they will be satisfied and not overeat.
  • It reduces the risk of many diseases including diabetes and certain cancers.
  • It reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
  • It is also helpful for diabetics, helping manage blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Food high in fiber can found in a variety of foods like beans, vegetables and fruits.  Foods made from 100% whole grains are an excellent source of fiber.  Read more about the grains group.

See List of Fiber Rich Foods

​2012 Top 10 Healthy Food Tips for Families PDF

Changing your child’s daily diet should be a positive experience. Explain to them why fiber is important for the whole family to feel healthy. You don’t want to get upset and frustrated with your child if they don’t want to try higher fiber foods. Just be positive with your encouragement and keep introducing higher fiber foods.

There is a nice variety of foods high in fiber, so help your child find the ones they enjoy. Gradual changes are always best and don’t forget to celebrate the small changes as they occur. Before you know it, your whole family will be used to eating healthier high fiber food!

​Thanks for helping kids to eat healthier and for your support!

1. Harvard School of Public Health Dietary Fiber Needs -

learn about our healthy change goals and giveaways

You can help spread the word- share a badge to show you participate in healthy pledges for kids or if you have blog or healthy products for families consider sharing a blog post about our healthy pledges and get free ad-space.

It is because of sponsors committed to supporting our free nutrition education website that more children, families and schools can benefit from our new interactive educational tools and healthy online games. The site have over 25 games and tools and 1000 nutrition education printables. We get over 1 million page views a month and we have over 100,000 registered members who have fun and learn on our website. Our kids area is 100% advertisement free so you don't have to worry about food marketing when kids play our games!

​We hear so much about companies marketing junk food to kids or gamifying online to reach children. We believe some of our energy could be also used to APPLAUD and SUPPORT the food companies who put in great effort to support healthy nutrition websites, like Nourish Interactive! Look into learning more about and purchasing products from companies that don't market junk food to kids, 'gamify' their junk food ads, or make food claims to trick parents!

Please take a moment to show your appreciation by visiting this week's healthy pledge sponsor Dreamfields Pasta to learn more about them and the food they offer- be sure to check out their fantastic recipes and get a printable coupon to save $1 on Dreamfields Pasta! 

Your support of the website, healthy pledges and sponsors help us to make even more games, tools and printables and reach out to more kids, families and schools! 

A big thank you to these websites and blogs for sharing our healthy weekly goals and family-friendly healthy giveaways: 

         Frugal Friend   Promoting blog giveaways, events, contests and sweepstakes.      find frugal freebies and giveaways       Online Sweepstakes and Contests   Pot Of Gold Giveaways  Thrifty Jinxy  howard house giveaways and more     Contest Corner - The best giveaways on the net!

Online-Sweepstakes and contests for moms: Contests & Sweepstakes


play kids games online food games healthy nutrition




Tuesday, Jan 31, 2012 @ 07:41 PM

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Wow! Thank you for this post! The links are great! There are also other sites that give out info about nutrition. Here's a site that will help out:
Sunday, Feb 05, 2012 @ 02:58 PM

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Great blog about nutrition. The print outs are wonderful. Thanks so much.

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