What Not to Do to Get Your Child to Eat More Fiber

Posted on January 11, 2008. Filed under: Family Life | Tags: , , , |

Friday is about Family Life

My four year old’s eating habits are like many other preschoolers–she only eats white foods. Food like potatoes, rice, pasta, milk, sugar, and yogurt are her favorites. Anything with color, like green or orange vegetables or fruits, are a challenge to get into her. She is my third kid, and I learned with the others to keep on introducing new foods and kids will ultimately eat a variety of good things as they grow older. However, before that time comes, I worry if she is getting enough vitamins and fiber from the food she does eat. I give her a daily vitamin, but don’t have a lot of options for giving her extra fiber.

Then my husband picked up some psyllium from the health food store. Psyllium is a type of seed husk that has a lot of fiber and is the main ingredient in products like Metamucil. It comes in a powder form, and almost looks like finely ground wheat germ. Most people mix a tablespoon into a glass of water and drink it down. Although that can be a challenge because it absorbs water and becomes a bland tasting, viscous fluid with psyllium grit. The bottom line is there is no way a kid is going to willingly drink it down.


There are a bunch of cookbooks that recently came out that tell parents how to hide good foods like vegetables in everyday foods kids are willing to eat. So having heard about the successes these authors had in sneaking good foods into their kids, I devised a plan where I was going to do the same. My plan was to make my daughter a bowl of Farina for breakfast (it is another white food she will eat), and sprinkle some psyllium on top of her cereal. I then realized it would add color to her cereal and thought it would be better to just put it into the boiling water and cook it with her cereal.

What I learned is you are not supposed to cook psyllium. It absorbs all of the liquid and forms a gelatinous blob, that looks like a mixture of Farina and snot. (here’s a picture). I figured she wouldn’t eat that either.

In the end, I had to start all over and make a new pot of cereal. I sprinkled the psyllium on top and she ate it without a question.

Congrats to those cookbook authors and their successes at creating healthy foods for their kids. I will keep it simple and stick with vitamins, sprinkling psyllium on top of her food, and waiting until she out grows her picky eating .



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  • About

    Musings on how a disorganized woman with a full time job, three kids and a real need to relax is trying to make life simple.

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