As parents we keep a close eye on our kids' sugar intake and we know the importance of protein, but are we overlooking fiber?
Fiber may be the most important and underrated food group when it comes to nourishing our kids.
Fiber is not fully digested in our bellies like other foods (you can learn about the two types of fiber here), so it ends up slowing down the digestion and absorption of the other foods we eat.
Why is this important?
Because when we eat non-fiber foods (especially ones high in sugar) we often get a quick blood sugar spike (an energy rush!) followed by a quick insulin spike (an energy crash).
We're quickly left tired and hungry.
In addition to poor energy, studies have shown that it's not just the amount of sugar we consume that is detrimental, but also the speed at which it is absorbed into our system.
Fiber is the antidote since it moves through our gut and slows down sugars release into our system.
This is why while all sugars will eventually be treated by our bodies in a similar way no matter where they come from, eating a piece of fruit that contains fiber along with sugar is far better than eating sugar by itself via candy or juice.
So, you ask: "How much fiber does my kid need?"
According to KidsHealth.org, a good starting place is to take your kids' age and add 5 to it:
• A 5-year-old should get about 10–15 grams of fiber every day
• A 10-year old should get 15–20 grams of fiber a day
• A 15-year-old should get 20–25 grams of fiber a day
When looking for foods high in fiber, think beans, potatoes, leafy greens, and whole grains.
Zeek Bars have 6-7g of fiber from Tapioca. Including fiber was important to us not just to help with digestion and the issues we've just discussed, but also to help kids feel full and fueled longer!