Wednesday, February 13, 2013



February is a great month to learn about fiber.  This is American Heart Month and one great way to improve our heart’s health is to eat plenty of foods high in dietary fiber such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lentils and split peas. 

Half of your lunch and dinner plate should be fruits and veggies.

Lentil burger on a whole grain flatbread bun.  

I frequently write about the importance of dietary fiber because too many of us eat too little of it.  Too little fiber is a major contributor to our obesity epidemic.  When we are overweight or obese, our hearts have to work harder. 

Here are some facts and tips for parents:
  • Fiber is what fills us up and prevents us from overeating. 
  • Fiber is the GOOD kind of carbohydrate.
  • It is only found in plant foods.
  •  It is NOT found in foods that come from animals. 
  • Every day we need 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories  consumed (around 28 grams of fiber based on 2,000 calories a day).
  • As you increase your dietary fiber, increase the amount of water you drink.
  • Read food labels of the foods your kids eat most often to check for grams of dietary fiber.
  • Use “THE NANCY RULE” for buying breads and pastas:

  1. Choose products with 4 OR MORE grams of dietary fiber per slice or per serving AND
  2. The first ingredient includes the word “WHOLE”.

Here are links to great resources on fiber, heart health, and weight loss parents can use: and

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids