Feeding kids well is not as hard as it seems. The trick is having lots of good choices available. Fiber is a crucial part of a healthy diet. Here are a few easy ways to incorporate fiber into your kids' diets (and your own!)

My favorite source of fiber is Fiber One cereal. It's amazing how many different ways you can incorporate it into your cooking and eating.

Use Fiber One to make all sorts of nutritious muffins that you and your kids will enjoy. (I'll post my favorite apple bran muffin recipe below.)

Throw a half-cup of Fiber One into your pancake batter to add some fiber.

Mix some into your yogurt for extra flavor.

Throw some on top of your salad for a wholesome crunch. The possibilities are endless.

Add a half-cup to your favorite meatloaf recipe. Don't mention it, and they'll never even know it's in there.

In our home, my children actually enjoy Fiber One for breakfast with milk and a sprinkling of brown sugar on top. I was skeptical the first time they asked to try it, and surprised when they liked it. The lesson here -- don't assume your kids won't eat something just because it sounds revolting to you. (Don't put your food issues onto them.)

Fruit is another tasty source of fiber -- apple slices, oranges, rasberries, raisins, and pears are popular and healthy alternatives to chips and crackers that so many kids like to snack on.

Do your children eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch? My son takes one to school every day. If you replace the sugary jelly with banana slices and use whole grain bread, you have substantially increased your child's daily fiber intake.

Not a peanut butter fan? Try making mini pizzas on whole grain English muffins. Thomas' Light Multi Grain English Muffins have EIGHT grams of fiber in each one.

Another way to eat them is to make a sandwich with the English muffin and a fried egg and a slice of cheese. This is my favorite breakfast treat. Eating fiber early in the day helps ward off hunger.

Don't assume because they turn their noses up at something the first time it's offered that they won't try it again. Be low-key about it, model good eating, and try to keep poor food choices out of the house. Most importantly, implement changes gradually. Your family will be more receptive, and your digestive system will thank you.

What are your favorite ways to integrate fiber to your family's diet?

Refrigerator Apple Bran Muffins

2 cups shreds of whole bran cereal
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup oil
4 egg whites
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
(Tonight I used 1 cup all purpose and 1-1/2 cups whole wheat, and they were still yummy.)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins (Ew. I'd never desecrate my muffins with raisins, but to each his own.)

In a large bowl, combine cereal and buttermilk; let stand five minutes or until cereal is soft. Add applesauce, oil, and egg whites; blend well. Stir in flours and remaining ingredients; mix well. Bake immediately, or store in the fridge for up to a week.

Bake in greased muffin cups at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Best when served warm.