Fiber is one of those nutrients that is talked about a lot. And it’s usually associated with helping our kids be able to have bowel movements more regularly, along with many other health benefits! source
The benefits of fiber
Fiber is one of the main things we recommend to help keep your child’s bowel movements regular. That along with fluid and movement can go a long way towards helping constipation. For some specific tips on helping with constipation, head to this post.
Fiber for kids
Just how much fiber do kids need? It’s best to focus on just offering fiber-rich foods to your child whenever you can. But for those of you looking for a number, kids between the ages of 1 and 3 should be aiming for 19 grams of fiber a day. For older kids between the ages of 4-8 years the goal is 25g a day. This may seem like a lot, but focusing on offering whole foods include grains, fruits and vegetables, and beans can get you there easier than you think.
Fiber for babies
While fiber is good for all ages, I would exercise some caution when it comes to babies. There is generally no need to specifically focus on fiber foods for babies, even if they are not having regular bowel movements. Babies need a lot of high calorie foods. Sometimes foods too high in fiber, or those that are augmented with additional fiber, can actually crowd out some other high calorie foods your baby needs.
That is by no means to say avoid fiber for babies! You can serve all of the foods below to babies. You just don’t need to focus exclusively on them. Alternate between white and wheat bread, whole wheat pasta and white. Exposing them to all sorts of different flavors without exclusively relying on one nutrient is the way to go.
Examples of high fiber foods for kids
Whole Wheat Bread
Whole wheat pasta
Fiber supplements for kids
While most kids admittedly aren’t getting enough fiber in their diet, there is really no need to introduce a fiber supplement to their diet. Unless you are specifically advised by your dietitian or doctor, it is better to get the fiber your child needs from foods. The foods listed above are a great start, but you can also find fiber in so many other places! From nuts and seeds to fruits and veggies and whole grains, focusing on whole unprocessed foods is often the way to go.
For some more tips and food ideas for foods with fiber, as well as all the top food sources of the other nutrients that are important for your baby or toddler, be sure to grab the Grow Baby Grow ebook! It takes an extensive look at all of the nutrients that are necessary in the first two years of life, and helps you get a handle on how to use food to meet your child’s needs.
Get the Grow Baby Grow Ebook!
The all new ebook designed to help you feed your child a nutrient-rich, varied diet! You'll learn all the nutrients that are important in the first two years of your child's life, what the best foods are to get those nutrients in, and how you can serve a varied diet to ensure you are meeting all of their needs!