Eat More Fiber

The Begin Guide to Fiber for Kids

As parents we’re obsessed with anything that keeps our kids regular, that’s why we founded Begin Health! Fiber plays a big role to support your toddler and kids’ digestive health with softer and more regular stools. Check out everything you need to know about fiber for kids, including why it’s so important, how much fiber your kid needs, and our favorite fiber-rich-kid-friendly foods.



What is fiber? 

Fiber is a crucial part of the diet and supports healthy bowel habits. Dietary fiber helps to form our poop. Sometimes fiber is called roughage or bulk, and includes plant foods your body can’t digest or absorb. It passes relatively whole through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out of your body.

 

Fiber is usually referred to as soluble, which dissolves in water, or insoluble, which doesn’t dissolve. Both types of fiber are equally important in the diet. 



Soluble fiber holds things together

Soluble fiber, the type of fiber that dissolves in water, forms a gel-like material in the digestive tract. It is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.



Insoluble fiber keeps things moving

Insoluble fiber promotes the movement of poop through your digestive system and increases stool bulk. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, are good sources of insoluble fiber. 



Beyond good digestion, fiber for kids has other benefits

Getting the right amount of fiber can help regulate hunger. This is because fiber slows digestion. A high-fiber diet also reduces cholesterol, reduces cancer risk, controls blood-sugar levels  and improves heart health. You go, fiber!

Summary - Fiber plays a big role to support your toddler and kids’ digestive health with softer and more regular stools. A fiber-rich diet has other health benefits like improving heart health!

What Happens If Your Kid Doesn’t Get Enough Fiber?

If your kid’s fiber intake is lacking, they may have hard or infrequent stools. This is also known as constipation. Constipation when your kid has less than 3 bowel movements per week, hard or lumpy stools, stools that are hard to pass or when they do not feel completely emptied (NIDDK).

How Much Fiber Do Kids Need?

It’s more than many parents think! Most toddlers and kids, aged one to five, need between 15 and 20 grams of fiber per day. Kids older than this need approximately 25 grams per day (DGA). 

The Best Fiber Foods for Kids

Don’t think in grams? Let’s take a look at the best fiber foods for kids. Fiber can be found in foods such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes (peas and beans), nuts, seeds and wheat bran.

Common foods toddler and kids eat that are good fiber sources are:

  • Pear: 3 grams in 1 small fruit
  • Apple: 2.5 grams in 1 small fruit
  • Chickpeas: 7 grams in ½ cup
  • Oatmeal: 8 grams in ½ cup
  • Sweet Potato: 2.5 grams in ½ cup
  • Broccoli: 2.5 grams in ½ cup
 

How Can You Get Your Kid to Eat More Fiber? 

95% of toddlers do not get enough fiber. As you can see, these foods alone won’t get you to the adequate daily amount of fiber. You can mix and match with foods at different meals. 

Want to make it easier? Try Begin’s Growing up Prebiotics for that fiber boost! One tasteless and textureless pack has 3 grams of fiber.

Chicory root is our favorite fiber secret weapon

Our favorite type of fiber at Begin Health is chicory root. That’s what you find in Begin’s Growing up Prebiotic. Our prebiotic is tasteless and textureless, so you can add it to almost anything to give it an invisible fiber boost! 

Summary - Kids 1 to 5 years old need between 15 and 20 grams of fiber every day. As a parent, be proactive to prevent constipation by serving a fiber rich food at every meal and adding Growing up Prebiotic to your daily routine!

Begin Nutrition Experts

We are a group of passionate pediatric nutrition experts. We are parents first!



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