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What is Insoluble Fiber for Kids? Benefits and Importance Explained

Published February 01, 2024

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Insoluble fiber is naturally found in foods like fruits and vegetables and plays a pivotal role in our kid’s digestive health. In addition to supporting gut health and regularity, insoluble fiber can also contribute to overall wellness and helps kids build a better foundation for healthier diet habits. Let’s break down the benefits of insoluble fiber and why it’s significant for our kid's health.

Understanding Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber is a type of dietary fiber found in various plant-based foods and remains undigested as it passes through the digestive tract. It adds bulk to stool, aiding in regular bowel movements and promoting digestive health in kids and adults. Sources of insoluble fiber include:

  • Whole grains

  • Vegetables 

  • Fruits with skins such as apples, pears, and berries 

  • Seeds such as pumpkin seeds and flaxseed.

Role in Digestive Health

Insoluble fiber acts as a natural laxative, aiding in the movement of food and waste through the digestive system. Research published in theWorld Journal of Gastroenterologyhighlights its role in preventing constipation by adding bulk and softening stool, facilitating easier passage through the intestines in kids [1]. 

Promoting Regularity

Regular consumption of insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation by promoting regular bowel movements. This fiber type absorbs water as it moves through the digestive system, adding bulk to stool and stimulating bowel movements. Studies reveal the importance of daily intake of insoluble fiber for regularity [2]. 

Supporting Gut Health

Insoluble fiber serves as fuel for probiotics, the beneficial gut bacteria in the digestive system and helps promote a healthy gut microbiome. This type of fiber maintains a balanced gut environment, contributing to improved digestive health and potentially reducing the risk of gastrointestinal issues in kids such as constipation and diarrhea [2]. 

Begin Health Expert Tip

Struggling to get your kiddo to eat the right foods? Our Growing Up Prebiotics helps kids get 3g of daily fiber to fill in the fiber gap. Prebiotics sources such chicory root fiber found in Begin’s Prebiotics can also help relieve symptoms from constipation through softer, more frequent stools [3]. 

Food Sources of Insoluble Fiber 

Kids can incorporate insoluble fiber into their diets by consuming foods like whole-grain cereals, whole wheat bread, brown rice, fruits with skins, vegetables like broccoli and carrots, and seeds like chia and flaxseed. Encouraging a variety of these foods daily supports a balanced intake of insoluble fiber for our little ones.

Health Benefits Beyond Digestion

Besides aiding digestion, insoluble fiber offers additional health benefits for kids, including weight management by promoting a feeling of fullness, regulating blood sugar levels, and reducing the risk of certain diseases later in life [1]. These benefits highlight the importance of incorporating insoluble fiber into a kiddo’s diet for long-term wellness. 

Summary

Encouraging a well-balanced diet rich in insoluble fiber sources such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can significantly contribute to a kid's digestive health and overall well-being. 

References

[1] Yang J, Wang HP, Zhou L, Xu CF. Effect of dietary fiber on constipation: a meta analysis. World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Dec 28;18(48):7378-83. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i48.7378. PMID: 23326148; PMCID: PMC3544045.
[2] Erdogan A, Rao SS, Thiruvaiyaru D, Lee YY, Coss Adame E, Valestin J, O'Banion M. Randomised clinical trial: mixed soluble/insoluble fibre vs. psyllium for chronic constipation. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2016 Jul;44(1):35-44. doi: 10.1111/apt.13647. Epub 2016 Apr 29. PMID: 27125883; PMCID: PMC4891216.
[3] Closa-Monasterolo, R., Ferré, N., Castillejo-DeVillasante, G., Luque, V., Gispert-Llauradó, M., Zaragoza-Jordana, M., Theis, S., & Escribano, J. (2016). The use of inulin-type fructans improves stool consistency in constipated children. A randomised clinical trial: pilot study. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 68(5), 587–594.https://doi.org/10.1080/09637486.2016.1263605