Fiber is not just for adults. It's for kids, too! In fact, a healthy diet of fiber-rich foods can help improve digestion and maintain regular bowel movements.
We know. Fiber kind of rules!
But that doesn't mean our kids will be filling their plates with fruits and veggies anytime soon. Grown-ups, we're all guilty of this, too. We know it's good for our health, but do we "really" have to?
Cheer up and prepare for a fiber-filled article of fun facts, tasty foods, and easy substitutions to ensure you and the kiddos get enough fiber each day to keep occasional constipation at bay!
First thing's first! Let's review a few fiber basics.
Types of Fiber
There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. You can find both in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
- Soluble fiber dissolves in water and helps keep our digestive system healthy by slowing down the rate at which food moves through our intestines. As a result, it allows more time for nutrients to absorb into our bloodstream.
- Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. Instead, it passes through the body undigested, helping move waste out. It also adds bulk to stools, so they pass through our systems faster
5 Fantastic Facts about Fiber
- Fiber helps us stay full longer, which prevents us from eating more than we need to.
- It helps prevent occasional constipation by helping keep stool soft and moving through the digestive tract.
- Fiber also helps our bodies absorb vitamins and minerals from food.
- It acts as a prebiotic, providing food for gut bacteria that promotes healthy microbiome colonies.
- A lack of fiber can lead to occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and other digestive issues.
Is Psyllium a Type of Fiber?
Psyllium is a soluble fiber that supports healthy digestion. It comes from the seeds of Plantago Ovata and can be used as a dietary supplement to help relieve occasional constipation.
Because it comes in many forms (e.g., husks, granules, powders), you can also add it to bread, cereals, and baked goods. So if you're looking to add more fiber to your family's favorite recipes, Psyllium may do the trick.
Of course, you should always consult with your child's pediatrician before trying a new supplement.
Fiber for Kids: How Much Do They Need?
There’s no doubt about it—fiber is good for you. But just how much fiber should children be getting each day?
Health guidelines recommend that kids need at least 14 grams of dietary fiber per 1,000 calories consumed daily. This includes both soluble and insoluble fibers.
If you’re wondering what constitutes one gram of fiber, here’s a quick breakdown:
- One cup of cooked oatmeal has 3 grams of fiber.
- One slice of whole wheat bread has 4 grams of fiber.
- One medium banana has 5 grams of fiber.
Again, always consult with your child's pediatrician first, as different ages and even genders require different amounts of daily fiber.
5 Fiber-Rich Foods for Kids
As we mentioned, fiber is found in many delicious fruits and veggies, but here are 5 fiber-rich foods that every kid will love!
YAY! Movie night just got a whole lot more nutritious. Just be sure it's air-popped popcorn with no oils.
Peanut Butter & Apples
Dive into this classic treat and enjoy a mix of soluble and insoluble fibers. Just remember to leave the skin on!
Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries—Oh My!
When in doubt, wash a cup of fresh berries and let your kids enjoy the natural sweetness of this fiber-tastic fruit.
Halloween may be long over, but pumpkins are forever! These p-fruits are delicious and nutritious and can go in various recipes like cookies, bread, and even smoothies. Check out this article for pumpkin recipe ideas.
Speaking of p-fruits. There's an even easier way for kids to enjoy fiber. The best part? No baking or cooking is required! Instead, Doolies offer a delicious snack that contains real-fruit ingredients like pears, apples, and prunes to help kids go #2 with ease.
Browse our unique flavors and discover how we help make potty time a breeze!
Make 2023 a Fiber-Tastic Year!
Check out this helpful article for more fun ways to add fiber to your kids' routines. And if you need a clever substitute to help your kids go #2 and still get fiber—without even knowing they're eating it—shop Doolies!