We've said it before, and we'll say it again. Fiber is an essential nutrient that your body needs, especially when it comes to going #2. It might surprise you to learn that only 7% of American adults are getting their recommended daily serving of fiber.
As parents, our kids look to us to provide them with key nutrients to thrive and feel their best. But remember, they're also paying close attention to our own eating habits, which means if we're skipping out on fiber, they might decide to do the same when they get older and start making their own snacktime choices. Therefore, it's up to us to set the right example and ensure the entire family is on track with getting fiber!
You might be asking how much fiber kids "actually" need? According to HealthyChildren.org, there are two ways to figure this out:
- 5 Servings of Fruits & Veggies: Choosing 5 servings of high-fiber fruits and veggies each day is a quick and simple way to ensure kids are getting enough fiber to keep things moving in their digestive tract.
- Age + 5: By taking your child's age and adding the number 5 to it, you'll come up with an estimated number of fiber in grams. For instance, if your child is 4 years old, you would add 4+5 = 9 grams of fiber/per day.
Health guidelines also recommend eating 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed (g/1,000 kcal) daily. Of course, you should always consult with your child's pediatrician to decide on the right number of total grams of fiber your child needs.
Food High in Fiber for Kids
In a previous article, we discussed the two different types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Remember, soluble fiber dissolves in water, making it easier for poop to pass, while insoluble fiber makes stool bulkier—both of which may reduce occasional constipation.
Here is a list of foods with fiber for kids and adults
Soluble Fiber Sources
- Citrus fruits
Insoluble Fiber Sources
- Whole-wheat flour
- Wheat bran
Making Fiber a Regular Part of Your Kids' Nutrition
We get it. You may find high-fiber foods delicious, but your kids might have other words to describe veggies, fruits, and beans.
Gross….icky….nope! Here's the thing. Getting fiber doesn't have to be a chore! In fact, fiber can be fun.
Don't believe us?
Here are a few creative ways to introduce fiber into your kids meals and snacks:
Bring on the Sous Chefs
One of the best ways to get your kids excited about fiber is to make them part of the meal planning process. Start with simple recipes, such as peanut butter on banana halves or apple slices (remember to keep the skin on apples, as it's packed with antioxidants and micronutrients). You could also prepare parfaits together or oatmeal for breakfast, allowing your little ones to put on all those amazing fruit toppings like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries—oh my!
Getting your kids involved in the actual prep work allows them to take an active role in their food choices and also teaches them healthy food habits early on.
Create Fun Shapes
Who doesn't prefer their apple and pear slices cut into star shapes? We honestly can't think of anyone! Using simple cookie cutters, you can help your kids create fun shapes of their favorite fruits for a delicious and nutritious snacktime treat.
"Orange" You Glad Citrus Fruit Has Fiber?
This one might feel a bit nostalgic, but if your kids don't already make smiley faces with slices of freshly cut oranges, they are missing out! This is also a great way to get your family to consume whole fruits like oranges vs. concentrated juices that contain added sugars.
Plan Weekly Movie Nights
Did you know that air-popped popcorn with no oils is actually high in fiber? "As a whole grain, popcorn is high in fiber, which is good for digestive health and promoting regular bowel movements," (Medical News Today). What better way to bring the family together after a long day than a fun movie night and a bowl of freshly popped popcorn to share?
Pop In Some P-Fruit
With summer vacation just around the corner, and the weather heating up, your kids will be asking for some popsicle treats to help them stay hydrated, as well as satisfy their sweet tooth. Good news for you, you can actually make home-made fruit popsicles that contain the high-fiber fruits your kids need to help improve regular bowel movements.
Check out this recipe for tips and ideas on how to puree and freeze these delicious treats at home while conveniently sneaking in a few p-fruits in the process.
Be sure to introduce fiber slowly and gradually into your kids' meals. Also, remember to give plenty of H20 to help them stay hydrated!
Start feeling good about your kids' snacktime
Need an even easier way to get some fiber into your kids' routine? We might know just the snack! Doolies offers a simple, snackable solution to help support regular bowel movements.
Using real fruit ingredients like prunes, pears, and apples, our snacks help you take the stress out #2, so your kids spend more time playing and less time waiting around!
Browse our selection of delicious Doolies snacks to add to your pantry this summer!