Just when you thought you had potty-trained your children well, you realize that they get constipated very often. Constipation in children leaves them irritable, restless with no appetite and can even make them sick. Being picky eaters, many kids miss out on that one important thing that can make their bowel movements regular – fiber!
Fiber plays a paramount role in ensuring that their digestive system functions well with consistency. An active routine, lots of water and a fiber-rich diet can relieve constipation in children. Dietary fiber found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds have found to have plenty of benefits for children.
Benefits Of Fiber In Children
Childhood is an age of dynamic growth and development. A nourishing diet filled with adequate vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fiber is mandatory for any kid. Having a fiber-rich diet can help children in various ways.
- Soluble fiber found in beans, flaxseeds, and oats has been proven to reduce bad cholesterol, LDL which can lead to obesity and several cardiovascular diseases. This can lower the risk of childhood obesity which affects 1 out 6 children and teens in the US.1
- Dietary fiber slows the absorption of sugar. It doesn’t cause any sudden spikes in blood glucose levels as a result has a protective role against type 2 diabetes in children.2
- Fiber enhances the functioning of the stomach and intestines thereby prevents constipation in kids.
- Children on high-fiber diets feel full for longer periods. They are also less likely to indulge in binge eating.
Recommended Intake Of Dietary Fiber For Children
Be wary to encourage lots of fluid intake in your child when you are increasing the content of fiber in his diet. A sudden hike in fiber intake can cause a lot of intestinal gas buildup along with bloating and stomach cramps in children. The below guidelines need to be kept in mind while giving your child fiber-rich diet.3
- Children within the age of 3 years should have at least 19 grams of dietary fiber daily.
- Children within 4—8 years of age should have at least 25 grams of dietary fiber daily.
- Preteen girls within 9—13 years of age need at least 26 grams of fiber daily while the boys in the same age group would need 31 grams.
- Teenage girls need about 26 grams of fiber on a daily basis while the boys require 38 grams of dietary fiber.
Quirky Ways To Raise Your Kids’ Fiber Intake
Below are some interesting ways to ensure that your growing child meets his daily fiber intake needs.
Choose whole-grain varieties of pancakes, waffles, pasta, bread and refrain giving your child any processed cereals. You can also add fibrous fruits like apples, apples, oranges, berries or bananas. Nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts and are also excellent additions for a wholesome breakfast.
Lunch And Dinner Options
School lunches should definitely have at least one variety of raw fruits and vegetables. Sandwiches and tortillas should be made from whole grains and fillings must be fiber-rich ingredients like peanut butter, hummus, bananas, avocados and leafy greens. Motivate your child to have brown rice with beans like kidney, black, navy or pinto for that extra boost of fiber.
Snack time can be made more interesting and healthy for your little ones if you make a few changes. Discourage the consumption all forms of foods that are high in sugar, trans fats and literally devoid of fiber. Instead of sugary milkshakes, make homemade popsicles or smoothies with yogurt, berries, nuts and whole-grain cereals for that added taste. Fruits and vegetables that are farm fresh can be given with their skins so that your child gets more fiber.
Follow the tips above gradually as most children might groan at the idea of eating healthy. Make it enticing enough for them to eat healthily and they will eventually adopt it as a lifestyle choice.