Fiber has many benefits for a child’s body, but it also has some disadvantages. This prebiotic helps food move through the digestive system, lowers blood sugar spikes, prevents constipation, and allows your child to have regular bowel movements. Fiber also fills the stomach faster than empty carbs to keep kids from overeating, and certain types of fiber promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of fiber to children’s health.
Dietary fiber for kids
Fiber supplements are generally safe for children, and doctors and pediatric nutritionists generally do not want children to take them unless absolutely necessary. The reason many people are familiar with the health benefits of fiber is that it can help prevent or relieve constipation, which is a particularly common problem in children.
To calculate how much dietary fiber your child needs each day, just memorize the number 5. No matter how old they are, add 5 and that’s how many grams they should eat per day. For example, if your child is 8 years old, add 5 to their diet to get 13 grams of fiber per day.
If your child isn’t eating enough, it’s better to add more fiber-rich foods to the diet rather than relying on fiber supplements alone.
Chronic constipation in children
Diet and behavior changes that parents and doctors use to ease the problem (such as getting kids to drink more water or take probiotic supplements) work well. There is some evidence that fiber supplements can help relieve constipation.
Which food consists of fiber?
- Whole wheat
- Brown rice
- Dried fruit
- Sunflower seeds
Have your child drink plenty of water or other fluids and give them probiotics or prebiotics, food components thought to promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
Too much fiber intake
When it comes to fiber, you can have a lot of good food that consists of fiber. But too much fiber can cause stomach pain and diarrhea. It’s best for kids to get all their fiber from food. You should also pay attention to gradually increasing the amount of fiber in your child’s diet to avoid bloating, gas, or cramping. Also, when adding fiber to the diet, it is important for your child to drink plenty of water. Water moves fiber through the gut, helping to ensure your child gets the most out of it. Most fiber supplements are safe for children, but doctors and pediatric nutritionists generally do not want them to be taken by children unless absolutely necessary. For example, if a child has unstoppable constipation, they may recommend fiber supplements made specifically for children rather than adult products.
A pediatrician can help you understand the best ways to add more fiber to your child’s diet. They can also help you find the right path forward if you need to consider alternatives to help reduce your child’s constipation. If parents are trying their best to feed their kids fiber-rich foods but are still concerned that their intake is low, it’s time to look for alternatives and tips.