Not too long ago, I was eating with friends and one mentioned that her toddler had recently been constipated.
Constipation was a common problem in the homes of the other women at the table, so all chimed in with helpful tips.
Some suggested mixing prune juice and water half and half. Figs are on sale at Costco,” another suggested.
As for me? I kept very silent for the most part. Not because you bothered me (I have dealt with poop a lot myself as a mother of a young child), but because my daughter never had an issue with staying on schedule.
I realize how fortunate I am.
I offer her a lot of fiber, so she likely gets plenty. Her digestive tract is thus always healthy because she eats just about everything I offer her.
However, some parents find it challenging. Some kids are just picky eaters, while others do not realize the importance of fiber to digestion.
It was actually recently written in Advances in Nutrition that education is needed around fiber benefits for children, especially since these guidelines are not well-known.
Table Of Contents
Fiber is beneficial to your child’s health, as well as to your own. For starters, fiber helps prevent diabetes and helps you feel satisfied.
If you combine fiber with good hydration, you will have fewer issues with constipation because it prevents, and in some cases can even treat, it. So you won’t have to worry about getting up with a hurting toddler in the middle of the night.
How much fiber do you need?
It is recommended that children between the ages of 1 and 18 consume between 14 and 31 grams of fiber daily according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Yet what does that really mean? And how do we know which foods will satisfy their need for fiber?
- Learn which fruits are safe for babies
- Healthy Drinks for Kids
- 4 Vitamins That Help Children To Be Healthier
- The best vegetables for kids
High-Fiber Foods They’ll Actually Eat
Most fiber is found in whole foods, so you can’t determine how much fiber your child is getting. The good news is that most of these sources are delicious, so you won’t have a problem getting your child to eat them.
You can begin planning out those daily meals once you know how many grams of fiber these 10 foods provide. And don’t worry, the approximate fiber count is listed below, so you don’t have to guess.
Oatmeal: Kids like oatmeal because it contains approximately 4 grams of fiber per cup (cooked). You can make it more kid-friendly by adding things like cinnamon, maple syrup, and raisins.
Apples: Apples are a favorite snack for all kids. It’s amazing how much fiber there is in one small apple! The peanut butter will add another 1.6 grams and makes it very difficult for your kids to resist.
Popcorn: Are you planning a movie night? Two grams of fiber are packed into three cups of popped popcorn.
Carrots: There is no doubt that carrots are a vegetable, and a lot of children reject them. You can still bake cinnamon-spiced mini carrots for a tasty treat that contains 2.9 grams of fiber in 1/2 cup.
Bananas: A medium banana contains 3.1 grams of fiber, making it a great afternoon snack.
Whole-grain bread: In addition to the 2 grams of fiber in whole-wheat and whole-grain bread, you can easily find loaves offering 3 to 5 grams of fiber per slice. Your kids will love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at lunchtime on weekends!
Berries: The fruit provides a whopping 4 grams of fiber from a half-cup serving. The smallest amount of blueberries and strawberries is 1.8 grams.
Whole-grain pasta: For dinner tonight, why not try some homemade macaroni? Two grams of fiber are present in every half cup of whole-grain pasta.
Pears: Looking for a fiber-packed treat? There are 5.5 grams of fiber in an average medium-sized pear (with the skin).
Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are not just for Thanksgiving! Medium sweet potatoes have 3.8 grams of fiber!
What is the limit of the amount of fiber you can consume?
Having too much fiber is possible, you can overdo it. To make sure your kids get the fiber they need, do not overdose on Metamucil to ensure they get fiber. It could cause tummy aches or diarrhea for your kids.
However, a recent study out of the Journal of Pediatrics indicates that a moderate increase in dietary fiber is more beneficial than harmful for most children. Hence, don’t take any fiber supplements for your child (unless your child’s physician has prescribed them). Try to incorporate all of the delicious foods that already provide so much fiber into your daily menu plan instead.
The Bottom Line
You’ll have plenty of tasty fiber ideas to share with your other parent friends when talking about toddler constipation at dinner next time!