Parents aren’t strangers to food fights: You’ve likely struggled to get your child to eat more nutrient-rich foods and fewer refined “white” foods, such as sugar, crackers and bread. Fiber-loaded food powerhouses are especially desirable because fiber supports overall health and is a key to healthy digestion and a happy gut.
The nutrients and vitamins found in fiber may help reduce the risk of heart disease, certain types of cancers and obesity. Fiber is also part of a healthy gut microbiome, which supports digestive health and overall wellness. It’s important to nurture a child’s developing microbiome.
How do you know if your child is getting enough fiber? Too much time in the bathroom, discomfort when pooping or hard, dry stools are signs you may be dealing with a constipated child who needs more soluble fiber. Use this kid-friendly poop chart to understand if your child has a problem. If so, pediatrician Bill Sears, MD suggests natural changes before chemical laxatives: more liquids and high-fiber foods and a prebiotic such as Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber.
How much fiber does your child actually need?
The average 6 to 11 year-old consumes just half the recommended daily amount of fiber. Here’s how much your child should be getting:
- 1 to 3 years: 19 grams
- 4 to 8 years: 25 grams
- 9 to 13 years: 26 to 31 grams
- 14 to 19 years: 26 to 38 grams
Kid-friendly, high-fiber foods
Think about ways to include more fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and beans to naturally increase fiber. Here are some options that even picky eaters will likely be open to trying:
- Apples and pears: Leave the peel on!
- Berries: Raspberries are one of the highest-fiber options, but any will do. Bonus: They’re easy to pack for a snack when you’re on the go.
- Carrots: This is one veggie kids usually eat without a fight. Plus, you get the added benefits of vitamin A and carotenoids.
- Whole grains: Your sandwich bread choice matters. Whole grain English muffins are an easy breakfast option. If you never introduce white bread into the mix, you may just find that your little one loves whole-grain options!
- Chia seeds: These make the list not because your child will love the taste, but because you can sneak them into so many foods without impacting the taste. Add them to smoothies, yogurt or the jelly you put on whole-grain toast.
- Popcorn and nuts: Try these as snacks instead of defaulting to cheese and crackers. Almonds, pecans and walnuts are highest in fiber.
Supplementing is safe and smart
Most importantly, it’s OK if you’ve tried to increase your child’s fiber through diet, but it hasn’t been enough. Supplementing with Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber is safe for kids and offers the benefits of fiber, without the additional gas, bloating and loose stools associated with other supplements.
It’s tasteless and odorless, so it can easily be added to most favorite foods or beverages. Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber is also a prebiotic, so it feeds the gut’s good bacteria.
Instead of snacking on processed, constipating foods, choose fibrous, plant-based options, and consider a supplement such as Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber. Soon uncomfortable trips to the bathroom will be a thing of the past.