Fiber Foods for Children
Dietary fiber aids in digestion and prevents constipation. It is important in helping reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and lowering blood cholesterol levels. Parents not recognizing the importance of fiber may be denying their children the dietary fiber necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Fiber is the indigestible bulk or roughage of plant and vegetable matter. Because it passes through the body unchanged, it adds few calories to a healthy diet while at the same time offering a source of energy.
Daily Fiber Requirement
According to the Mayo Clinic, children ages 2 to 3 require a minimum of 19 grams of fiber a day and children ages 4 to 8 require 25 grams a day.
Best Sources of Fiber for Children
Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. Legumes, beans, seeds, nuts and fortified breakfast cereals are other great fiber options.
Consuming too much fiber may result in gas, bloating and digestive discomfort. Increased fiber intake transports water out of the body, leading to dehydration. Increase water consumption with fiber intake.
Fiber is not present in meat, eggs or cheeses. Do not mistake animal products or other sources of lean proteins and calcium as sufficient sources of fiber.