Does your little one refuse the broccoli?
Push aside the plums?
Don’t worry, mama.
Your kids don’t have to be chewing on celery sticks and carrots to get fiber in their diet (although celery sticks and homemade hummus are a high-hitting fiber combination).
There are loads of other delicious high-fiber foods for kids that pack a punch.
In this article: 📝
- Why is fiber so important?
- How much fiber do kids need?
- How can I increase fiber in my child’s diet?
- What has a lot of fiber for kids?
- High-fiber foods for kids
- How do picky eaters get fiber?
- Fiber for kids: the final word
Why is fiber so important?
The benefits of eating plenty of fiber are multiple.
Fiber helps things moving along in the digestive tract, which can treat and prevent constipation.
(A constipated toddler is not the kind of problem you want to be dealing with.)
Fiber also helps lower blood cholesterol and prevent diabetes, making it a go-to for controlled cholesterol and the prevention of chronic disease
Fiber-rich foods make us feel full and are good sources of nutrients and vitamins, which help keep our bodies healthy.
How much fiber do kids need?
This varies with age.
Toddlers need about 19 grams per day.
Children between the ages of four and eight need 25 grams per day.
As for older children and teens:
- Girls between 9 and 18 years need 26 grams per day
- Boys 9–to–13 years old need 31 grams, and 13–to–18 years need 38 grams.
How can I increase fiber in my child’s diet?
If you don’t have the time to track fiber grams, encourage your children to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day.
What has a lot of fiber for kids?
Fruits are an easy win when it comes to getting fiber into kids.
Fruit is naturally sweet and generally pretty popular.
But there’s more to fiber-rich foods than pears and apples.
Here is our list of foods high in fiber for kids.
High-fiber foods for kids
With 8 grams of fiber in a cup of raspberries, they’re the most fiber-full of all the berries.
A cup of raspberries has a whopping 8 grams of fiber.
And they’re great for kids because they’re delicious and fun to eat.
This kid-friendly fruit has 5.5 grams of fiber per medium-sized pear.
Plus they’re full of vitamins C and K, and potassium and antioxidants.
Apples are well known to be full of fiber.
A medium-sized apple has 4.5 grams of fiber.
What you might not know is that apples contain a type of fiber called pectin, which acts as a prebiotic.
Pectin feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
For best results, don’t peel off the skins.
This might come as a surprise, but avocado is really high in fiber — half an avocado gives you 5 grams of fiber.
It’s often pretty popular with children as it is, but you could also blend it into smoothies, or make creamy avocado-and-feta dips for veggie sticks and (high-fiber) crackers.
Always a good snack, a medium-sized banana has 3.1 grams of fiber.
You could also make banana bran muffins, banana bread, or banana smoothies.
As one of the go-to vegetables for parents, it’s lucky that peas are packed with fiber.
A cup of peas has 9 grams of fiber.
If you can get fresh peas in their pods, shelling them is a sure way to add fun to snack time (and encourage pea-eating).
Almonds are high in not only fiber, but protein too.
One serving of almonds (23 nuts) gives 3.5 grams of fiber, with pistachios coming in second with 3 grams of fiber per serving.
Just remember that whole nuts are a choking hazard for children under age 4.
8. Oats and oatmeal
Oats are a great source of soluble fiber — one cup of dry oats has 7.5 grams of fiber.
9. Flaxseeds and chia seeds
If you’ve ever been constipated, you’ve no doubt been advised to eat flaxseeds.
They’re packed with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids (one tablespoon gives 2g of fiber).
Chia seeds are great too.
Although they’re not the easiest thing to get kids to eat in their raw form, there are other ways.
When ground up, they’re great to add to smoothies, oats and cereals, yogurt, bread, and biscuits, and even soups.
10. Beans, chickpeas, lentils, and split peas
Black beans and chickpeas each have 7.5 grams of fiber in half a cup.
Half a cup of either lentils or split peas will give you 8 grams of fiber.
Another thing they have in common is they’re high in protein and really versatile.
You can mash them into hummus, slap them onto your tacos, or make baked falafels or black bean burgers.
Yes, your favorite movie snack just got the fiber nod of approval.
In a 3-cup serving of popped popcorn, there’s 3.5g of fiber.
But best leave if for kiddos over the age of 4.
Whole grains such as rice, quinoa, barley and buckwheat are not only high in fiber but also really nutritious.
You can use whole-grain bread and pasta to add some extra fiber to those kid-friendly favorites.
13. Prunes (aka dried plums)
This is another one of the well-known high-fiber foods for kids with constipation.
A serving of six prunes has 4 grams of fiber.
As well as eating them straight, you could try rehydrating them in a little warm water until they’re soft and then serve them with yogurt.
How do picky eaters get fiber?
Let’s be honest, there are many kids who are just going to outright refuse chickpeas or raspberries or anything green.
For picky eaters your best approach to getting their fiber in is with foods they like.
If they love pasta, opt for whole-grain pasta.
If they love fruit but won’t touch vegetables, then make sure they’re getting their quota through fruit.
But keep offering vegetables, and other fiber-rich foods.
And try to make the fiber-rich food as appealing and exciting as you can.
Getting kids involved in preparing food can also encourage more adventurous eating.
Fiber for kids: the final word
Foods containing fiber have a whole range of health benefits.
Making the effort to get your kids to eat more fiber is worth it.
Plus it can be a fun way to introduce new recipes to your repertoire.