It's hardly a few days back when I was at a coffee shop with a few of my friends. There, one began to lament about her tot’s issue of constipation. Talking about constipation on a coffee table might seem weird to many, however, this is what happens after becoming a parent.
Well, if you have ever toilet-trained a toddler, you will certainly appreciate fiber in your kid's diet. Well just in case if you have not, you will be glad to know that daily easy-to-pass "movements" make life trouble free for one and all- toddler, kid as well as the parent.
Dietary fiber is likely familiar for its ability to prevent and relieve constipation. However excessive amount of fiber may lead to loose stools or even bloating. Moreover, fiber can also cause constipation if you will not drink adequate amount of water.
Dietary fiber is either soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water. It assists to lower cholesterol levels as well as improve blood sugar levels. Whereas insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. It aids better bowel movements.
How much of fiber should Kids have?
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that toddlers (1-3 years) should have about 19 grams of fiber every day. Kids in the age group of 4-8 years should eat about 25 grams of fiber per day. Girls 9- to 13-year-old ought to eat about 26g of fiber daily whereas, boys 9 to 13-year-old should have about 31g of fiber in their daily diet.
Benefits of Fibrous Foods for Kids
Apart from promoting digestive health and prevention of various chronic diseases, the other benefits are:-
Healthier Gut Bacteria
The good bugs composing your micro biome sustain off fiber and thrive. Fibrous foods aid gut health by being a source of prebiotics for gut microbes.
Fibrous Foods promote a Sense of Satiety
The bulking as well as viscosity properties of fibrous foods are mainly responsible for regulating satiety, feeling of fullness.
Promotes Insulin Sensitivity
Due to the modern lifestyle in metro cities, insulin resistance is a cause of concern. Soluble fiber makes it difficult for the body to turn carbohydrates into glucose. Furthermore, it helps to prevent dramatic increase in blood sugar levels. This in turn aids insulin to work better, thus promoting insulin sensitivity.
Healthy Weight Management
Additional weight increases the possibility for developing severe health issues including obesity and heart disease. Adding the right amount of fibrous foods into your kid’s diet lowers the risks for obesity while assisting in managing a healthy weight.
Fibrous Foods for Kids
The following foods are rich sources of fibre as well as are high in heart healthy nutrients.
- Fruits such as apple and pear with their skin. Even banana and mango are good options.
- Vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, peas and sweet potato.
- Cereals such as corn, oatmeal, whole wheat.
- Dried fruits like dates, raisins and figs.
- Legumes and beans like rajma, chole and dals (Try the Organic Dals from Tata Sampann as they are produced organically. These dals can help you to include the right nutrients in your child’s diet.)
So now if you have been wondering how to improve the digestive health of your child, then just increase fibre intake as per your child's age. However, it is recommended to increase the intake slowly. This is because it takes time for the digestive system to adapt to added roughage. Adding surplus fibre too quickly can give rise to gas as well as bloating.