As a parent, you want to provide your child with the best nutrition possible to support their growth and development. One important aspect of a healthy diet for children is adequate fibre intake, which is essential for maintaining good digestion and promoting overall health.
Fibre is made up of the indigestible parts or compounds of plants, which pass relatively unchanged through our stomach and intestines. It is mainly a carbohydrate. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of plant-based fibre for growing children and why it’s critical for families looking to support their child’s health.
Do Children Need Fibre?
Yes, children need fibre in their diet. According to the Queensland Government Health Department, children aged 1-3 years require 14 grams of fibre per day, children aged 4-8 years require 18 grams of fibre per day, and children aged 9-13 years require 24 grams of fibre per day.
What Are the Health Benefits of Fibre
Fibre has numerous health benefits for growing children. Fibre helps regulate bowel movements, prevent constipation, and promote digestive health. It can also help regulate blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and promote satiety, which can help prevent overeating.
How Can I Increase Fibre in My Child’s Diet?
There are many ways to increase fibre in your child’s diet. You can start by incorporating more plant-based fibre sources, such as chia seeds, flax seeds, psyllium husk, plantains, lentils, and black beans. You can also add more fruits and vegetables to your child’s diet, such as berries, apples, broccoli, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole-grain bread, are also great sources of fibre. For more ideas on how to increase fibre in your child’s diet, check out this article.
How Much Fibre Should a Child Have a Day?
As mentioned earlier, the amount of fibre a child needs depends on their age (amongst other factors like lifestyle choices and general eating habits). Children aged 1-3 years require 14 grams of fibre per day, children aged 4-8 years require 18 grams of fibre per day, and children aged 9-13 years require 24 grams of fibre per day. Try to provide them with a balanced diet that includes a variety of fibre sources.
Plant-based fibre is an excellent option for families looking to support their child’s health. It’s a convenient and versatile option that is free of harmful additives, promotes digestive health, and helps regulate blood sugar levels. By incorporating a variety of plant-based fibre sources into your child’s diet, you can help ensure that they are getting the fibre they need to grow and thrive. For more information on fibre and gut health for growing children, check out this article or this list of high-fibre foods for kids.
- Queensland Health. (2016). Fibre for Children (PDF)
- Lively Eaters. (2021). Fibre Foods and Gut Health for Growing Children
- EatingWell. (n.d.). 10 Best High-Fiber Foods for Kids
- HealthDay Consumer Health News. (n.d.). Delicious Ways to Sneak Fiber Into Your Child’s Diet