Dietary fiber is the part of plants that cannot be digested. There are 2 kinds of dietary fiber:
If your child does not have enough fiber in his diet, he may have constipation or bowel movements that are small, hard, and dry.
Fiber is an important part of the diet even though it passes through the body. A high-fiber diet can:
Breads, cereals, and pasta made with whole-grain flour, brown and wild rice, oats, bulgur, and quinoa are high-fiber foods. Breakfast cereals and most grain products list the fiber content on the label so you can know which products are high in fiber.
Dried beans, peas, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fresh or dried fruits are all good sources of fiber.
Your child should have at least 14 grams (g) of fiber for every 1000 calories that he eats every day. Read the label on food packages to find out how much fiber a serving of a food provides. Foods containing more than 20% of the daily value of fiber per serving are considered high in fiber.
When increasing the fiber in your child’s diet, it is best to do so slowly. Eating too much fiber too quickly can cause discomfort, gas, and bloating. Start with small changes, like switching to whole-grain bread, and add a new source of fiber each week or two. Start the day with a high-fiber breakfast cereal.
Adding fiber to your diet is easy, and a high-fiber diet can provide long-term health benefits. Your child may have some gas or bloating at first, but his body will usually adjust in time.