Building healthy eating habits starts young and sets children up for greater health by building their immune system as they age. Children- like adults- need a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, proteins, fats, grains and a limited amount of sugar. Each of these foods provide vital vitamins and nutrients, boosts the immune system, and works to keep you full. When planning a healthy diet, an often-overlooked aspect is dietary fiber content and intake. Prebiotic fiber can help prevent chronic disease, supports immune function, and allows the body to more efficiently absorb additional vitamins.
Adults need about 25-38g of dietary fiber per day, but the recommended amount for children is different. An excellent way to gauge how much fiber your child is to consume, is to add 5 or 10 to their age. For example, a 5-year-old would need 10-15g per day, an 11-year-old would need 16-21g, and so on.1 Fiber requirements also vary by activity level. Highly active children might not need as much fiber as more sedentary children.2 This is because leading a sedentary lifestyle is likely to contribute to constipation. Therefore, more prebiotic fiber would be needed to maintain health and an active immune system.2
A common obstacle for parents when trying to convince children to eat well, is that kids can be very picky eaters. They often want to reach for high-sugar snacks and treats rather than fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Some snacks that are healthy alternatives to junk food that kids will love- and that are full of fiber- include: Greek yogurt with honey, strawberry banana smoothies, sweet potato fries and celery with peanut butter. If you’re still having trouble including fiber in a child’s diet, we’d recommend trying Fiber Choice Fruity Bites- prebiotic fiber gummies. These gummies are sweet, fun to eat, and full of the necessary prebiotic fiber to keep kids healthy.
1Gavin ML, ed. Fiber (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth. KidsHealth. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/fiber.html. Published September 2019. Accessed February 10, 2020.
2Rodriguez BD, Stewart J, Rauf D, Bellefonds Cde, Gordon S, Libov C. What Causes Constipation? EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/digestive-health/constipation-causes.aspx. Published January 28, 2016. Accessed February 10, 2020.