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The Function of Fiber Foods for Digestion and Nutrition of Children

If your child often experiences constipation, maybe you should pay attention to the adequacy of the fibrous food that he consumes. Because, fiber in food is needed by the Little one so that his digestive health is well maintained.

To support optimal growth and development, children need good nutrition. Ideally, the food consumed by the child must contain carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Fiber foods are needed, both for children and adults, to prevent problems with the digestive system, obesity, and even heart disease.

The Function of Fiber Foods for Children

Fiber is divided into two types, namely water soluble fiber and water insoluble fiber. Water soluble fiber is a type of fiber that will turn into a gel-like substance when mixed with water. Whereas water insoluble fiber cannot be digested by the intestine, so it makes the stools become solid. Fiber intake also helps launch bowel movements. These are the benefits of fibrous foods that make your child avoid constipation

Fibrous foods generally contain few calories and have many important benefits for the digestive process, including:

  • Make the little one full longer, so he is not fussy when on the move.
  • Contains a prebiotic effect, which is able to maintain good bacteria in the intestine, thus preventing infections in the digestive tract of the little one.
  • Helping the Little One to maintain optimal weight.
  • Prevent the risk of obesity and diabetes in children.

Giving fibrous food to children depends on age. For children aged 1-3 years, the fiber needs around 16 grams per day. While children aged 4-8 years need more fiber, which is around 22 grams per day.

Good sources of fiber for children include whole wheat bread, cereals, fruits (oranges, apples, bananas, pears), vegetables (such as broccoli, spinach, potatoes, and carrots), and nuts (like soybeans, peanuts) pods, almonds).

Although fibrous food is very good for the digestive health of the Little One, Mother is not recommended to give it excessively. Because, eating too much fibrous food can actually cause your stomach to become bloated, cramped, and squeeze.

Important Nutrition Intake for Children

Besides fiber, you also have to pay attention to the intake of other important nutrients needed by your little one, including:

  • Carbohydrates play an important role as the main energy source.
  • Protein functions to arrange cells and tissues of the body, form hormones, and replace damaged body tissues.
  • Omega-3 and omega 6 fatty acids play an important role in supporting intelligence, bone health, and preventing asthma. Including DHA, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acids has an important role for the growth and development of the child's brain.

If your child is still picky about food, so often ignores the fibrous food that Mother provides, you can find alternatives. For example, by turning pieces of fresh fruit or vegetables into juices that are ready for the child to drink

In addition, you can also try to provide milk enriched or fortified fiber and a variety of important nutrients for children. But you need to remember, that milk or supplements cannot replace all the essential nutrients contained in fibrous foods. So, keep giving children fibrous food, Mother. Do not hesitate to consult a nutrition doctor regarding children's nutritional needs.



1. Cleveland Clinic (2016). Figuring Out Dietary Fiber: Does Your Child Need It? 

2. Mayo Clinic (2018). Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet.

3. Iannelli, V. Verywell Family (2018). Fiber Recommendations for Children. 

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