Importance of a fibre-rich diet in kids’ daily nutritional intake
Nutrition & Diet

Importance of a fibre-rich diet in kids’ daily nutritional intake

Written by Divya Gandhi
Published: December 29, 2022

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Founder/Owner/Dietitian at Diet and Cure Clinic with 10 Years of experience. Double Diploma from VLCC & IGNOU, BBA from IP University

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Table of Contents
arrow-right Why is fibre important for kids?
  • arrow-right Benefits of a high-fibre diet
arrow-right How much dietary fibre do kids need daily?
arrow-right Healthy high-fibre food chart for kids
arrow-right How to sneak fibre into a child’s diet?
  • arrow-right Breakfast
  • arrow-right Lunch & Dinner meals
  • arrow-right Snacking

Food for kids must consist of all essential nutrients in order to ensure proper child nutrition. Dietary fibre is one of those important nutrients that should be present in a child’s diet chart. 

Dietary fibre is known to be a group of substances present in plant foods, which cannot be completely broken down by human digestive enzymes in the intestines. There are two types of dietary fibre; soluble fibre, which is found mainly in fruits and vegetables, and insoluble fibre, found mainly in whole grains and cereals.

Soluble fibre slows blood sugar spikes after eating, and insoluble fibre softens and plunges food waste through the digestive tract. Both of these fibres are drastically valuable food for kids as they help children absorb their food better, prevent common stomach problems like constipation, etc., and reduce the risk of other serious problems.

The best way to sneak fibre into your child’s diet is through high-fibre foods like grains, nuts, vegetables, fruits and beans, as they are usually the best and most easily available sources of fibre. 

Why is fibre important for kids?

A Fiber-rich diet keeps the kids full and aids in the smooth working of the digestive tract. Healthy food for kids that is rich in dietary fibre is also a good source of other nutrients and vitamins. 

Benefits of a high-fibre diet
  • Fiber helps regulate bowel movements and aids in softening or moistening the stools which helps push food waste out of the body easily.
  • A high-fibre diet helps in maintaining bowel health by reducing the risk of diseases like haemorrhoids, diverticular disease, and even colorectal cancer. 
  • A fibre-rich diet also helps lower cholesterol levels. Soluble fibre found in fruits and veggies may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering the ‘bad cholesterol count. These high-fibre foods may also help in maintaining heart health by keeping blood pressure and inflammation in control.
  • Adequate amount of dietary fibre in child nutrition also helps in keeping blood sugar levels in control. 
  • Healthy food for kids with dietary fibre also supports healthy weight management. High-fibre foods in child nutrition also play the role of being a catalyst for maintaining the ideal weight of the child. High-fibre food for kids is more filling than low-fibre foods. So children are likely to eat in moderation, stay full for longer periods, and also stay high on energy, with less food consumption, throughout the day. 
How much dietary fibre do kids need daily?

The nutritional intake of dietary fibre in food for kids varies as per gender & age. Healthy food for kids with high-fibre content helps in attaining an adequate amount of fibre intake daily, maintaining a balanced diet and proper child nutrition. 

Required Dietary Allowance (RDA) for daily intake of dietary fibre to meet fibre needs by gender and age:

Gender & Age RDA (grams/per day)
Boys (9-13 years) 31
Girls (9-13 years) 26
Boys (14-19 years) 38
Girls (14-19 years) 26

Meeting these fibre needs by gender and age may not be easy without a balanced diet for kids. So, by adding fibre-rich foods to your child’s diet you can make sure they have ample fibre during the day.

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Healthy high-fibre food chart for kids

A high-fibre food chart can help in meeting the daily requirements for proper growth and development of growing kids. Picking the best high-fibre food for kids will ensure good overall health as well. 

The following high-fibre food chart will guide you with fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and cereals that are high in fibre content. This high-fibre food chart will show the grams of dietary fibre per serving in different fibre-rich food for kids.

Fruits Serving Size RDA Fiber (grams/per serving)
Banana 1 medium 3.1
Apple (with skin) 1 medium 4.4
Orange 1 medium 3.1
Pear (with skin) 1 medium 5.5
Raspberries 1 cup 8
Strawberries 1 cup 3
Dried Figs 2 medium 1.6
Raisins 2 tbsp 1
Blueberries 1 cup  3
Vegetables Serving Size RDAFiber (grams/per serving)
Peas (cooked) 1 cup 8.8
Broccoli (boiled) 1 cup 5.1
Turnip Greens (boiled) 1 cup 5
Sweet corn (Boiled) 1 cup 4.2
Brussels Sprouts (Boiled) 1 cup 4.1
Potato (with skin, baked) 1 medium 2.9
Artichoke (cooked) 1 medium 10.3
Tomato 1 small 1.2
Carrot (raw) 1 medium 1.7
Cauliflower 1 cup 2.1
Sweet Potatoes 1 medium 3.3
Beans, Nuts & seeds Serving Size RDAFiber (grams/per serving)
Lentils (cooked) 1 cup 15.6
Black Beans (cooked) 1 cup 15
Split peas (cooked) 1 cup 16
Lima beans (cooked) 1 cup 13.2
Baked Beans 1 cup 10.4
Sunflower Seeds ¼ cup 3.9
Almonds ½ cup 9
Pistachios ½ cup 6.5
Walnuts ½ cup 4.25
Grains & Cereals Serving Size RDAFiber (grams/per serving)
Oatmeal 1 cup 4
Bran Flakes ¾ cup 5.3
Barley 1 cup 6
Whole-wheat bread 1 slice 3.5
Brown Rice (cooked) 1 cup 3.5
Whole wheat pasta (cooked) 1 cup 6.2
Popcorn 3 cups 3.5

A proper child nutrition demands balanced meals throughout the day. Add these high-fibre food options, alternately in the week, to your child’s meals to provide healthy food for kids. 

How to sneak fibre into a child’s diet?

Parents usually ask this question; ‘how to sneak fibre into their child’s diet?’ As children are generally fussy or picky when it comes to food. So it becomes difficult for the parent to provide a balanced diet to their child, and ensure proper child nutrition.

The answer is to make food for kids’ fun. Using creative ways to sneak some fibre into your child’s diet will make sure they ask for those dishes again and also get complete daily fibre intake. 

Here are some creative ways to sneak fibre into a child’s diet:

1. Breakfast
  • Serve a bowl of hot oatmeal with blueberries. Blueberries will add flavour and some exciting colour too.
  • Top fiber-rich whole grain cereals with apples, berries, or bananas. Also, sprinkle some almonds or flaxseeds.
  • Make bran or whole-grain waffles or pancakes topped with some maple syrup, or any other syrup flavour your child loves.
  • Make delicious whole-grain bread sandwiches with cottage cheese filling or any other filling that your kid likes.
2. Lunch & Dinner meals
  • Toss in some whole-grain pasta instead of regular pasta in your child’s lunch or dinner meal. Whole-grain pasta will be a really fun food for kids.
  • Use brown rice in lunch or dinner meals instead of white rice. Black beans curry with broccoli and other veggies along with fried brown rice would be a tongue-teaser and healthy food for kids at the same time. 
  • Add some fruits and nuts like berries, oranges, apples, almonds, chickpeas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and beans to salads.
  • Serve up some healthy and delicious lentil soup with whole grain bread to your kids. Add a healthy salad on the side.
3. Snacking
  • Popcorn is one of the most loved foods for kids as a snack. Slip in a bowl of popcorn while they watch their favourite TV show.
  • Choose whole grain crackers instead of the other ones. 
  • A fruit chaat is a very interesting option, which is full of flavour and health.
  • Sprinkle some masala or flavour over boiled sweet potatoes. It’s healthy food for kids, with a twist. 

Ensure proper child nutrition with deliberate attention to food for kids that enriches their diet with all essential nutrients. Fibre intake is as important as any other nutrient in the body for the proper growth and development of growing children. Dietary fibre is required for many important biological and physiological functions in the body. Fibre-rich foods, namely, fruits, veggies, nuts, grain and cereals are very healthy food for kids in their daily diet.

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The views expressed are that of the expert alone.

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