Keeping constipation away: Grocery store swaps for increasing fiber

What foods are best to keep kids going?

With so many children suffering from stomachaches due to constipation, parents need to be vigilant about how much fiber kids are eating. Fiber is a key component in staying regular.

Simple grocery store swaps can increase your child’s fiber intake. Coupled with plenty of water and exercise, you can help prevent constipation.

How much fiber should kids get each day?

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  • Toddlers (age 1 to 3) = 19 grams
  • Kids (age 4 to 8) = 25 grams
  • Older girls (age 9 to 13) = 26 grams
  • Teen girls (age 14 to 18) = 26 grams
  • Older boys (age 9 to 13) = 31 grams
  • Teen boys (age 14 to 18) = 38 grams

Foods considered high in fiber have 5 grams or more of fiber per serving; a good source of fiber is one that provides at least 2.5 grams per serving.

While no vegetables in the following chart fall into the high-fiber category due to serving size (Do you know a child who will eat a cup of peas?), they are still important to feed your child because they have nutrients that growing bodies need. The chart is meant to be a comparison for making healthy choices.

Healthier choices
Instead of thisEat this
1 cup Corn Chex and 1 cup melon (2.4 g fiber)1 cup oat squares and 1 cup strawberries (10 g fiber)
Peanut butter and jelly on white bread, potato chips and grapes (about 5.7 g fiber)Peanut butter and jelly on multigrain English muffin, 1 medium apple, potato chips (about 15.3 g fiber)
1 cup regular spaghetti with ½ cup Italian tomato sauce and ½ cup green beans (about 8.7 g fiber)1 cup whole-wheat spaghetti, ½ cup Italian tomato sauce and ½ cup peas (about 13.5 g fiber)
Total for the day: about 16.8 g fiberTotal for the day: about 38.8 g fiber
Fiber choices
Highest fiber
FoodServing size  Fiber (g) 
Fiber One 1/2 cup14
All-Bran1/2 cup10
Frosted Mini-Wheats21 biscuits6
Quaker Oatmeal Squares1 cup5
Breads and crackers  
Light multigrain English muffin 18
Multigrain tortilla (soft taco size)15
Lentils1/2 cup8
Lima beans1/2 cup6
Baked beans1/2 cup5
Black beans½ cup14.5
Grains (cooked)   
Whole-wheat spaghetti1 cup6.3
Pear (with skin)1 medium6
Raspberries1 cup8
Blackberries1 cup8
Dried fruit  
Prunes/dried plums6 pieces12
Good source of fiber
 Serving size  Fiber (g)
Oatmeal (cooked)1 cup4
Cheerios1 cup2.6
Green peas 1/2 cup3.5
Broccoli1/2 cup3
Breads and crackers  
Triscuit Minis28 crackers4
Whole-wheat bread1 slice3
12-grain bread1 slice3
Reduced-fat Wheat Thins16 crackers3
Grains (cooked)   
Brown rice1 cup4
Regular spaghetti1 cup3
Apple (with skin)1 medium4
Strawberries1 cup4
Banana1 medium3
Orange1 medium3
Dried fruit  
Dried apricot½ cup4.5
Low fiber
  Serving SizeFiber (g)
Cinnamon Toast Crunch¾ cup2
Corn Chex1 cup1
Carrots1 medium2
Green beans1/2 cup2
White potato (large)1/22
Sweet potato1/2 cup2
Carrot (medium)11.7
Sugar snap peas½ cup1.5
Corn1 ear1
Breads and crackers  
Original English muffin1Less than 1
Flour tortilla (soft taco)11
Ritz crackers5.4
White bread1 slice0-1
Saltine crackers50
Grains (cooked)   
White rice1 cup1
Cantaloupe1 cup1.4
Grapes1 cup1.4
Watermelon1 cup.5
Dried fruit  
Raisins1/4 cup2