You can help us fight cancer with a clip, trim or shave. ClipForKids.org

Keeping constipation away: Grocery store swaps for increasing fiber

What foods are best to keep kids going?

fiber and constipation

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?

Need a pediatrician?

We can help you find one.

  • 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 this Eat 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 fiber Total for the day: about 38.8 g fiber
Fiber choices
Highest fiber
Food Serving size   Fiber (g) 
 Cereals
Fiber One  1/2 cup 14
All-Bran 1/2 cup 10
Frosted Mini-Wheats 21 biscuits 6
Quaker Oatmeal Squares 1 cup 5
Breads and crackers
Light multigrain English muffin  1 8
Multigrain tortilla (soft taco size) 1 5
Beans 
Lentils 1/2 cup 8
Lima beans 1/2 cup 6
Baked beans 1/2 cup 5
Black beans ½ cup 14.5
 
Grains (cooked) 
Whole-wheat spaghetti 1 cup 6.3
Fruit 
Pear (with skin) 1 medium 6
Raspberries 1 cup 8
Blackberries 1 cup 8
Dried fruit
Prunes/dried plums 6 pieces 12

 

 

Good source of fiber
  Serving size   Fiber (g)
Cereals
Oatmeal (cooked) 1 cup 4
Cheerios 1 cup 2.6
Vegetables
Green peas  1/2 cup 3.5
Broccoli 1/2 cup 3
Breads and crackers
Triscuit Minis 28 crackers 4
Whole-wheat bread 1 slice 3
12-grain bread 1 slice 3
Reduced-fat Wheat Thins 16 crackers 3
Grains (cooked) 
Brown rice 1 cup 4
Regular spaghetti 1 cup 3
Fruit 
Apple (with skin) 1 medium 4
Strawberries 1 cup 4
Banana 1 medium 3
Orange 1 medium 3
Dried fruit
Dried apricot ½ cup 4.5

 

Low fiber
   Serving Size Fiber (g)
Cereals
Cinnamon Toast Crunch ¾ cup 2
Corn Chex 1 cup 1
Vegetables
Carrots 1 medium 2
Green beans 1/2 cup 2
White potato (large) 1/2 2
Sweet potato 1/2 cup 2
Carrot (medium) 1 1.7
Sugar snap peas ½ cup 1.5
Corn 1 ear 1
Breads and crackers
Original English muffin 1 Less than 1
Flour tortilla (soft taco) 1 1
Ritz crackers 5 .4
White bread 1 slice 0-1
Saltine crackers 5 0
Grains (cooked) 
White rice 1 cup 1
Fruit 
Cantaloupe 1 cup 1.4
Grapes 1 cup 1.4
Watermelon 1 cup .5
Dried fruit
Raisins 1/4 cup 2

More Get Healthy Families News: