Fiber Recommendations for Improved Bowel Health and Management in Spina Bifida

by: Brian VanderBrink, MD

Fiber requirements for children:

  • Boys and girls aged 1-3, 14 grams per day
  • Boys and girls aged 4-8, 18 grams per day
  • Boys aged 9-13, 24 grams per day
  • Boys aged 14-18, 28 grams per day
  • Girls aged 9-13, 20 grams per day
  • Girls aged 14-18, 22 grams per day

Fiber Friendly Kid Foods:

  • Apples and Pears – preferably with peel on
  • Beans of all kinds
  • High fiber cereal
  • Whole grain breads/muffins
  • Baked potatoes – preferably with skin on
  • Berries that have seeds
  • Yogurt

“Delicious Ways to Sneak Fiber into Your Child’s Diet”, by Peter Jaret, HealthyDay News

Lastly and most importantly:

It seems counterintuitive that fiber could cause constipation, as its usually recommended as a preventive measure or reliever. But because fiber soaks up water it can result in stools that are hard to pass and spend too long in the digestive tract.

If you are trying to get more fiber in your diet, make sure that you’re also getting enough water. If you were previously dehydrated, a common problem in most children, and you then increase your fiber intake, you may have noticed that it didn’t help matters.

Gradually increase your water intake as you increase your fiber. It’s the only way to experience the benefits of proper fiber intake.