Your toddler has been waddling around the Earth for a little while now, so they may not have the digestive sensitivity of a tiny baby anymore, but their systems are still in need of TLC.
Tummy aches, gas, and constipation are common childhood complaints, but they’re never easy to deal with ― for the kiddo or the parents struggling to make it all better.
But here’s good news for toddler tummies: according to the experts at BabyCenter, the most common cause of lower belly aches in young children is constipation. A diet that’s high in fiber is not only an extremely effective treatment for constipation and the related pain, it’s also not too tall an order to find some high fiber foods to please even the pickiest eaters.
5 High Fiber Recipes That Your Toddler Will Love
Photo: Gimme Delicious Food
Your little one will never know how much fiber is hidden in this creamy avocado pesto pasta. The sauce consist of avocado, garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon or lime, and basil and/or cilantro. Easy to make and so many noodle styles to choose from – the possibilities are endless, spiral, elbow macaroni, spaghetti, whole wheat, gluten free, or egg noodles. Ready in under 15 minutes and packed with fiber. Where do I sign up?!
Photo: Today’s Parent
Did you know that popcorn contains 3.6 grams of fiber in every oz? Sweeten up home popped popcorn with cinnamon and sugar and you are sure to have a fiber filled snack for even the pickiest of eaters.
Photo: Delighted Momma
I have yet to meet a toddler who didn’t love pizza. The key ingredients in this crust recipe – flax meal – is filled with fiber. The sky is the limit with toppings – cheese, veggies, and meat. My son like tomatoes, black olives, and mozzarella cheese and peperoni.
This perfectly named recipe perfectly describes these delightful cookies. And while you may think black bean cookies eek, you cannot taste a hint of the beans. Black beans contain 29 grams of fiber per cup and are filled with plant based protein – making them the perfect food to sneak into these cookies. Ready in less than 25 minutes and filled with fiber goodness, this recipe will make the whole family happy.
Photo: Whitney Wright
Look no further that this banana, pumpkin and sweet potato bread for a breakfast recipe for you fiber deficient toddler. Packed with the goodness of chia seeds, oat bran, whole wheat flour, and the fruits and veggies of the namesake, this breakfast bread is loaded with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Breads are a great way strategy to sneak in superfoods to a toddler’s diet. This bread keeps well in the fridge or freezer so I say double the recipe and double down on this one.
Other High Fiber Foods to Try
My kid’s not into sampling new foods – what can I try? Here are a few simple and familiar foods that are good sources of fiber:
- Apple or pear slices (with the peel on)
- Carrot sticks (with dip, if that helps)
- Chunky nut butter sandwiches on whole grain bread
- Whole wheat mac and cheese
- Sweet potato fries (oven baked works great)
- Ants on a log (celery slices filled with nut butter and raisins)
- Yogurt with diced prunes mixed in.
These choices might work great for your little one.
How Much Fiber is Enough?
Dr. Vincent Iannelli M.D., writing for Verywell, says that recommendations are changing to include even more daily fiber than in the past and that “the latest recommendations are that kids should eat about 14g of fiber for every 1,000 calories they eat.” You can think about it this way:
“Some general fiber recommendations for children include that 1 to 3-year-olds should get about 19g of fiber each day,” says Iannelli, and “4 to 8-year-olds should get about 25g of fiber each day.”
And if all this fiber talk also has you wondering how much mom and dad should be getting, a good rule of thumb is for adult women to get about 25 grams of fiber a day, and for adult men to get about 38 grams.
Fiber: The Nutritional Hero
In addition to being a great preventor of constipation pain in toddlers and kids, Healthychildren.org, a publication by the American Academy of Pediatrics, says that “[high fiber] foods also are good sources of nutrients and vitamins that may help reduce the risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, and obesity,” in childhood and in the future.
Most kids and adults in the U.S. today don’t get enough fiber. But that’s easy to change with just a bit of creative planning. And if you have any high-fiber, toddler-approved recipes you’re dying to share, let us know!