Kids health

How much fibre does your kid really need?

We've got age-by-age formulas with simple foods to make it easy to stuff your kid with good-for-her fibre.

By Today's Parent

How much fibre does your kid really need?

Photo: iStockphoto

Fruits, veggies and whole grains are essential, says registered dietitian Cara Rosenbloom, but don't forget that nuts, seeds and beans are high in fibre, too. "The highest-fibre food is beans–chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans and all the rest," she says. Here are age-by-age formulas for how much kids should be getting every day.

One- to three-year-olds: 19 grams of fibre 1 cup raspberries (8 g) 1 cup whole wheat pasta (6 g) 1 cup squash (5 g)

Four- to eight-year-olds: 25 grams of fibre 1 cup quick oats (4 g) 1 oz flaxseeds 1 medium pear (6 g) 1 cup cauliflower (5 g) 2 oz raisins (2 g)

Nine- to 13-year-olds: 26 to 31 grams of fibre 2 slices whole-grain bread (4 g) 1 cup blueberries (4 g) 1 oz almonds (4 g) 1 cup chickpeas (12 g) 3 cups air-popped popcorn (4 g)

Read more: The super 7 power foods 4 ways to get your kid to eat more fruit5 food traps you’re falling into with your kids

A version of this article appeared in our January 2016 issue with the headline, “You vs. Poo,” pp. 51-56.

Green Pea and White Bean Soup

Give peas a chance. And navy beans, too. There’s eight grams of protein per serving of this soup. Swirl it up with some sour cream and bacon bits for good measure. Get the recipe: Green Pea and White Bean Soup

bowl of pea soup with baconPhoto: Roberto Caruso

Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seeds are the best. They’re perfectly adaptable and will be your new go-to in the morning (hey, so this pudding sets overnight and is SO easy). Plus  this teeny seed has so much fibre it’s not even funny (34 grams per 100 gram serving—what!!). Get the recipe: Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

bowl of chia seed pudding with fruitPhoto: Maya Visnyei

Make-Ahead Lentil Chili

Great for both lunch and dinner, this make-ahead chili is packed with fibre-rich legumes that your kids will gobble down, no problem. Get the recipe here: Make-Ahead Lentil Chili

enamel bowl filled with chunky veggie chiliPhoto: Roberto Caruso

Spiced Apple Oatmeal in Squash Rings

The kids won’t even realize they’re eating veggies for breakfast with this one. Using one cup of quick oats gives this dish an extra four grams of fibre. Get the recipe: Spiced Apple Oatmeal in Squash Rings

oatmeal in a squash ringPhoto: Roberto Caruso

Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

Give this kid-favourite a fibre-packed spin by swapping heavy potatoes with hearty vegetables. One cup of cauliflower has five grams of fibre! Get the recipe: Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

ramekins with shepherd's piePhoto: Erik Putz

Maple-Olive Oil Granola

Packed with oats, pecans, apricot, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries, this snack delivers a protein and fibre one-two punch! What more could you ask for?! Get the recipe: Maple-Olive Oil Granola

bowl of yogurt and granola with fruitPhoto: Roberto Caruso

Cinnamon Toast Kettle Corn

Popcorn is a whole grain (though, you don’t have to tell your kids). And you know what else? Three cups of it will get you four grams of fibre! This salty-sweet-spicy kettle corn will have them begging for more. Get the recipe: Cinnamon Toast Kettle Corn

plastic lunch container with cinnamon popcornPhoto: Roberto Caruso

Oatmeal Meat Loaf Muffins With Horseradish Frosting

Who says you can’t add oatmeal to meat? If your kids aren’t a fan of oats, this is a great way to sneak it in. Plus, making these cute little muffins cuts your cooking time in half. Get the recipe: Oatmeal Meat Loaf Muffins With Horseradish Frosting

mini meatloaf muffinsPhoto: Maya Visnyei

European Wrap

Another great way to eat pear is to add it into a delicious wrap. Your kids will love the sweetness amongst the savoury flavours. Feeling wild? Skip the wrap all together and eat pear slices swaddled up in a salty slice of prosciutto. Get the recipe: European Wrap

Wrap with cream cheese, smoked ham and sliced pearPhoto: Maya Visnyei

Whole Wheat Pasta with Kale and Red Pepper Pesto

Hi easy weeknight dinner. One cup of whole wheat pasta gets you six grams of fibre. Get the recipe: Whole Wheat Pasta with Kale and Red Pepper Pesto

plate of pasta with basil and tomatoesPhoto: Andrew Grinton

Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

A pear is great on its own, but it’s even more delicious when it’s incorporated into an ooey-gooey grilled cheese. Each pear has six grams’ worth of fibre, so eat up! Get the recipe: Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

grilled cheese sandwich with pear and briePhoto: Jodi Pudge

Blueberry-Ginger Muffins

For fibre-to-go, make these muffins. With squishy blueberry and candied ginger, they’re hard to pass up. Get the recipe: Blueberry-Ginger Muffins

blueberry muffin recipePhoto: Roberto Caruso

Chickpea Burgers

Who doesn’t love burgers? This chickpea patty is packed with great sources for high-fibre such as flax seeds, walnuts and quinoa. Get the recipe: Chickpea Burgers

A chickpea burger topped with mayo and cabbagePhoto: Maya Visnyei

Fruit and Sunflower Seed Bars

You only need five ingredients to make this healthy and portable snack. Four of them include pitted dates, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and flax seeds—all great sources of fibre for kids (and adults!) Get the recipe: Fruit and Sunflower Seed Bars

Two fruit and sunflower seed barsPhoto: Roberto Caruso

Summer Squash Strata

If you want an instant dinner and a way to sneak in squash (five grams of fibre per cup), this strata is your go-to dish! Assemble the strata, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Let it come to room temperature before baking. Get the recipe: Summer Squash Strata

plate of egg strata with tomato and salad on sidePhoto: Jodi Pudge

Zesty Roasted Broccoli

Broccoli has your back. With about five grams per cup, try it roasted for a real treat. #roastallthethings Get the recipe: Zesty Roasted Broccoli

tray of roasted broccoli with lemon zestPhoto: Roberto Caruso
This article was originally published on Feb 25, 2016