Fibre-Rich Foods For Babies
Every article that we publish, confirms to stringent guidelines & involves several levels of reviews, both from our Editorial team & Experts. We welcome your suggestions in making this platform more useful for all our users. Write in to us at email@example.com
- Is Fiber Good for Babies?
- How Does Fibre Help Babies?
- How Much Fibre Is Too Much for Babies?
- Side Effects of Excessive Fiber Intake on Babies
- Infographics: Fibre Rich Foods for Babies
- High Fibre-foods for Babies
- Precautions to Take While Giving Fiber-rich Foods to a Baby
- Fibre-rich Food Recipes for Infants
If your baby is above six months of age and has started on solids, you will want to include fibre-rich foods in their diet to ensure that their digestive system works smoothly. Fibre is an important nutrient and is necessary for a baby’s diet to keep constipation problems at bay. You must opt for natural sources like fruits (apples, pears), vegetables (sweet potatoes, broccoli), and whole grains (oats, brown rice) to add a fibre-rich diet to your baby’s diet. Begin with small portions, gradually increasing as your baby adapts. Read this article to learn more about high-fiber baby foods, how much fibre your baby needs, and more.
Is Fiber Good for Babies?
Introducing fibre into a baby’s diet is advantageous. It contributes to a thriving gut microbiome and maintains a well-functioning digestive system. Studies indicate that the initial stages of life are pivotal in cultivating a robust colonic microflora and fostering positive dietary routines. Therefore, incorporating dietary fibre is advantageous for babies.
How Does Fibre Help Babies?
Dietary fibre is mainly of two types–soluble and insoluble fibres. Soluble fibre dissolves in water, helps regulate the digestion and keeps one baby full for longer. It is also linked to lowering the risk of obesity in kids. Insoluble fibre doesn’t dissolve in water and adds up to the baby’s stool. It is known to regulate the bowel movement in babies and high-fibre baby foods for constipation is great. There are many high fibre foods for baby’s constipation that can be safely added to your baby’s diet like prunes, pears, plums, etc.
How Much Fibre Is Too Much for Babies?
Although there is no particular recommendation of the amount of fibre for babies, according to the report by the US Department of Agriculture, babies need about 14 grams of dietary fibre for every 1000 calories consumed. For children between the ages of 1 and 3 years, 19 grams of fibre is necessary on a daily basis.
Ensure that you do not give your baby too much fibre as it may also lead to diarrhoea.
Side Effects of Excessive Fiber Intake on Babies
Let’s learn about the side effects of high-fibre foods for babies.
- Insufficient water consumption alongside a high-fibre diet can result in either constipation or diarrhoea, potentially affecting the baby’s well-being.
- This imbalance may also result in diminished mineral absorption, negatively affecting the baby’s health.
- Overindulgence in fibre can lead to symptoms like increased flatulence, bloating, abdominal cramps, and nausea.
Infographics: Fibre Rich Foods for Babies
High Fibre-foods for Babies
Before you introduce fibre in your baby’s diet, always consult a paediatrician to seek approval and know of any foods that you need to avoid. Once the doctor approves you can choose a range of high fibre fruits and vegetables for babies and start adding it to their diet gradually.
Vegetable fibre can be started on immediately after you wean your baby off breast milk or formula, around six to seven months of age. The best way to introduce vegetables to a baby is to serve them in a mashed or pureed form. As your baby begins teething, you can give him sautéed vegetables or salads. Some of the vegetables that are rich in fibre are:
- Turnip greens
- Brussels sprouts
- Sweet potatoes
- Raw carrots
Fruits are a rich source of fibre and can be safely introduced to your baby. Ensure to let your baby try only one fruit at a time and notice how his body reacts to it. If he feels any discomfort, discontinue it and try a different fruit. Some fruits that are rich in fibre include:
It is best to offer single-grain cereals to your baby in the beginning. However, your baby may not be a fan of the taste and may take some time to get used to it. The best way to figure out which grains are high in fibre is by checking the texture of the food. The grainier the texture, the higher the fibre content. Some grains that are good for the baby are:
Precautions to Take While Giving Fiber-rich Foods to a Baby
Fiber for babies is good. But a few precautions must be followed when giving fibre-rich food to babies.
- Ensure diversity and moderation in your baby’s diet choices.
- Begin with a single grain or cereal when introducing solids to young infants. As your baby matures, you can introduce multigrain meals.
- To retain fibre content, refrain from peeling fruits and vegetables; opt for scraping instead.
- Seek guidance from a paediatrician before incorporating new fibre-rich foods into your baby’s diet.
- Provide babies with fibre exclusively through natural foods; avoid using isolated or commercial fibre supplements.
Fibre-rich Food Recipes for Infants
You can try out these quick recipes that can add a good amount of fibre in your child’s diet.
1. Hummus Dip With Toast Recipe
Hummus is both delicious and rich in fibre. Here is an easy recipe for a hummus dip that goes well with toast. You can make this dish for your child if he is above 2 years of age.
What You Need
- Chickpeas, 400 g, drained and rinsed
- One lemon
- One clove of garlic
- Tahini (sesame paste), 2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of water
How to Prepare:
- Blend all the ingredients together until they form a smooth paste.
- Add water as needed for the required consistency.
2. Frozen Pineapple Recipe
This is the simplest way to increase your child’s fibre intake and requires little to no time. You can make this for your child if he is above 2 years of age.
What You Need
- Pineapple – 1 (small)
How to Prepare
- Cut the pineapple into thin round slices and refrigerate them for your baby to chew on.
3. Avocado and Banana Mash
Avocado and banana mash is a nutritious blend of creamy avocado and naturally sweet banana, creating a smooth, wholesome baby food or snack rich in healthy fats, fibre, and essential nutrients.
What You Need
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 ripe banana
- Breast milk or formula (optional)
How to Prepare
- Peel and mash the avocado and banana in a bowl until smooth.
- If needed, add a small amount of breast milk or formula to achieve desired consistency.
- Serve immediately.
4. Sweet Potato Puree
Creamy sweet potato puree, seasoned with a hint of cinnamon, offers a delightful balance of natural sweetness and earthy undertones.
What You Need
- 1 small sweet potato
- Water for boiling
How to Prepare
- Peel and chop the sweet potato into small cubes.
- Boil or steam until tender.
- Mash or blend until smooth.
- Allow to cool before serving.
1. Can I Give Fiber Supplements to My Baby?
It is advisable not to give babies fibre supplements unless specifically advised by a paediatrician. It is preferable to rely on natural sources of fibre found in foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains, as they provide a broader spectrum of essential nutrients compared to isolated or commercial fibre supplements.
2. How I Can Increase My Baby’s Fiber Intake?
Introduce high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes gradually. Ensure proper hydration for digestion. Seek personalised advice from a paediatrician or nutritionist for tailored dietary recommendations.
Fibre-rich foods are important for proper bowel function and when given in the right quantity can complement your baby’s diet. But before including any fibre-rich food in your little one’s diet, do check with your baby’s paediatrician whether or not you should go ahead with it.
1. C A Edwards, A M Parrett; Dietary fibre in infancy and childhood; NCBI; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12740052/; February 2003
2. High Fiber Diet; nationwidechildrens.org; https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/health-wellness-and-safety-resources/helping-hands/high-fiber-diet
3. Fiber; kidshealth.org; https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/fiber.html
4. Baby Your Baby – Preventing Pediatric Constipation; intermountainhealthcare.org; https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/baby-your-baby-preventing-pediatric-constipation
5. Kristen Finn, Emma Jacquier, Brian Kineman, et.al; Nutrient intakes and sources of fiber among children with low and high dietary fiber intake: the 2016 feeding infants and toddlers study (FITS), a cross-sectional survey; NCBI; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6859612/; November 2019
6. FIBRE; rch.org.au; https://www.rch.org.au/uploadedFiles/Main/Content/nutrition/2013Fibre.pdf
7. Kids Need Fiber: Here’s Why and How; healthychildren.org; https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Kids-Need-Fiber-Heres-Why-and-How.aspx
8. Fiber for kids: High fiber recipes for kids; health.choc.org; https://health.choc.org/high-fiber-recipes-for-kids/