Is Your Child Getting Enough Fibre?

Having a healthy diet means getting enough of all the essential nutrients. This can be complicated enough when you're just feeding yourself, but looking after children means paying particularly close attention to what your little ones are eating.

One particular dietary element that doesn't always get as much publicity as it deserves is fibre. Without enough fibre, kids can develop various health problems that may need medical attention in time. As fibre is only found in plant foods, it can be difficult to make sure a child is getting enough in their diet. Here are some signs that your kids might be deficient in fibre.


Once children reach an age where they're using the toilet on their own, parents can't always keep track of this aspect of their health. It's important to ensure your children can talk to you if they're having any difficulty going.

One of the most common causes of constipation is a lack of fibre, as it helps the digestive tract work properly. If your child complains of being constipated, it can often be fixed by upping their fruit and veg intake.

Frequent hunger

Fibre in the diet helps you feel more full after eating and to stay full for longer. While kids sometimes claim they're hungry when they shouldn't be, if it seems they're putting away much more food than is normal, more fibre can help.

Unexplained weight gain

With a child who is overweight, it's important to try and control their calorie intake and make sure they're getting enough exercise. If this fails to bring their weight down to a healthy level, it might be due to not eating enough fibre.

This is partly because of the excessive hunger described above and partly because filling up on foods with little to no fibre typically means too much fatty, unhealthy food.

Excessive tiredness

Since fibre helps effective digestion, a child who isn't getting enough can fail to absorb all the nutrients they need. This can lead to low energy and frequent tiredness, as their body isn't getting the right fuel to keep going.

Bouts of nausea

Fibre deficiency can cause bloating and stomach aches, which often make children feel nauseous. The lack of proper nutrition caused by not eating enough fibrous foods can also lead to nausea. If your child has regular bouts of nausea, a simple dietary change could be all that's needed to fix the problem.

Contact a family doctor for additional information.