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Constipation. More Fibre, How?
Ora-Mari Olwagen

Constipation is a very common problem amongst young children.  A lack of, or too much fiber can cause constipation. With toddlers, the consumption of too much milk may lead to constipation, as the diet is not well balanced.  Too much milk may also suppress appetite. In severe cases medication is necessary to empty the gut. With young children, a small increase in the total fiber intake may be adequate.  Strategies for behavior change are also beneficial: being active, regular toilet use, offering rewards for healthy eating and fluid intake.


There are two kinds of fiber: soluble & insoluble.

Soluble fiber: mostly in fruit, vegetables, beans, lentils and oats.

Insoluble fiber: whole grains, pasta and rice.

High fiber foods are low in fat and can be very filling. It can cause younger children to feel full very quickly, even before their energy need is met. Fiber also inhibits essential nutrient absorption; too much fiber may lead to nutrient deficiencies. Adequate fluid and nutrient dense foods should be included in a balanced diet.

General recommendations (>2 years old):

Always increase the amount of fiber GRADUALLY


Fiber recommendation: age in years + 5 to 10g / day (up to a maximum of 18 g / day).  For example a toddler of 2 years old should be taking in 2 + 5 to10, which is 7 to 12 grams of fiber daily. 


Ora-Mari Olwagen, Pediatric Dietitian, 0793406821,ora@absolutenutrition.co.za,


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