Fiber made simple
Your poop tells all-
Marisa Crespo, our thoughtful writer and editor at Nutrition4 Kids, is always trying to engage readers with her energetic articles. She has her bachelor's degree in Nutrition and is interested in the psychology of eating as well as plant-based lifestyles. On her free time she enjoys creative writing, exploring parks and cities, and having a […]
Enough fiber in your diet? Using poop to let you know
We all know fiber makes you poop, but just how much fiber is needed to get those bowels moving? The fiber recommendations for children and adults often vary. Some guidelines say a 3-year old needs 8 grams of fiber a day. Others recommend 19 grams. A teenage boy? Some guidelines say 19 grams of fiber per day, while others say 34!
So, we will make it easy for you. No more numbers, let's talk about poop!
The ideal poop
From the time a baby starts solid foods through adulthood, an ideal poop is a smooth stool that easily passes without a lot of pushing. Aim for smooth hotdog logs every 1-3 days and you're all set. The color, size, frequency, and amount of poop doesn't matter as much as the ease and texture. If your poops often look like lumpy sausages or hard nuts, and it takes a long time to pass a stool, then you may need to increase the fiber in your diet.
However, if your stools are pale or dark black or cause pain before or during bowel movements, check with your doctor to make sure your GI system is ok.
Good fiber sources
People hear about eating whole grain breads and high fiber cereals. But other foods have lots of fiber too: fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds and nuts, even popcorn and brown rice. And for kids who are picky eaters, there are ways to help them get more fiber in too.
If you eat a well-balanced diet and your poop habits are still unsatisfactory, you may need more fluids in your diet to keep your logs smooth sailing .
Everybody (and bowel) is different. The perfect amount of fiber for you is the amount that helps you pass hotdog log stools with ease. If you eat enough fiber rich foods in the diet and still can't "go," you may need to increase the amount of liquids in your diet.
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