Fiber is an essential part of any child’s diet and has many health benefits, but it can be tough to feed your kids a high-fiber diet.
Most kids are too fussy to eat natural sources of fiber like split peas, meaning many parents turn to supplements to give their kids the nutrition they need.
One of the best ways to combine essential nutrients with kid-friendly flavors are fiber gummies for kids, but can a sweet gummy give you the fiber you need for a healthy diet?
From regulating bowel movement to lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease, fiber has a wide variety of health benefits and can be found in a variety of fruit and vegetables. The best way to maintain healthy levels of fiber is through a balanced diet rich in whole grains, pulses, fruit and vegetables, though this isn’t always possible, especially with kids.
Unfortunately, most Americans don’t meet the recommended daily intake of fiber (as much as 95% of the US population, according to some surveys), so chances are that you and your kids could use more fiber in your diet. Even if you manage to feed your family plenty of fruit and vegetables, you could benefit from using fiber gummies for kids to bolster your fiber intake, so let’s take a closer look at these increasingly popular supplements.
What is fiber?
The term fiber refers to any type of carbohydrate that your body can’t digest, meaning they pass through most of your digestive system unchanged. These carbs are then broken down by bacteria in your gut which contribute to your overall health, so eating plenty of fiber is essential for good gut health and by extension overall health.
Fortunately, fiber is common in fruits, vegetables and pulses (such as pears, oats and beans), so it’s easy to add fiber to your diet, though many people don’t eat the recommended daily intake of fiber. Furthermore, since it can be tough to persuade kids to eat more fiber-rich foods, many parents are turning to fiber supplements – such as fiber gummies for kids – to give their children more of the essential nutrients they need, though there are doubts about the safety and effectivity of these supplements.
Are fiber supplements safe for children?
There is currently no evidence suggesting that regular use of fiber supplements is harmful, though it’s best to get your fiber from whole foods, as they provide a wide variety of nutrients in addition to fiber. While fiber supplements have been linked to minor side effects – like bloating and gas – they are not known to cause any serious health issues or long-term problems, so they are safe for children.
Furthermore, you can avoid most of these side effects by starting with smaller doses of fiber supplements and making sure your kids drink plenty of water, so stomach issues are nothing to worry about. However, if your children have intestinal problems – such as Crohn’s disease or bowel blockages – then you should consult a doctor to see if fiber gummies for kids are suitable.
Do fiber Gummies actually work?
Asking whether or not fiber gummies ‘work’ is a complicated question, as people can mean all kinds of different things when they say “work”. Will they work wonders on constipation? Absolutely. Will they help you to get more fiber in your kids’ diet? You can bet your bottom dollar on it. Are fiber gummies going to transform your life and leave you as regular as clockwork? Not necessarily.
It’s always best to get your fiber from a balanced diet high in fruit and vegetables, but this isn’t always feasible, so many people turn to supplements to ‘make up’ for missed nutrients. In short, fiber gummies for kids don’t have anywhere near the nutritional value of a bowl of beans or fruit platter, but they’re a darn sight better than another plate of chicken nuggets, making them a valid way to get more essential nutrients in your kids’ diet.
How long does it take fiber gummies to work?
Fiber gummies are most effective at regulating your bowel movements and tackling constipation, and they get to work as soon as you ingest them. However, they can take anywhere between 12 and 24 hours to provide noticeable results. Your body needs time to process the fiber content, meaning that you would be better suited to reach for a laxative if you need speedy relief.
But these supplements were never intended to serve as a quick fix, so you should stick with them if you want to see long-term results like improved gut health. After a week or so on fiber gummies for kids, you should notice benefits like more regular bowel movements, reduced snacking (as soluble fiber promotes feelings of fullness) and maybe even improved mood, as your kids’ gut health improves.