Fiber supplements are recommended for many people. This is mainly due to the increased amount of processed foods in modern society that have lower fiber content than natural foods. However new parents wonder can a 2 year old take fiber supplements? Lets find out!
Fiber for 2-year-olds
If you are breastfeeding your child, they will receive fiber from your breast milk.
For children between 1 and 3 years old, it is recommended that they eat 3 servings of fruit and vegetables a day (which provide fiber). For children aged 4 and over, it is recommended that they eat 5 servings of fruit and veg a day (which again provides plenty of fiber).
However, this may not always be possible due to the likes of picky eating habits. Therefore parents should speak with their pediatrician before considering prescribing a supplement such as Miralax (also called polyethylene glycol) or lactulose which contains fibers.
Other laxatives such as mineral oil should be avoided because can cause intestinal blockage in children between 1 and 4 years old. These supplements should be given in a lower dose to a young child, starting from 0.3-0.4 ounces per day increasing gradually up to 3-5 tablespoons for older children.
In the case of constipation, Miralax is suitable for babies aged 6 months or older who can drink by mouth and take it with their milk feeds. The normal dose is 1 teaspoon (4g) each day which can be increased gradually to an age-appropriate dosage.
Honey may also promote regular bowel movements but check with your pediatrician before giving honey to your baby or toddler since infants under 12 months should not eat honey because there’s a rare chance that spores of Clostridium botulinum may be present in honey and could cause a serious illness called infant botulism.
For babies requiring a fiber supplement but cannot yet take Miralax or lactulose, the recommended product is Gav-Lax which contains rice starch as its active ingredient.
A typical dose for infants between 1 and 3 months old would be ¼ teaspoon of Gav-Lax whereas older children at least 9 months old should generally receive ½ teaspoon each day if their pediatrician feels it’s necessary.
Always check with your pediatrician before giving any new food to your baby or toddler since certain foods can easily cause choking in young children such as nut products, raisins, and whole grapes (including grape juice).
Other potentially useful fiber supplements for children
Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet but should not be used to treat diarrhea or replace more nutritious foods.
If you are looking into adding fiber supplements to your child’s diet, speak with your pediatrician about whether it would be of benefit to them.
Your pediatrician may recommend increasing the fiber in their diet by offering them more fruit and vegetables (remembering that these also provide vitamins and minerals which are crucial for good health).
Before starting any new treatment on your child including fiber supplements, make sure you consult with their pediatrician first even if they do not feel it is necessary.
Parents should never give any new treatments to their children without checking with their doctor since some substances can have serious side effects when breastfeeding or when taken by children.
The general dosage for fiber supplements is 0.8-1 ounce per day for infants whereas 1-2 ounces can be given to older children if necessary, but this should only be done on the advice of your pediatrician.
Your pediatrician will advise you on what is appropriate for specific symptoms and whether the supplement would need to be continued over a longer period of time since it can take up to 2 weeks or more before any benefits are felt with respect to constipation.
As with all medicines, follow the directions that come with the product label carefully and make sure you are certain of how much your child needs for their age/weight.
Before giving anything new to your young child, always check the label first since some substances can be dangerous if given in the wrong dosage or cause unexpected reactions in children at certain ages.
As a rule of thumb, do not give any supplements to your child unless their pediatrician recommends it since this may upset their natural balance. If in doubt, always check with your pediatrician before giving anything new to your young child.
Fiber supplements can be a little trickier to manage because some children don’t like the taste. However, there are plenty of options on the market that come in really tasty flavors which you can try out if your child is not keen on taking it straight away.
Try offering them fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables as an alternative or mix them in with their favorites. This may work better than just giving your child fiber supplements for kids right off the bat since they will get used to eating healthy natural foods if they start doing this at a young age.
Just remember that while adults often use fiber supplements once or twice daily, it’s usually recommended that kids take their supplement three times per day (just make sure to give it to them at different times).
There are also chewable fiber supplements for kids available on the market which may taste better and be easier to manage. Again, always go with a reputable brand that offers no side effects, free shipping, and a satisfaction guarantee you can trust!
So as long as proper precautions are taken (for example, use only the recommended dose), there is no reason you cannot give your child added fiber supplements in their diet when they need it.
Just make sure that they get enough water each day (at least 4 cups) or more if they take any fiber supplement since this will help move things along nicely in their digestive system.