15 Best Fiber Snacks for Kids
By Jenna Braddock, MSH, CSSD, RD, ACSM-CPT, a mom and consultant sports dietitian who works with Clif Bar & Company.
The ideas and suggestions written below are provided for general educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or care. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider before beginning any physical fitness or health- and nutrition-related activity.
The importance of fiber in a child’s diet is one of those situations where “if you know, you know.” Whether your kids complain that a snack doesn’t keep them full or you’re a parent who has dealt with constipation challenges, getting enough fiber into your child’s diet is top of mind for many of us. I happen to be one of those parents, and speaking from experience, the struggle is real.
I’ve chatted with many other parents who also find it challenging to get fiber into their kids’ bellies. Choosing to include fibrous foods is an important pillar of eating, but it can often be difficult to execute in everyday life.
Benefits of Fiber
While promoting regularity is probably the most well-known benefit of fiber, it can also help support feelings of fullness. Some types of fiber help with bowel regularity by providing bulk in the stool and keeping things moving, while others slow down the digestion of food and contribute to fullness.1 Include a wide array of fiber-containing foods to ensure your child’s needs are met.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories. More specifically, the guidelines break down baseline fiber goals by age and gender2:
|Age Group||Grams of Fiber|
It is OK and potentially very beneficial for kids to eat more than these amounts, but hopefully, these realistic numbers encourage you more than discourage you. It’s very attainable for kids to reach these fiber goals.
Tips for Increasing Fiber
If your child needs more fiber in their diet, make small changes and substitutions over time to help them adjust mentally and physically. Try to not get discouraged if you’re met with any resistance. Changing foods can be challenging for kids, but you can help increase acceptance of these fibrous foods with regular introductions over time.
Here are some simple ways to add more fiber to your family’s everyday diet:
- Flaxseed is an easy source of fiber because you can add it to many foods. Two tablespoons of ground flaxseed contain nearly 3 grams of fiber. Add 2 tablespoons to foods like smoothies and hot or cold cereals and add ¼ cup (or more) to a batch of baked goods or pancakes.
- Berries contain a good amount of fiber and tend to be well liked by kiddos. Raspberries, in particular, provide about 4 grams of fiber per ½ cup. Add fresh or frozen berries to smoothies, yogurt, and lunch boxes and at snack time.
- Use whole grains as much as possible in your day-to-day eating. Reach for whole-grain bread, tortillas, pasta, and crackers. Look out for newer brands of “white whole-wheat” bread, which is still a whole grain with fiber but has the soft texture of white bread that kids love.
- Including beans regularly in your meals is an easy way to eat more fiber. Most beans provide about 7 grams of fiber per half cup. Consider mixing beans with meat dishes (like in this taco meat) to give your meals a fiber boost.
- As fiber increases in your kid’s diet, it is also important to monitor their water intake. Fiber needs water to work properly in the body.3 Consider always offering water with meals and snacks to encourage optimal hydration.
15 Best Fiber Snacks
Snacks can make up a notable portion of kids’ food intake; therefore, snack time should be a time when parents encourage foods with fiber. Here are 15 of the best fiber-filled snacks that are perfect for kids.
CLIF Kid Zbar®: All parents need a homerun snack they can take on the go to practices or activities, and these bars deliver a good source of fiber.* CLIF Kid Zbar snack bars are made with organic oats, providing 10-12 grams of whole grains and 2-3 grams of fiber.* Delicious flavors like Cinnamon Roll and Chocolate Brownie will make your kiddos super happy and boost their fiber intake.
*Per 40g. Contains 4-5g total fat per serving.
Prunes: Don’t knock them till you try them! Prunes are simply dried plums (You can just call them that if it helps!) and are a naturally sweet choice of fiber. Four prunes provide 3 grams of fiber from a whole-food source. Chop them up and add to oatmeal or combine them with other foods to make a snack mix. You can also try dipping them in a little melted chocolate to make littles interested in taste testing.
Pears: Pears can be a forgotten fruit compared to the more well-known ones, but it’s time to add them to your list of portable, fiber-filled snacks. A medium pear contains about 4 grams of fiber and goes beautifully with a little cheese for a satisfying snack. Another bonus of pears, like many fruits, is their water content — which can help hydrate kiddos too!
Popcorn: Not only is popcorn a fun food to eat, but at 1 gram of fiber per cup, it’s easy to fill up on fiber too. Pop your own easily in the microwave or on the stovetop or choose store-bought versions low in salt and added sugar.
Roasted Chickpea Snacks: Who knew beans could be so delicious?! Your kids will likely love these crunchy, flavored snacks that are a good source of fiber. A 1-ounce serving provides 6 grams of fiber. Look for them in the nuts section at the grocery store or try making your own!
Edamame: This versatile, kid-friendly legume can be enjoyed straight from the pod, roasted, or used in all kinds of recipes, and it provides 4 grams of fiber per ½-cup serving. Look for frozen edamame in the pod and simply heat up and serve to your kiddos. Playing with food is highly encouraged here! You can also turn shelled edamame into a delicious Green Hummus Dip for kids to dip all kinds of foods in, including more veggies! For the easiest version to take on the go, look for dry roasted edamame at the grocery store in a variety of flavors.
Cereal with Fiber: Cereal is not just for breakfast and can be an on-the-go fiber snack. Look for ones that come in shapes easy to eat as finger food and have over 4 grams of fiber per serving. Give the ingredients list a look over and make sure the first ingredient is a “whole” grain of any type. Lastly, choose lower-sugar cereal options that have about 12 grams of total sugar or less.
Apple Rings with Nut Butter: Turn apples into a fun, interactive snack by coring and slicing into rings or thin “donut” slices. At 4 grams of fiber per whole medium apple, it deliciously adds a boost of fiber. Heat up nut butter slightly to thin it and allow kids to decorate their apple rings like icing. One tablespoon of peanut butter adds an additional 1 gram of fiber too! Top with dried fruit, granola, or chocolate chips for even more fun.
Whole-Grain or Seed-Based Crackers: Kids love crackers, so it’s a great food to lean on for a fiber boost. Look for crackers made with 100% whole grains or seeds in the ingredients list. Pair them with other foods like string cheese for a pop of protein or some fresh fruit for an additional sweet touch of fiber.
Almond Butter & Strawberry Sandwich: Level up the traditional PB&J by using almond butter and fresh, sliced strawberries on whole-grain bread. Almond butter has twice the fiber content of peanut butter, and fresh strawberries provide fiber that jelly typically does not. Look for thinly sliced 100% whole-grain bread to make a snack-size sandwich version for little kids.
Avocado Toast: This popular combo is not just a hip choice for breakfast, it’s also a great high-fiber snack for kids. One quarter of an avocado provides 2 grams of fiber. Slathered on a piece of whole-grain toast, the total fiber content is around 5 grams. Another plus for this snack is that it’s easy for kids to make on their own.
Fiber-ful Trail Mix: A quick mix of simple ingredients can create a satisfying, appealing snack that also provides fiber. Mix together a 1/2 ounce of almonds (try slivered almonds for pickier eaters), 1 tablespoon of raisins, and 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips. This simple combo provides a little over 3 grams of total fiber.
Kid-Friendly Smoothies: Your child may not be interested in fibrous veggies on their own but blending them into a tasty smoothie can be a game changer. If you already have a favorite smoothie recipe in your house, consider adding a stalk of celery, avocado, or ground flaxseed to it. This Kid-Friendly Green Smoothie* has all of these ingredients plus fruit to make it taste great.
*Some of the links may be contain sponsored or paid for advertising. Clif Bar is not affiliated with those companies and is not endorsing the promotion of any specific product mentioned in the links.
Chia Seeds: This superfood seed packs 4 grams of fiber into just one tablespoon. Chia seeds can be added to smoothies, yogurt, hot cereals, and granola for an easy fiber boost. When you mix them with a liquid, it creates a thickened texture like that of pudding. Try this delicious, no-cook Mango Chia Pudding recipe for a tropical-inspired snack.
Pumpkin Whole-Grain Muffins/Breads: It’s time to think of pumpkin as a year-round flavor because it’s also a source of fiber. A ½ cup of canned pumpkin puree provides 3.5 grams of fiber and tons of delicious flavor. Try making pumpkin, whole-grain baked goods like these Pumpkin Apple Mini Muffins or including it in an energizing smoothie like this Pumpkin Spice Smoothie.
With a little planning and a touch of adventure, you can easily help increase your child’s fiber intake. Remember to start slow and try one new item at a time alongside encouraging your child to drink more fluids.
- Korczak R, Kamil A, Fleige L, Donovan SM, Slavin JL. Dietary fiber and digestive health in children. Nutr Rev. 2017;75(4):241-259. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuw068.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans_2020-2025.pdf.
- Philips MM. Soluble and insoluble fiber. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/19531.htm. Updated July 16, 2020. Accessed August 24, 2021.
- Fiber in Foods Chart. CS Mott Children’s Hospital. https://www.med.umich.edu/mott/pdf/mott-fiber-chart.pdf. Accessed August 19, 2021.