The importance of fiber at the beginning of complementary feeding

It is rare for children to choose foods rich in fiber by themselves, which makes this compound one of the most problematic in the diet of children.

Moreover, fiber, although it is not a nutrient per se, since it does not participate directly in metabolic processes of the organism, it does perform physiological functions of great importance, so their contribution is very necessary for the proper functioning of the body, and in particular, the gastrointestinal tract.

We tell you the reasons why it is important to introduce fiber at the beginning of complementary feeding.

There are different types of fiber, depending on how they react to water, insoluble fiber, and soluble fiber:

- Soluble fiber It attracts water and turns into something like a gel during digestion, increasing the feeling of fullness and making the digestive process slower and easier. This type of fiber is found in oat and barley bran, in some nuts and seeds, and in legumes, as well as some fruits and vegetables.

- Insoluble fiber it is found in foods like wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. This type of fiber softens and increases the volume of the stool helping food to pass through the gastrointestinal tract more quickly, which prevents constipation, but unfortunately, by increasing the speed of digestion, it hinders the absorption of some nutrients.

The baby's body, when complementary feeding is started, has been digesting liquid contents exclusively for 6 months, breast milk or formula. During this time, the contribution of fiber apart from the one that these dairy products can contribute is unnecessaryBut, that orange juice that was formerly recommended for babies to poop does not do them any good, quite the opposite, because their gastrointestinal tract is not prepared to digest it.

Constipation at these ages, if the baby is breastfed, it is unlikely, although the frequency of stool is variable, since breast milk produces little waste. Formula is harder to digest and can cause harder stools, but if prepared correctly, it shouldn't cause constipation on a regular basis.

However, when solid foods are introduced, suddenly the liquid intake decreases and the waste products increase, so constipation is unfortunately highly frequent. As the baby's gastrointestinal tract gets used to the new foods, Offering water, breast milk, or formula often can help.

It is also important to choose for the baby, when starting complementary feeding, high fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables and legumes, as well as whole grains, to make this transition easier for your body and avoid constipation.

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