For the second maybe third time ever, Animal had a day that he didn't have a single bowel movement. He usually has 1-3. I know, I know. Who cares? Why do parents talk about their children's bowel movements? Why, am I? Honestly I don't know why, but that's not going to stop me from writing this post.
I think digestive health is very important. I want him to be regular. I don't want him to be constipated. I don't want his "normal" to be every few days. I think that's an unhealthy, uncomfortable, and shitty state of being (pun intended).
The hubby sent me a text suggesting that we cut his meat intake, and up his water and fiber intake.
To which I responded cutting meat, no problem. Let's agree once a day tops if any. Up water, no problem, we'll offer him his sippy cup more often and I'll ask my mom to do the same. Up fiber? We don't need to do that I said, I'm sure that he's fine there. I start to think about his daily menu. On average he gets 14 grams, not too shabby if I do say so myself, but some days he doesn't eat all the food I prepare and offer.
Occasionally we order pizza which he loves, or go out to breakfast and he refuses everything except the bacon. Sometimes I make him a quesadilla or an egg, cheese and bacon burrito (both of which he loves, but that offer no fiber). On those days his fiber intake can be as low as 10 grams. I start to wonder if the hubby could be right. He has this super annoying habit of being right.
I jumped on Google to see what the Recommended Daily Intake of fiber is for a toddler. If you've never looked it up you might not know. It's 19 grams! Nineteen. Fuck, I'm a failure. I text the hubby and promise him I'll change up the menu.
I start thinking about what a terrible mom I am. I'm at work 9 hrs a day and I can't even prepare him nutritious meals. I suck. I start to brainstorm and Googling fiber rich foods. He eats all of them except brown rice. It's summer so he's having berries almost daily (a fiber rich food). He loves broccoli, carrots, green beans, zucchini, sweet potatoes, and peas. He doesn't love brussels sprouts, but he ate some for dinner Sunday night (along with a banana and 3 nutter butter bites). I started calming down. I mean really how many toddlers eat brussels sprouts? A few, and mine is one of them.
I go to Trader Joe's on my lunch break. As I walk around, I realize just how healthy my son eats (mostly) the real problem I realize is two fold.
First I was ignorant about what the actual RI was. Second, I've gotten a little (okay, moderately) laxed about what I feed my son. I'm lazy when it comes to cooking (and cleaning up a kitchen) so doing so isn't on the top of my to do list. Making sure my son is as healthy as he can be however, is. So, as I looked around I made a decision. To start paying attention, planning and changing up the menu again. For him, and for us.
I bought a bad of brown rice, the one with the highest fiber count. I decided I would cook like Spanish rice. I made it this morning.
In a small pot, I heated 1 TBS of olive oil. Then added 1 cup of rice medley. Stir to coat with olive oil. Package said add 2 and 1/2 cups (added 2 2/3 because I usually think brown rice is dry) low sodium chicken stock and brought to a boil. Once it was boiling I covered and lower to lowest setting for 50 minutes (package said 35). Once timer goes off, turn stove off, but do not remove lid for at least 15 minutes.
I packed 3/4 cup and topped with 1/4 cup of red (low sodium) kidney beans (rinsed and drained).
I thought rice was tasty. Easy, and if he eats it all that's about 6 grams of fiber.
He didn't eat it all.
Here was his menu for and intake for Tuesday 6/25 (I figured out intake by using nutritional facts on package and my WW App)
Breakfast: 1/2 banana, 1/3 peach and 1/4 cup oatmeal (about 3 grams of fiber)
AM snack: 1/2 cup raspberries (4 grams fiber)
Lunch: 1/4 cup rice and a Tbs red beans (2 grams fiber)
PM snack: 1/2 cup broccoli 1/4 grapefruit 3/4 cup oatmeal with 1/2 banana mashed into it (6 grams fiber)
Dinner: 1/4 cup carrots, 1/4 cup baked french fries (Trader Joe's), 1/2 Morning Star black bean burger (5 grams fiber)
Total 20 grams
We did it. This was actually an extraordinary day, he ate a lot. Some days, I can't get him to eat more than a meal. If I plan correctly, I think this is doable.
If you want to up your child's fiber intake, first try to figure out what your child's average intake per day is. Remember to add fiber slowly. Animal's avg was 14 grams, All I really did was swap the little to no fiber meals with fruits and veggies and switched white rice out for brown rice.
I'm going to try a new recipe out every week. I'll share the recipe here and whether or not it was successful. Have a recipe you want to share, or want to suggest one for my kid to test? Email me here.