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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Fibre & fluid for children

Kaka me wē mō ngā tamariki

Fibre makes poo softer and easier to pass. It comes from plant foods such as fruit, vegetables and grains.

Tips to help ensure your child has a good fibre intake


Do not give infants or young tamariki children wheat bran sprinkled over cereals or bran-rich cereals such as All‑Bran or San Bran. These may stop them absorbing important minerals such as iron and zinc. You can give 1 or 2 teaspoons of bran to tamariki over 10, as long as they have plenty of fluids at the same time.

If your tamaiti child is already eating a fibre-rich diet and drinking plenty of fluids, increasing fibre intake further and having extra drinks will not usually help constipation. In this case, they will usually need medications.

Normal fluid needs

Fluid if your child is constipated

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Medications for constipation in children

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed February 2022.

Page reference: 4966

Review key: HICOC-14683