It’s no surprise that dietary fiber, a type of carbohydrate in foods, is good for digestive health. It’s a superhero for protecting a healthy gut microbiome⸻the trillions of bacteria and other “bugs” living inside your child’s digestive tract.
Fiber also fights against constipation. If you’ve transitioned your child to a gluten-free (GF) diet, you may notice going #2 isn’t as smooth sailing as it used to be. Many GF products aren’t the best sources of fiber since they may include low-fiber ingredients like tapioca starch, potato starch, or rice flour. A major cause of constipation is too little fiber.
The good news is there are plenty of gluten-free foods that are natural sources of dietary fiber. Read on to learn more about your kiddo’s daily fiber needs and 10 high fiber gluten-free foods to plate up for them.
How much fiber does my child need?
Here’s the breakdown of your child’s needs for fiber by age and gender per the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Fiber for toddlers:
Fiber for kids:
10 gluten-free high fiber foods list
1. Lentils, 8 grams of fiber per serving
Tiny but mighty, lentils are the edible seeds of the legume family that come in many colors, including red, green, and brown. It’s no secret these itty bitty plant-based foods are nutritional powerhouses.A half-cup of cooked lentils carries almost eight grams of fiber, plus protein, folate, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc to boot. If pooping has been an uphill battle for your GF child, here are some ways to help them up their fiber intake and improve their overall nutrition with lentils.
Ways to enjoy lentils:
- -Lentil soup or chili
- -Lentil taco filling
- -Creamy lentil dip and corn tortilla chips
- -Lentil hummus and GF flatbread
- -Lentil patties
- -Cheesy lentil sauce for GF pasta
2. Beans, 8 grams of fiber per serving
Beans, a sibling to lentils, are well-recognized for packing loads of fiber in every serving. Like lentils, beans contain nearly eight grams of fiber in a half-cup serving and offer your kiddo protein, iron, folate, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and calcium. Not to mention their contribution to your child’s gut health.
A 2020 review published in Nutrients says that a diet without fiber negatively affects gut bacteria diversity, which is crucial to a healthy gut microbiome (the healthy bugs that make their home inside your child’s digestive tract) and normal digestion. Thankfully, beans (and lentils) have fiber and resistant starches that ferment in your child’s digestive tract to produce short-chain fatty acids to support gut health and diversity.
Ways to enjoy beans:
- -Bean dip
- -Black bean brownies
- -As a topping on southwest pizza
- -Mashed and spread into a quesadilla
- -Bean burrito
3. Pears, 2 grams of fiber per serving
Beautifully green and bulb-shaped, pears are a popular fruit belonging to the Rose family, along with apples. The fall-time fruit contains vitamin C, potassium, phytochemicals, and antioxidants and is also a great source of fiber. A half-cup serving of pear slices has two grams of fiber to help fight your child’s poop struggles.
Plus, pears are sources of sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that many fruits and vegetables naturally contain. According to a 2022 review in Frontiers in Nutrition, sorbitol increases stool water content and eases constipation. It may be because sorbitol resists digestion and absorption, and its molecules can hold onto water. Pears are usually in the EWG’s Dirty Dozen line-up of foods high in pesticides, so opting for organic pears can help avoid pesticides.
Ways to enjoy pears:
- -Fresh slices sprinkled with cinnamon
- -Chopped and added to hot GF cereal
- -Air-fried pears with pumpkin pie spice
- -Crockpot pear-applesauce
- -Peanut butter and pear sandwich
- -As a salad topping
4. Sweet potatoes, 3 grams of fiber per serving
What’s not to love about starchy root veggies? Sweet potatoes are tasty, versatile, affordable, and chock-full of nutrients your child depends on for healthy growth and development. Iron, manganese, potassium, B vitamins, and vitamins E and C are rich in sweet potatoes.
But let’s talk about their fiber. A half-cup of the sweet, fleshy potato provides three grams of fiber. Sweet potatoes have a variety of bioactive compounds, which are natural compounds in foods that positively impact health. Carotenoids are bioactive compounds and antioxidants responsible for sweet potato’s vibrant orange pigment.
Ways to enjoy sweet potatoes:
- -Air-fried sweet potato fries
- -Mashed sweet potatoes
- -Sweet potato chips
- -Roasted, savory sweet potatoes
- -Loaded sweet potatoes
- -Sweet potato muffins
5. Avocados, 5 grams of fiber per serving
With so many uses for avocados, it’s no wonder they’ve grown so popular in recent years. While some view them as a veggie, avocados are actually a fruit, and their creamy smooth texture makes them a popular addition to smoothies, dips, and puddings.
Avocados are known for their heart-healthy fats and have vitamin K and B5, folate, and copper. When it comes to fiber, avocados don’t disappoint. Your child will score 5 grams of fiber in a half cup of fresh avocado cubes. Don’t blink! They go bad quickly, so keep an eye on fresh avocado as it ripens. Purchasing frozen avocados is an option, too.
Ways to enjoy avocados:
- -As a spread on GF toast or GF crackers
- -Blend into an avocado banana smoothie
- -Scramble with eggs
- -Guacamole dip
- -Chocolate avocado pudding
- -Blend with pesto for a tasty GF pasta sauce
6. Quinoa, 3 grams of fiber per serving
Quinoa is a gluten-free grain that carries significant amounts of fiber, protein, iron, copper, and B vitamins. A half-cup of cooked quinoa will get your kiddo closer to reaching their daily fiber needs by supplying almost three grams.
Quinoa is soft, with a natural, earthy flavor that blends well into sweet and savory dishes. The Whole Grains Council says quinoa has a bitter coating containing saponins, but most is rinsed off during production. You can rinse quinoa to wash any remaining saponins and follow product packaging instructions.
Ways to enjoy quinoa:
- -Crunchy taco filling
- -Quinoa pizza bites
- -Quinoa patties
- -Fruit quinoa salad
- -Quinoa fried rice
- -Quinoa-coated chicken nuggets
7. Raspberries, 4 grams of fiber per serving
Of all fruits, raspberries are among the highest in fiber, and each half-cup is crammed with four grams. These ruby-red gems are an excellent add-in to your little one’s eating routine because they offer a healthy dose of nutrients, including potassium and vitamin C.
The best part? Kids won’t realize they’re doing their tummy a favor because raspberries are one of nature’s sweet treats. So, toss some raspberries into their snack lineup next time your gluten-free champ needs some digestive relief. The summertime fruit is also available year-round in the frozen aisle, so don’t hesitate to add them to a smoothie even in winter.
Ways to enjoy raspberries:
- -Frozen raspberries
- -Fresh raspberries
- -Add to a smoothie or oatmeal
- -Bake into muffins
- -Yogurt bark
- -Raspberry crumble bars
8. Chia seeds, 4 grams of fiber per serving
Chia seeds are brimming with nutrition and are not just gluten-free but a potential secret weapon against constipation. That’s because they’re jam-packed with nearly four grams of fiber in just one tablespoon.
The itty bitty seeds may work well in keeping those tiny tummies moving smoothly. When mixed with liquid, they become a gel-like substance, moving the stool through and making bathroom trips a breeze. Plus, they’re loaded with healthy fats, protein, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium to boost your child’s health and well-being.
Ways to enjoy chia seeds:
- -As a smoothie ingredient
- -Sprinkled into hot GF cereal
- -Adding to a yogurt parfait
- -Chia pudding
- -Made with energy bites
- -Stir into sauces and soups for a natural thickener
9. Brown rice pasta, 3 grams of fiber per serving
Brown rice pasta is the go-to choice for gluten-free kids, and it’s not just about taste—it’s about fiber power! And the best part? Many brown rice pasta brands don’t compromise on texture or flavor. Though every brand offers different amounts, generally, every half-cup serving has three grams of fiber.
Another perk of offering your gluten-free champ brown rice pasta is that it’s rich in iron, which helps kids get closer to meeting their daily iron needs and thwart deficiencies. Remember, pasta comes in many fun shapes, from corkscrew to elbow to bow tie, so change it up for fun for your child.
Ways to enjoy brown rice pasta:
- -Chicken pasta salad
- -Broccoli pesto pasta
- -Pizza pasta
- -Spaghetti and GF meatballs
- -Fruity pasta salad
10. Oats, 4 grams of fiber per serving
Yes, gluten-free kiddos can enjoy oats, but the type of oats you choose may depend on whether your child has gluten intolerance or Celiac disease. That’s because oats are often processed in the same facilities as gluten-full grains, and the risk of cross-contact can be high. According to BeyondCeliac, oats without a gluten-free label aren’t safe for kids with Celiac disease. But, if your child has gluten intolerance, you may find they do alright with regular oats.
Oats are a pantry must-have in your kitchen thanks to their wealth of nutrients such as B vitamins, iron, and magnesium. Plus, they offer a whopping four grams of fiber per half-cup serving for satisfied tummies.
Ways to enjoy oats:
- -Peanut butter oat parfait with berries
- -Tossed into a fruit smoothie
- -Cinnamon bun overnight oats
- -Savory oat porridge
- -Homemade granola
- -Oat energy bars
The bottom line
Fiber is a roughage nutrient that helps with healthy digestion. Various high fiber gluten-free foods offer a well-balanced intake that supports a healthy gut and overall well-being. Try these 10 gluten-free high fiber foods found in fruits, veggies, seeds, and gluten-free grains to keep your child’s tummy on track with regular pooping. And remember to give them plenty of H2O.
How can I increase fiber in my child’s diet?
You can try to include fiber-rich food at your child’s meal and snack times. At breakfast, opt for high fiber berries or GF oat cereal. Lunchtime is a great opportunity to offer an avocado dip with tortilla chips or a southwest GF flatbread topped with black beans. Serve up some lentil chili at dinner with shredded cheese (or dairy-free cheese if needed), with a side of steamed broccoli for added fiber. Every gram counts!
What foods are high in fiber but gluten-free?
- -Fruits and vegetables (including apples, pears, raspberries, and sweet potatoes)
- -Legumes (including peas, lentils, beans, soybeans)
- -Nuts and seeds (including almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds)
- -GF whole grains (including brown rice, fortified cereals, quinoa, and buckwheat)
What is a high fiber breakfast without gluten?
- -Oatmeal or overnight oats (made with gluten-free oats)
- -Berry and yogurt smoothie
- -Avocado, eggs, and black beans on GF toast with salsa
- -Quinoa breakfast parfait with nuts