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High Fiber Foods

Child Nutrition Basics

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Updated April 11, 2014

Many children, since they don't eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and they have a relatively high fat diet, tend to have diets that are low in fiber.

This can lead to unhealthy diets and one of the more common and immediate consequences - constipation.

How much fiber do kids need in their diet?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, in their Guide to Your Child's Nutrition, "a person's daily intake of fiber should equal his or her age plus 5 grams (thus, for a 7-year-old, 7 + 5 = 12 grams a day) up to a maximum of 35 grams a day."

Many nutrition experts think that isn't enough fiber.

The latest fiber recommendations are that kids should eat about 14g of fiber for every 1,000 calories they eat. So obviously older kids who eat more calories should also get more fiber in their diet.

High Fiber Foods

In general, good sources of fiber include many fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans), breads, and cereals.

To find foods high in fiber for your family, it can help to read the nutrition label of foods to see how much fiber is in it.

In general, a food that is high in fiber would have at least 5g of fiber per serving or more. Those that are good sources of fiber have at least 2.5g of fiber per server.

You can also look for these high fiber foods (they have 5g of fiber or more per serving):

  • Barley
  • Navy Beans
  • Baked Beans
  • Split Peas
  • Lentils
  • Wheat Flour
  • Oat Bran
  • Dates
  • Refried Beans
  • Raspberries
  • Asian Pears
  • Green Peas
  • Kellogg's All-Bran Cereal
  • Couscous, dry
  • Prunes
  • Kellogg's Raisin Bran Cereal
  • Spinach
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Artichokes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Progresso Healthy Classics Lentil Soup
  • Shredded Wheat Cereal
  • Broccoli
  • Pears
  • Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats Cereal
  • Raisins
  • General Mills Total Raisin Bran cereal
Other high fiber foods include other bran cereals, bran muffins, etc.

Foods that are still pretty good sources of fiber (about 2 to 4.9g of fiber per serving), at least as compared to other foods without fiber, but not as high as the high fiber foods listed above, include:

  • Mixed Vegetables
  • Strawberies
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes (with the skin on)
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Figs
  • General Mills Cheerios cereal
  • Apples (with the skin on)
  • Oranges
  • Air Popped Popcorn
  • Oatmeal
  • Applesauce
  • Tomato Soup
  • Fruit Cocktail
  • Graham Crackers
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios cereal
  • Pistachio Nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Celery
Again, don't forget to check the nutrition label to find high fiber foods, avoid adding high fat toppings to your high fiber foods, and encourage your kids to eat their fruits, like apples, with the skin on.

Foods that have some fiber, but not as much as most parents think include grapes, melons, granola bars, non-bran cereals, oatmeal cookies, lettuce, and apples without the skin on them.



Sources:

American Heart Association. AHA Recommendation. Fiber and Children's Diets.

Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. 2005.

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18. Fiber, Total Dietary (g) Content of Selected Foods per Common Measure, sorted by nutrient content.

Related Video
Best High Fiber Foods
Tips To Get Your Kids to Eat Vegetables

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