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Fiber - Fiber Recommendations for Kids

Child Nutrition Basics

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Updated April 09, 2014

Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, and most experts recommend that both children and adults eat a high fiber diet.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, in their Guide to Your Child's Nutrition, 'people who eat a lot of fiber are less likely to be obese, have heart disease, or develop problems affecting the bowel, including constipation and cancer.'

Eating a lot of foods high in fiber is especially important to prevent and treat constipation in your children.

Fiber Recommendations for Kids

How much fiber do kids need?

The usual recommendation was that the amount of fiber that a child need to eat each day should be equal to their age in years plus 5. So a 5 year old needs 10g of fiber each day and a 12 year old needs about 17g.

Many nutrition experts think that isn't enough fiber.

The latest 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.

Some general guidelines for fiber recommendations for kids include that:

  • 1 to 3 year olds should get about 19g of fiber each day
  • 4 to 8 year olds should get about 25g of fiber each day
  • 9- to 13-year-old girls should get about 26g of fiber each day
  • 9- to 13-year-old boys should get about 31g of fiber each day
  • 14- to 18-year-old girls should get about 26g of fiber each day
  • 14- to 18-year-old boys should get about 38g of fiber each day

Foods High in Fiber

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

To find foods high in fiber for your family, 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.



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.

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