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Fiber


Few kids would say they crave a good fiber-rich meal. Although the thought of fiber might bring gags and groans from kids, many appetizing foods are actually great sources of fiber — from fruits to whole-grain cereals.

Foods with fiber are not just for the senior-citizen crowd. They're beneficial to everyone because they're filling, which helps discourage overeating — even though fiber itself adds no calories. Along with adequate fluid intake, fiber helps move food through the digestive system and can help relieve and prevent constipation. It also may lower LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) and help prevent diabetes and heart disease.

Figuring Out Fiber

Dietary fiber is found in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains. In packaged foods, the amount of fiber per serving is listed on food labels under total carbohydrates.

Some of the best fiber sources are:

A high-fiber food has 5 grams or more of fiber per serving; a good source of fiber is one that provides 2.5 to 4.9 grams per serving. Here's how some fiber-friendly foods stack up:

How Much Should Kids Get?

Adding Fiber to Your Family's Diet

Here are some creative, fun, and tasty ways to incorporate more fiber-rich foods into your family's diet:

Breakfast

Lunch and Dinner

Snacks and Treats

Make gradual changes that will add up to a diet that's higher in fiber over time. And keep offering a variety of foods that are good sources of fiber — fruits like pears and berries; vegetables like spinach and green peas; lentils and kidney, white, or black beans; and whole-grain breakfast cereals and breads. Kids will get the fiber they need, and you'll set the tone for a lifetime of healthy eating.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: September 2014


Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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