Skip 
Navigation Link
Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Junk Food Ads Target Minority Kids: StudyParents Often Unaware of Kids' Suicidal ThoughtsFiber: It's Not Just for AdultsAnimal Study Suggests Ritalin Won't Harm the HeartHealth Tip: Foster Healthy Hair Habits for KidsSkeletons Mature Earlier Now, Affecting Orthopedic TreatmentsNo Link Between Mom-to-Be's Diet, Baby's Allergy RiskBe Alert for Concussions in Young AthletesHealth Tip: Risk Factors for Stroke in KidsFoods That Can Lead to Obesity in KidsOpioid Overdose Deaths Triple Among Teens, KidsWhopping Numbers on Whooping CoughIs Juice on School Menus a Problem?More U.S. Kids Dying From Guns, Car AccidentsDon't Send Report Cards Home on This DayHealth Tip: Giving Cough Medicine to a ChildHealthy Sleep Habits for Kids Pay Off'Experience to Share': Facebook Page Helps Families Hit by Polio-Like IllnessFamily, School Support May Help Stop Bullies in Their TracksInfections in the Young May Be Tied to Risk for Mental Illness: StudyDoctors More Cautious Now When Prescribing Opioids to KidsMany Cases of Polio-Like Illness in Kids May Be MisdiagnosedSecondhand Pot Smoke Can Harm an Asthmatic ChildObesity Boosts Childhood Asthma Risk by 30 PercentAsk About the Antibiotics Prescribed for Your ChildProbiotics Show No Effect on Kids' Tummy UpsetsWhat Are This Year's Most Dangerous Toys?Secondhand Pot Smoke Found in Kids' LungsNearly 1 in 12 U.S. Kids Has a Food AllergyKids Get Caught in Deadly Cross-Fire of Domestic ViolenceTwo Factors at Birth Can Boost a Child's Obesity RiskCDC Probe Continues as Cases of Polio-Like Illness Rise in KidsHealth Tip: Limit Fat, Sugar and Salt in Your Child's DietSome Activity Fine for Kids Recovering From Concussions, Docs SayDead End for Treatment of Polio-Like Disorder Striking KidsAHA: Traumatic Childhood Could Increase Heart Disease Risk in AdulthoodSmartphones, Summer Birth Could Raise Kids' Odds for NearsightednessHealth Tip: If Your Child Develops a FeverPediatricians Renew Call to Abandon SpankingSleep May Speed Kids' Recovery From ConcussionSharp Rise Seen in Kids' ER Visits for Mental Health WoesInjured Parent Can Mean Sleepless Nights for KidsObesity May Harm Kids' Academics, Coping SkillsInstant-Soup Burns Send Almost 10,000 Kids to ERs Each YearHealth Tip: A Pediatrician's Role in Special EducationCommon Chemical Tied to Language Delay in KidsIn California, Some Doctors Sell 'Medical Exemptions' for Kids' VaccinationsGetting Flu Shot Annually Won't Undermine Its Effectiveness in KidsSmoke Alarm With Mom's Voice Wakes Children FasterDon't Blame Just Air Pollution for Asthma in Kids
LinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)
Child Development & Parenting: Middle (8-11)
Childhood Special Education
Child Development Theory: Adolescence (12-24)

Fiber: It's Not Just for Adults

HealthDay News
by By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jan 10th 2019

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- You know how important fiber is for overall health, making meals more filling and staying "regular."

But did you know that children need their fair share of fiber, too? And for the same reasons.

How much is enough? In general, the U.S. Institute of Medicine states that monitoring fiber intake should start early in life, and by their teen years, kids need nearly as much fiber as adults.

Grams of Fiber by Age:

  • Ages 1-3: 19 g.
  • Ages 4-8: 25 g.
  • Ages 9-13: 26 g for girls, 31 g for boys.
  • Ages 14-18: 26 g for girls, 38 g for boys.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says to remember the number 5 -- make sure kids eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day plus other good sources of fiber, like whole grains.

The nutrition facts panel on packaged foods can help you make fiber-rich choices. If a food claims to be a good source of fiber, the fiber grams will be listed under carbohydrates. "Excellent" sources have 5 or more grams of fiber per serving. "Good" sources have at least 3 grams.

While whole grains make healthier choices than refined ones, some have more fiber than others. For instance, whole-grain wheat has more than whole-grain brown rice or oats. Also, the amount of fiber in the same grain can vary by brand so always read those labels. For variety, try new grains like bulgur, buckwheat, cornmeal and wild rice.

Simple changes can add up to a big improvement.

When serving veggies and fruit, don't remove edible peels -- they contain fiber, plus there's less prepping for you. When you do cook produce, avoid overcooking, which destroys fiber. Dried fruits, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and freshly made popcorn all make great high-fiber snacks.

Try to replace some protein and starchy veggies, like potatoes, with legumes -- beans, peas and lentils. They're high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and deliver plant-based proteins without the saturated fat of meat.

Keep in mind that the earlier in their lives that you start kids on a fiber-rich diet, the easier it will be for them to carry this healthy habit into adulthood.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a video with tips on getting kids to eat more fiber.