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Kids & Dietary Fiber

Eating a variety of fiber types is most beneficial to general health. Recommended dietary fiber intake for adults generally ranges between 20 to 35 grams per day.

Children and fiber

Children benefit from a balance of fiber in their diet. They require less than adults. For children, ages 3 to 18, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) suggests that a child’s age plus five equals the grams of dietary fiber he or she should eat daily. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

For infants and children under the age of 2 years no recommended daily dietary fiber intakes have been established. The ADA suggests introducing a variety of fruits, vegetables, and easily digested cereals, along with adequate fluid levels, as solid foods are introduced into the child’s diet.

Sometimes fiber can cause discomfort. Avoid adding too much too quickly. Add fiber gradually and slowly over time. It is important to drink extra liquids, such as water or milk, when increasing dietary fiber.

Kinds of fiber

There are 2 kinds of fiber – soluble and insoluble…

  • Insoluble fiber is mainly found in cereals or whole grains.
  • Soluble fiber is mainly found in fruits and vegetables.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel when water is added to it. It can help soften stool. Insoluble fiber absorbs liquid and adds bulk to stool.

If you find that fiber is gas producing or seems to cause bloating or pain, it is usually insoluble fiber that is the problem. Soluble fiber is less likely to be a problem.

Sampling of dietary fiber content of foods (appx. g/serving)
Food Serving Size Grams of Fiber
Beans (navy), cooked 1/2 cup 9.5
Beans (pinto, black), cooked 1/2 cup 7.7
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), cooked 1/2 cup 6.2
Lentils, cooked 1/2 cup 7.8
Potato (with skin), baked 1 potato 4.4
Peas (frozen), cooked 1/2 cup 4.4
Mixed Veggies (frozen), cooked 1/2 cup 4.0
Soybeans, cooked 1/2 cup 3.8
Broccoli, cooked 1/2 cup 2.5
Carrots, cooked 1/2 cup 2.3
Carrots, raw 1 carrot 2.0
Green beans, cooked 1/2 cup 2.0
Sweet corn (on the cob), cooked 1 ear 1.8
Vegetable soup (Progresso™) 1 cup 1.4
Lettuce (romaine), raw 1 cup 1.2
Lettuce (green leaf), raw 1 cup 0.7
Celery, raw 1 stalk 0.6
Raspberries (sweetened), frozen 1/2 cup 5.5
Pears, raw 1 pear 5.1
Raspberries, raw 1/2 cup 4.0
Blackberries, raw 1/2 cup 3.8
Apples (with skin), raw 1 apple 3.3
Oranges, raw 1 orange 3.1
Bananas, raw 1 banana 3.1
Raisins (1 miniature box), seedless 14 g 0.6
Pears, canned in syrup 1/2 cup 2.2
Grapefruit (pink and red), raw 1/2 grapefruit 2.0
Grapefruit (white), raw 1/2 grapefruit 1.3
Orange juice (unsweetened), frozen concentrate 6-fl-oz can 1.7
Applesauce (sweetened), canned 1/2 cup 1.5
Barley (pearled), cooked 1/2 cup 3.0
Oat bran, cooked 1/2 cup 2.8
Rice (brown), cooked 1/2 cup 1.7
Rice (white, long-grained), instant 1/2 cup 0.5
Bagels 4″ bagel 2.0
Bread, whole-wheat, rye 1 slice 1.9
Spaghetti, cooked 1/2 cup 1.7
Bread, raisin 1 slice 1.1
Cereals (Includes brand names)
Kellogg’s All-Bran 1/2 cup 8.8
Kellogg’s Raisin Bran 1/2 cup 3.6
Wheatena, cooked with water 1/2 cup 3.3
Shredded wheat, plain no sugar 2 biscuits 5.5
Quaker Oats, honey and raisins 1/2 cup 4.2
Quaker Low fat Natural Granola with Raisins 1/2 cup 2.8
Quaker Instant Oatmeal, apples and cinnamon, with boiling water 1 packet 2.7
Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats 1/2 cup 2.5
General Mills Raisin Nut Bran, Total Raisin Bran 1/2 cup 2.5
General Mills Cheerios 1/2 cup 1.8
General Mills Wheaties 1/2 cup 1.5
General Mills Lucky Charms 1/2 cup 0.7
Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes 1/2 cup 0.7
Kellogg’s Apple Jacks 1/2 cup 0.5
General Mills Golden Grahams 1/2 cup 0.6
General Mills Trix 1/2 cup 0.4
Kellogg’s Fruit Loops, Cocoa Krispies 1/2 cup 0.4
Kellogg’s Special K, Corn Flakes 1/2 cup 0.3
Quaker Cap’n Crunch 1/2 cup 0.3
General Mills Rice Chex 1/2 cup 0.1
Soup, bean with ham (canned) 1 cup 11.2
Pasta with meatballs, tomato sauce, canned 1 cup 6.8
Soup, Progresso Classic Lentil™, canned 1 cup 5.6
Baked pork and beans (canned) 1/2 cup 5.0
French fried potatoes, fast food 1 medium 4.7
Mixed nuts, dry roasted with peanuts and salt 1 oz 2.6
Peanuts, dry roated with salt appx 28 (1 oz) 2.3
Chocolate Milk 1 cup 2.0
Tortilla chip snacks 1 oz 1.8
Cheese pizza, regular crust, frozen 1 serving 1.4
Potato chip snacks, plain, salted 1 oz 1.3
Macoroni and cheese, canned 1/2 cup 0.6
Kellogg’s Nutri Grain™ Cereal Bar snack, fruit 1 bar 0.8
Kellogg’s Pop Tarts™, frosted chocolate fudge 1 pastry 0.6

Adapted from USDA National Nutrient Database for StandardReference, Release 17

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