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How Much Fiber Does My Child Need?


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How Much Fiber Does My Child Need?

Fiber is found in many different foods that can add color and good nutrients to your family’s meals, and help prevent chronic diseases!

Even though fiber is in many whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains, the average dietary fiber intake among children is much lower than the recommendations. For children ages 3 to 5 years of age, the average fiber intake is about 11 grams per day. For children 6 to 11 years the average fiber intake is about 13 grams per day. That is 50% less than what they need! Making sure your kids eat a variety of plant foods like fruit, vegetables and whole grains each day can help prevent poor fiber intake.

Meeting Fiber Needs

So how do you know how much fiber your child needs? It depends on their age. Typically, for children under 2 years, there is no recommendation for total fiber. Just make sure to provide a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains as you introduce solid foods.

The Daily Reference Intakes (RDI) provides the following recommendations:

  • Children 1-3 years: 19 grams of fiber per day
  • Children 4-8 years: 25 grams of fiber per day
  • Boys 9-13 years: 31 grams of fiber per day
  • Girls 9-13 years: 26 grams of fiber per day
  • Boys 14-19: 38 grams of fiber per day
  • Girls 14-19: 26 grams of fiber per day

Once adolescents reach twenty years of age, the recommendation is 25-35 grams per day (or about 10-13 grams per 1000 calories) as for all adults. See 20 fun ways to boost fiber intake.

Kids Nutrition Cookbook and activity book Super Crew cookbook

Fiber Amounts in Certain Foods

To give you an idea of how much fiber is in food, take a look at the following list:

  • 1/2 cup of beans or legumes = 6 grams of fiber
  • 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables = 2 – 4 grams of fiber
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fruit or 1 small piece of fruit = 3 grams of fiber
  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread = 2 – 4 grams of fiber, compare labels and choose bread with higher fiber
  • 1 slice of white bread = 0.5-1 gram of fiber
  • 1/2 cup of whole grain cereal = 5 grams of fiber
  • 1/2 cup whole grain pasta = 2 – 4 grams of fiber
  • 1/2 cup of cooked white rice or regular pasta = less than 1 gram of fiber
  • 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice = 2 grams of fiber
  • 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries = 7 grams of fiber

And finally, make sure to introduce fiber slowly and drink plenty of water to prevent any undesirable side effects. Your child’s body will get used to the extra fiber over time. Read 6 Ways to Boost Fiber to get more ideas!


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About the Author

Emily is a registered dietitian who received her degree from Brigham Young University. She has completed the Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management and is a certified LEAP therapist. Emily helps individuals free themselves from diets, food guilt, food shame and obsessive exercise. She uses the principles of Intuitive Eating and mindful living to help her clients live the lives they were meant to live.


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