Fiber and Your Child: How Much Fiber is Enough?

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Help your child meet their daily fiber needs, by gradually increasing fiber in their diet by following these tips:

Choose whole grain cereals for breakfast such as Raisin Bran or Wheat Bran. Select cereals with at least 3 grams of fiber or more per serving.

Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices. Whole fruit has more fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Plus an apple or a handful of berries will keep your child feeling full longer than a glass of fruit juice.

Use whole grain bread, rolls, pita or bagels for sandwiches.

Replace white rice, bread and pastas with brown rice and whole grain products. If your kids resist at first, try mixing in half brown rice or whole wheat pasta and gradually add more.

Cut back on refined foods. In many refined foods, the fiber containing parts have been removed.

Snack on dried fruits such as apricots, figs or raisins. Have your child make their own trail mix using raisins, peanuts, and oat bran cereal.

Encourage your child to use the Nutrition Facts label to find out how much fiber is in each serving of food. A good rule of thumb to remember is if the food has 5 grams or more per serving it is considered high in fiber.

Be a positive role model; children learn many of their behaviors by watching what older siblings and grown-ups do. The next time the fresh vegetables are passed to you, take a serving and say, "I love fresh vegetables!" Soon your child will be eating it and saying they love it too.