High Fiber Diet What is fiber? Why does my child need a high fiber diet? How much fiber does my child need?

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1 High Fiber Diet What is fiber? Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that our body is not able to break down. Foods that are highest in fiber are fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed grains. Why does my child need a high fiber diet? Increasing the amount of fiber that your child eats can help with constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome. Fiber does this by helping with the movement of the GI tract and increasing the volume and weight of the stool. How much fiber does my child need? A general rule of thumb for children is to take their age in years and add 5 grams. For example, a 10 year old child will need 15 grams of fiber per day. Once a child begins to consume 1500 calories/day, fiber intake should increase to grams per day. How do you determine how much fiber is in a food? First look at the serving size on the food label of the item you are going to eat. Then look to see how much fiber is in that one serving. The more processed a food is, the lower the fiber content of the food will be.

2 What if a child will not eat enough fiber? Several over the counter fiber supplements (such as Benefiber) are available. These supplements can be mixed with foods or liquids. Check with your doctor first before giving them to your child. Speak to your child s health care team about the use of stool softeners and laxatives if the problem is constipation. Tips for Adding Fiber to the Diet 1. Include fiber from a variety of sources throughout the day. 2. Slowly increase the amount of fiber your child is eating by replacing low/no fiber foods with foods higher in fiber. Over the span of a few days, increase fiber by no more than 5 grams. Increasing too quickly may cause gas and bloating. 3. Have a consistent amount of fiber each day. 4. Try to have your child eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. 5. Read food labels to determine the fiber content of the foods you eat now, and new foods you will try. Look for 3 or more grams of fiber per serving. 6. Be sure your child is drinking enough fluid: 6-8 cups per day. Not taking in enough fluid may cause constipation 7. Mix a high fiber cereal with a cereal your child likes. 8. Offer raw vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, and cherry tomatoes for snacks and with meals. 9. Use whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat crackers, bran muffins, barley and bran cereals or oatmeal. Use fewer refined white flour breads, cereals and other starches. 10. If your child is constipated, offer 4-6 ounces of prune, apple, orange or pear juice each day. (Remember that fresh fruit has more fiber than juice). 11. Add flaxseed to foods. Start with 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or flaxseed meal added to cereal or applesauce. 12. Try snacks of dried fruit (such as prunes, raisins, dried cranberries). 13. Drink plenty of water and other fluids to help the fiber move through the body.

3 Below is a list of the fiber content of some foods for your child to eat. Fruits Apple with skin 1 med 3 Banana 1 med 2 Blueberries ½ cup 2 Cantaloupe 1 cup 1 Grapes ½ cup 1 Mango 1 cup sliced 3 Nectarine 1 med 2 Orange 1 med 3 Papaya 1 cup 3 Peach with skin 1 small 1 Pear with skin 1 med 4 Plums 2 small 2 Strawberries 1 cup 3 Dried fruit (raisins ) 3 Tbsp. 3 Vegetables Avocado ½ med 2 Broccoli ½ cup 2 Cabbage ½ cup 2 Carrots 1 med 2 Cauliflower ¾ cup 2 Cucumber slices ½ cup <1 Mashed potato ½ cup 1 Baked potato with skin 1 med 4 Peas ½ cup 2 Romaine lettuce 1 cup 1 Sweet potato 1 med 4

4 Bread/Grains/Pasta Bagel 1 med 1 White bread 1 slice <1 Whole wheat bread 1 slice 2-3 Pasta, cooked ½ cup 1 White rice, cooked ½ cup 1 Brown rice, cooked ½ cup 2 Whole Wheat Crackers Corn Tortilla (6 inches) Breakfast Cereals Frosted Mini- Wheats 24 pieces 6 Raisin Bran Crunch 1 cup 4 Multi-grain Cheerios 1 cup 3 Multi-Bran Chex 1 cup 7 Wheat Chex 1 cup 5 Oatmeal ½ cup 2 Granola with raisins ¼ cup 2 Cheerios ¾ cup 2.3 Total Wheat Flakes ¾ cup 2.7 Fiber One Original ½ cup 14 Cracklin Oat Bran ½ cup 4 100% Bran ½ cup 12 Fiber One Honey Clusters 1 cup 13 Fiber One Carmel Delight 1 cup 9 Fiber One Raisin Bran Clusters 1 cup 11

5 Miscellaneous/Snacks Baked beans ½ cup 3 Beans (Pinto, Kidney, Black, Lima) ½ 4-7 Popcorn 1 cup 1 Peanuts, dry roasted ¼ cup 3 Chewy Brand Granola bars 1 bar 1 Lentils ½ cup 4 Fiber One Bars 1 bar 9 Fiber One Yogurt 4 oz. 5 Fiber One Toaster Pastry 1 pastry 5 Fiber One Pancake Mix 3 pancakes 5 Snyder s Honey Wheat Sticks 7 sticks 3 Snyder s Multigrain Pretzel Sticks 7 sticks 3 UTZ Organic Seven whole Pretzel Sticks 7 sticks 3 Sample Menus 10 Grams of Dietary Fiber Breakfast: Fiber: Afternoon Snack: Fiber: ½ small banana 1 4 saltine crackers 0 ½ cup Cheerios 1 American cheese slice 0 ½ -¾ cup milk 0 Evening Meal: Morning Snack: 1-2 oz. baked chicken 0 vanilla pudding 0 ½ cup mashed potatoes 1 ½ cup green beans 1 Lunch: ½ -¾ cup milk oz. sliced margarine 0 turkey 0 1 slice whole Evening Snack: wheat bread 2 ½ - ¾ cup milk 0 ½ med. orange 1 1 medium apple 3 ½ -¾ cup milk 0

6 15 Grams of Dietary Fiber Breakfast: Fiber: Afternoon Snack: Fiber: ½ small banana 1 ½ med. apple 1.5 ½ cup Cheerios 1 1 slice whole wheat bread 2 Evening Meal: margarine oz. baked chicken 0 ½-¾ cup milk 0 ½ cup mashed potatoes 1 ½ whole wheat roll 1 Morning Snack: ¼ cup green beans 1 ½ - 1 cup juice 0 ½-¾ cup milk 0 3 whole wheat crackers 1 Lunch: Evening Snack: 1-2 oz. sliced 2 graham crackers 2 turkey 0 ½ - ¾ cup milk 0 1 slice whole wheat bread 2 ½ med. orange 1 ½ -¾ cup milk 0 20 Grams of Dietary Fiber Breakfast: Fiber: Afternoon Snack: Fiber: ½ small banana 1 1 med. apple 3 ½ cup Cheerios 1 1 slice whole 1 Evening Meal: wheat bread oz. baked chicken 0 margarine 0 ½ cup mashed potatoes 1 1 cup milk 0 whole wheat roll 2 margarine 0 Lunch: ½ cup green beans oz. sliced turkey 0 1 cup milk 0 2 slices whole wheat bread 4 Evening Snack: 1 lettuce leaf 0 2 graham crackers 2 1 med. orange 2 1 cup milk 0 1 cup milk 0

7 25 Grams of Dietary Fiber Breakfast: Fiber: Evening Meal: Fiber: ½ small banana oz. baked chicken 0 1 cup Cheerios 3 1 cup mashed potatoes 2 1 poached egg 0 1 whole wheat roll 2 2 slices whole margarine 0 wheat bread 4 ½ cup green beans 2 margarine 0 ½ cup lettuce & tomato 1 1 cup milk 0 2 Tbsp. salad dressing 0 1 cup milk 0 Lunch: 2-3 oz. sliced turkey 0 Evening Snack: 2 slices whole 2 graham crackers 2 wheat bread 4 1 cup milk 0 1 lettuce leaf 0 1 med. orange 2 1 cup milk 0 Afternoon Snack: 1 med. apple 3 Additional Information: If you have questions, call: Phone: (717) 531- or (717) , Registered Dietitian Copyright American Dietetic Association. This handout may be duplicated for client education.

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