Kids' Eating: Fiber & Weight Loss
Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods, and although it contains no calories or nutrients, it's an important part of a nutritious diet, especially if your family is trying to lose weight. Studies show that folks who eat high-fiber diets are thinner and healthier than those whose diets are low in fiber. Why? Part of the reason is that high-fiber foods are typically low in calories; they're also very bulky and filling.
You won't find much fiber in junk foods like chips, cookies and candy. Fiber is found only in plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains.
How much fiber do kids need to eat each day for good health? Kids ages 3 to 18 need 1 gram of fiber for each year of age, plus 5 grams. This means that a 10-year-old needs around 15 grams of fiber each day, while a 15-year-old needs around 20 grams of fiber each day.
Eating just one medium-size apple will provide four grams of fiber, while a half-cup of granola cereal has six grams. Want to guess how much fiber is in a bag of cheese puffs or a slice of chocolate cake? If you said none, you're right.