Facts About Fiber

Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, and grains. Fiber aids regularity, reduces risk of heart disease, and helps you feel full.

Health experts say children should eat five grams of fiber plus their age each day. So a four-year-old should have nine grams. Adults should have 25-35 grams of fiber each day.

How do you get that much fiber? Eat three servings of vegetables, two of fruits, and two whole-grain foods each day. For adults, a serving is cup of chopped vegetables or fruit, one slice of whole wheat bread, or 3/4 cup of breakfast cereal. Let your child decide how big a serving she wants.

Can your child eat too much fiber? Yes! A cup of raisins or a bowl of bran flakes may cause cramps or diarrhea. Don't go overboard but don't eliminate fiber foods either.

Choose Your Veggies Fresh, Frozen, or Canned
Fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables are all nutritious choices. There are small losses in Vitamin C when fresh vegetables sit in the supermarket or fridge and in processing. However, the bottom line is that they are all good sources of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Steaming vegetables is a great way to keep vitamins and minerals in the food rather than wasting them in boiling water.

Color Me Nutritious!
Some vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals and others have only a few. In general, the more colorful the vegetables-like green peas, broccoli, collard greens, spinach, and bok choy-the more nutrients they offer. Deep orange and red fruits and vegetables are great sources of nutrients too.