The average American now eats 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day. The recommendation for older children, adolescents, and adults is to eat 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day. Younger children will not be able to eat enough calories to achieve this amount, but it is a good idea to introduce whole grains, fresh fruits, and other high-fiber foods.
To ensure that you get enough fiber, eat a variety of foods, including:
- Dried beans and peas
- Whole grains
Add fiber gradually over a period of a few weeks to avoid stomach distress. Water helps fiber pass through the digestive system. Drink plenty of fluids (about 8 glasses of water or noncaloric fluid a day).
Taking the peels off fruits and vegetables reduces the amount of fiber you get from the food. Fiber-rich foods offer health benefits when eaten raw or cooked.