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Eating More Fiber

Regularly eating enough fiber may help you and your children reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and constipation. It is recommended that adults get 25-40 grams of fiber every day. The typical American takes in only about 15 grams of fiber per day! Children need anywhere between 19 – 31 grams of fiber every day depending on their age and gender.

American Heart Association serving suggestions for children are:


FIBER (grams)

1-3 years


4-8 years


9-13 years

Female         Male
 26                31

10 Weeks to Reaching Your Optimum Fiber Intate (Adults)


FIBER (grams)

Week 1-3

Eat a minimum of 20 grams of fiber per day

Week 4-6

Increase to 25 grams per day

Week 7-9

Increase to 30 grams per day

Week 10+

Increase to 35 grams per day

Types of Fiber
Most food sources contain soluble and insoluble fiber, and both are important. Soluble fiber is primarily found in oats, beans, peas and fruits and may help lower cholesterol. Insoluble fiber is mostly found in bran, nuts, seeds and vegetables, and helps move waste through your colon. Both types should be part of a healthy diet. Eat a variety of high fiber foods to get all the health benefits that fiber has to offer!

Fiber Supplements
Initially it may be hard to reach your daily fiber intake goal, so consider using a fiber supplement (preferably one containing psyllium). Be sure to drink plenty of water with your fiber supplement. If you take prescription medication, or have a history of diabetes or intestinal disorders, speak to your doctor before increasing fiber intake above 20 g per day.

Harris Teeter brand products 8 Simple Strategies for Eating More Fiber
  1. Read Labels. It only takes a second. These terms will help you choose foods with more fiber:
    • High Fiber (5 grams or more per serving)
    • Good Source (2.5 to 2.9 grams per serving)
  2. Eat More Beans. Nothing packs a fiber punch like beans. Try them in everything from soups and salads to tasty dips.
  3. Start Your Day with a High Fiber Cereal. Choose one with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving.
  4. Eat the Whole Fruit. 100% fruit juice counts toward your daily fruit intake and contains vitamins, but most don’t provide any fiber. Skip the OJ and eat an orange, have a pear at lunch and munch on apple slices for a snack – you’ve just added 12 grams of fiber to your day!
  5. Switch to Brown Rice. It has a delicious nutty taste and provides more fiber per ½ cup than white rice.
  6. Choose 100% Whole Wheat Bread. With 2-3 grams of fiber per slice this can make an average sandwich “fiber-licious”! Remember, white bread provides little, if any, fiber. Choosing “White Wheat” varieties may make the transition easy for children.
  7. Try Whole Grains. Oats, barley, sorghum, quinoa, hominy and buckwheat all count. Give them a try, you may find a new favorite dish.
  8. Sneak Fiber into Your Cooking. Add ground flax seeds to cereal, oatmeal to meatloaf, and whole wheat flour to baked goods. You could even try some psyllium in a smoothie for an added fiber punch.