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Child Obes. 2012 Feb;8(1):71-5. doi: 10.1089/chi.2011.0054.

Toddlers and preschoolers consume more dietary fiber when high-fiber lunch items are served.

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  • 1Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.



Increasing fiber intake by consuming high fiber foods, which are also high in other nutrients, can improve diet quality and reduce the risk for disease. However, most children do not meet fiber intake recommendations. Food provided at child care centers is a major source of daily nutrients, including fiber, for a large portion of children in the U.S. The aim of this study was to determine if serving novel, high fiber lunch items would successfully increase fiber intakes in toddlers and preschoolers.


Four high-fiber entrées were developed and served to children (n=54) at lunch in a local child care center. Consumption was compared to usually served lunches and fiber intake recommendations.


Toddlers consumed 89% of their recommended calories at the lunch meal and an average of 72% of the entrees; preschoolers consumed 74% of their recommended calories and 59% of the entrée, on average. Each entrée was high in fiber, providing, on average, 3.2 ± 1.6g fiber for toddlers and 4.1 ±1.9g fiber for preschoolers. These high fiber lunches contributed significantly more fiber than the usual lunch foods for most children.


Data indicate that children are accepting of high fiber, novel lunch items, thus indicating that serving high fiber lunch items at child care may increase dietary fiber intake in children.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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