Fiber

A lack of agreement on the definition of fiber and differences in analytical techniques make it difficult to compare recommendations from different sources, and there appears to be a 10-fold variation in recommendations worldwide. Some authorities (United Kingdom, European Union (EU), and FAO/ WHO) set no reference values for children. Estimations of desirable fiber intakes are based on adult data corrected for body weight and energy requirement. A popular concept (which is not evidence-based) is the 'age + 5' concept. This recommendation states that children older than the age of 2 years consume an amount of fiber equivalent to their age in years plus 5 g daily. Thus, fiber recommendations increase by 1 g per year until adult values are reached at age 15-18 years. Infants consume a very low-fiber diet, although oligosaccharides in breast milk are thought to have fiber-like properties. fiber should be introduced gradually into the weaning diet from age 6 months, but the use of large quantities of whole grain cereals and pulses or nuts is not recommended in infancy because they are likely to affect the bioavailability of micronutrients and result in a bulky low-energy diet.

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