One of the more common times for children to become constipated is when they are switching from an all-liquid diet to the one that includes solid foods. This problem is also seen if your child is sick and his appetite drops down which eventually causes a change in his or her diet.
Constipation or infrequent passage of stools is more commonly seen in children. It is not just how often a child goes to the toilet; it also refers to how hard the stools are passed.
It is characterized by:
- Having fewer than 3 bowel movements a week
- Having trouble passing bowels
- Have hard and dry stools
Lack of fibre and water in the diet causes constipation. Also, a high intake of processed foods, cheeses, white bread, Junk food, meats cause constipation in children. A diet full of fatty, sugary, starchy foods slows the bowel movements down. Apart from food, iron supplements given to children too cause constipation. Also if the child is drinking too much milk and not getting enough solids, constipation becomes frequent. Children eating certain fatty, spicy foods, cola drinks, caffeine also trigger constipation. An allergy to cow’s milk or a high intake of dairy products like cheese or cow’s milk also can be a cause.
One of the more common times for children to become constipated is when they are switching from an all-liquid diet to the one that includes solid foods. This problem is also seen if your child is sick and his appetite drops down which eventually causes a change in his or her diet. Family history of constipation also can cause it due to shared genetic and environmental factors.
Nowadays toddlers, who are on toilet training, become constipated especially if they aren’t ready. For some children who avoid going to the bathroom, even if they have the urge to go or who don’t want to stop playing fun games or who don’t want to use the restroom which is away from home usually face this problem as ignoring the urge makes it harder for them to go later. Last but not least, a change in the Childs routine like traveling, extreme summers and hot weather or stress also affects the bowel functioning.
Prevention and treatment:
Does your child eat enough fibre? If no, then have him or her to drink plenty of liquids to help the fibre work well.
- Increase fluid intake- Make your child drink plenty of liquids, vegetable juices, soups, coconut water, buttermilk to help the fibre work better. Also increasing the water intake helps avoid dehydration. Staying hydrated is equally important to avoid constipation.
- Increase fibre intake. Fibre cannot be digested, so it helps clean out the intestines moving the bowel along. Switch to high fibre fruits, veggies, whole grain cereals and legumes, nuts. Incorporate foods like Apples, pears, beans, oatmeal, oranges, ripe bananas, and whole-grain bread.
- Eating is a natural bowel stimulant. So regular meals help kids develop routine bowel habits.
- Last but not the least; physical activity nudges the bowels into action. So encourage your child to play outdoor games like running, playing with the ball.
These small changes in the diet, lifestyle and physical activity of children helps them in curbing constipation.