Constipation is a condition wherein the stool becomes hard to pass as it gets hard and dry because bowel movements do not happen often. This can make the affected person feel bloated and uncomfortable. In children, constipation is a common condition. Early toilet training and dietary changes are the two most common causes. Fortunately, most occurrences of paediatric constipation are temporary. Simple dietary modifications, such as eating more fiber-rich fruits and vegetables and drinking more water, can go a long way toward relieving constipation.
Here Are Some Food Options To Relieve Constipation In Children:
- Legumes - Food components like kidney beans, soybeans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils can help reduce constipation in children. It is a good source of starch, carbohydrates, minerals, and fibre which plays a prominent role in a balanced diet
- Whole grains - Your child's diet can include food rich in whole grains like oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice etc.
- Fruits & vegetables - Foods rich in fruits and vegetables help in smooth bowel movement. Components like berries, oranges, broccoli, carrots, apples (with skin) etc can be included.
- Nuts - Nuts like almonds, peanuts, cashew nuts, hazel nuts etc. are rich in fibre and help in the reduction of constipation.
- Water and juices - Children need to drink lots of water and other liquids like natural fruits and vegetable juices, clear soups, smoothies, tender coconut water etc. However, it is important to know how much a liquid intake is ideal for a child, and this will depend on the child's size, health, activity level, dietary preferences, the climate of the region the child is residing in etc.
Here Are Some Food Options That Can Worsen Constipation In Children:
- Fast foods - Fast food and junk food are usually high in fats and can cause constipation. While avoiding these can help avoid constipation in kids, it is also important to note that fat-rich food can lay the foundation for obesity and other diseases.
- Caffeine - Caffeine isn't good for children. Reducing or avoiding caffeine-rich food like soda, tea, can help children avoid constipation.
- Cheese - While cheese is an excellent source of calcium, excessive use of it will cause constipation in children as it reduces bowel movements
- Processed meat - Processed meat options like sausages, nuggets, bacon etc are low in fibre and high in fats and sodium. This can cause slower bowel movements and eventually causes indigestion and constipation.
About Author: Rinki Kumari is Chief Dietitian at Fortis, Bangalore.
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