22 Tips To Help With Child Constipation
Having a child that has issues with constant constipation isn’t fun. Child constipation is often cause by poor diet or a diet without a good variety. There are foods you can add to your child’s diet. Foods to eliminate and more. When my son was a baby he had such bad constipation he would go 7-10 days without having a bowel movement and they when he did it would be very painful with crying, screaming and more. He didn’t understand his pain, just that it hurt. I knew someone that had an older kid with this problem that started holding his poop, since he associated pooping with pain. So, then when he finally did, the pain, of course, was bad. It was a vicious cycle and I so I started to research what I could do to try to not let this happen to my son. One thing I did, when he was a baby and not on solids was change my diet (since he was breastfeeding). I added more fiber to my diet and even tried to drink a small amount of prune juice. This was not on the advice from a pediatrician. Our pediatrician insisted he wasn’t constipated and did nothing after many visits. Thank God for the internet! I researched on my on what to do.
As my son grew older he still had this problem. When he was a toddler he liked to eat breads, crackers and other grains but not much for fruit and vegetables. Back again, to finding foods he’d like. I found there are high fiber foods I could add to his diet that helped. It was hard that a lot of them he didn’t like, but some persistance (try it again, just a few bites) he learned to like some of them.
Most children need 25-25 grams of fiber a day. Fruit is good but has sugar (even if natural) and is low in fiber. Most people aren’t going to have 10 cups of blueberries, so you need to add something else. 1 cup of lentils is over 15 grams of fiber!
Things to Eat For Child Constipation
- Split peas. Only thing I can think to make with these is a soup.
- Lentils, black beans, lima beans and chick peas are high in fiber. You can make a soup, add them to a taco or burrito, mix with rice. Get creative.
- Oats (oatmeal, muffins),barley and bran flakes.
- Some veggies: Artichoke, peas, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, bell peppers, squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips
- Some fruits: raspberries, blackberries, avocado, pears, figs. Don’t forget plums and prunes.
- Add flaxseed to food. You can sneak it in quiet easily. Yogurt- mix with granola. Spaghetti- add in the sauce. Oatmeal, mix ground flaxseed in while making.
- Switch your pastas to whole wheat. Switch your rice to brown rice or wild rice.
- Add chia seeds to food. They have 5.5 grams per tablespoon! Mix in smoothies or pudding.
- Add spinach or carrots to recipes (spaghetti sauce, carrot cake, smoothies). Pureed veggies can be added to a lot of sauces.
- Popcorn. Yes, really. 4 cups has about 5 grams of protein. So not a lot, but popcorn is a low-carb, low-cal snack too.
Foods To Avoid For Child Constipation
- Dairy. Milk, cheese, ice cream… it is all binding.
- Certain bananas. Weird but unripened green ones can cause constipation and ripe ones actually have some fiber.
- Chips. They caused delayed digestion and can cause constipation.
- Fried foods. They are slow to digest and can cause binding. Skip or reduce the donuts, french fries and foods battered in bread, like fish & chips.
- Frozen dinners. Most are low in fiber, high in fat, high in sodium and low in any nutritional value.
- Sugar desserts: Cakes, cupcakes & cookies. The are low in fiber, low in fluid, and high in fat.
- Chocolate. I know, YUM, right? But it is something you should at least reduce.
- Foods with gluten. A gluten intolerance can lead to constipation.
- With some people apples cause constipation and with others it helps with it.
- Eggs.. Weird, huh? But they are actually low in fiber and high in fat and can cause child constipation.
- Certain vitamins. Some have calcium and iron that can cause constipation.
Greek Yogurt With Flaxseed, granola, apple slices and blackberries.
Don’t forget exercise! Little ones you can give massages, work their legs back and forth. As they get older you can bring them to the park, go on walks, bike rides, even do some sit-ups (squish around the intestines to help mash things up a bit).
If the child constipation is chronic then you should seek a doctor, or get a second opinion. It is always safe to rule out any serious issues.
Get A Squatty Potty! It will help with the position and posture a person is using while sitting on the toilet (adults can use it too) and help poop come out easier.
Make sure your child is also drinking enough water! If they are dehydrated than their poop will be too, causing constipation.
What tricks or foods have your found help with child constipation?