Constipation in children: high fiber foods and other tips
Constipation is defined as:
A decrease in frequency of bowel movements, compared to a child's usual pattern (some physicians define constipation as fewer than three bowel movements per week.)
The passage of hard, dry bowel movements.
Bowel movements that are difficult or painful to push out.
Some children eat too much of foods that are high in fat and low in fiber (such as fast foods, "junk" foods, and soft drinks).
Some children do not drink enough water and liquids.
Children who stay inside, watching TV and playing video games, do not get enough exercise. Exercise helps move digested food through the intestines.
Some children who experience stress at school, with their friends, or in the family, may have constipation.
Some children ignore signals their intestines give them to have a bowel movement. This can happen when children are too busy playing and forget to go to the bathroom.
Constipation can also be a problem when children start a new school year, since they are no longer able to go to the bathroom whenever the urge strikes and have to change their bowel routine.
Once a child becomes constipated, a vicious cycle can develop. Hard, dry stools can be painful to push out and the child can avoid using the bathroom to avoid the discomfort. Eventually, the intestine will not be able to sense the presence of stool.
If you need to increase fiber intake, choose the following foods for your kids:
Whole wheat bread, granola bread, wheat bran muffins, Nutri-Grain® waffles, popcorn.
Cereals high in fiber: Bran Flakes®, Raisin Bran®, Shredded Wheat®, Frosted Mini Wheats®, oatmeal, Muslix®, granola, oat bran.
Vegetables:Beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, corn, green beans, green peas, acorn and butternut squash, spinach, potato with skin, avocado.
Fruits:Apples with peel, dates, papayas, mangos, nectarines, oranges, pears, kiwis, strawberries, applesauce, raspberries, blackberries, raisins, prunes.
Meat substitutes:Baked beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, lima beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, chili with beans, trail mix
Has Mark ever had any issues?