Constipation in Children


If your child is having trouble passing bowel movements, gastroenterologist Dr. Susan Edelstein advises cutting down on fiber-rich foods such as apples, bananas and grain snack bars and carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, crackers and breads.

"Children don't do as well with fiber [as adults], in general," Dr. Edelstein says. "It's counterintuitive to what is promoted to adults, in terms of keeping you regular."

Dr. Edelstein demonstrates what happens when kids become constipated and bloated. 

The most common reason for constipation is just a slow colon exacerbated by diet, and adjusting your child's diet will likely help resolve his or her symptoms.

One of the easiest ways to alleviate constipation is to keep your child hydrated with water and juices. Dr. Edelstein discusses other treatment options for constipation in children.

"A lot of parents are told, 'Don't give your child a lot of juice because it will make them overweight and they'll get cavities.' But juice is what helps to soften the stool. It helps you to go to the bathroom," she says. "Juices like apple, white grape and all the nectars help. And if you're ever concerned [with sugar content], you just dilute it."

Foods to Avoid
If your child is constipated, avoid feeding them these foods:

• Popcorn
High-fiber foods

How Nutrition Affects Your Digestive Health
Joy Bauer's Food Cures for Constipation
• Treating Newborn Constipation

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