How can a child’s diet help prevent or relieve constipation?

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child's diet help prevent or relieve constipation
child's diet help prevent or relieve constipation

Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Constipation in Children

A child should drink water and other fluids, such as fruit and vegetable juices and clear soups, to help the fiber in his or her diet work better. This change should make the child’s stools more normal and regular. A doctor can help you plan a diet with the appropriate amount of fiber to help treat a child with constipation. A list of high-fiber foods appears below. Use this table as a tool to help replace less healthy foods with foods that have fiber.

Children ages 1 to 18, depending on their age and sex, should get 14 to 31 grams of fiber a day.3 Fiber guidelines are not available for infants less than 1-year-old, who normally eat little to no solid food yet. Talk with the infant’s doctor about possibly breastfeeding the infant or what kind of foods he or she should eat.

Portions of food for constipation
Examples of Food That Have Fiber
Beans, cereals, and breads Fiber
½ cup of beans (navy, pinto, kidney, etc.), cooked6.2–9.6 grams
½ cup of shredded wheat, ready-to-eat cereal2.7–3.8 grams
⅓ cup of 100% bran, ready-to-eat cereal9.1 grams
1 small oat bran muffin3.0 grams
1 whole-wheat English muffin4.4 grams
​​Fruits
1 small apple, with skin3.6 grams
1 medium pear, with skin5.5 grams
½ cup of raspberries4.0 grams
½ cup of stewed prunes3.8 grams
Vegetables
½ cup of winter squash cooked2.9 grams
1 medium sweet potato, baked in skin3.8 grams
½ cup of green peas, cooked3.5–4.4 grams
1 small potato, baked, with skin3.0 grams
½ cup of mixed vegetables, cooked4.0 grams
½ cup of broccoli, cooked2.6–2.8 grams
½ cup of greens (spinach, collards, turnip greens), cooked2.5–3.5 grams

How can a child’s diet help prevent or relieve constipation?

If a child is constipated, try not to give him or her too many foods with little or no fiber, such as

  • cheese
  • chips
  • fast food
  • ice cream
  • meat
  • prepared foods, such as some frozen meals and snack foods, such as saltine or animal crackers, angel food cake, and vanilla wafers
  • processed foods, such as hot dogs or some microwavable dinners, such as pizza, Salisbury steak, and pot pie

References

 

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