Diet and Exercise Related to Childhood Constipation
While plenty of research has been conducted on constipation in adults, much less is available when it comes to children. However, there are many aspects that are similar, if not the same. For instance, gut health is vital to overall health, regardless of a person’s age, and diet and exercise have a lot to do with that.
A 2012 report published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information
found that recommendations for daily fiber intake for children are conflicting, which stands in contrast to the well-established benefits of high dietary fiber for adults. What we do know is that a diet consisting of plenty of water and fiber—in the form of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables—can be instrumental in proper bowel function. Exercise is crucial to get everything moving in the right direction. Some tips to keep your kiddos regular include:
- Encourage your children to drink water instead of sugary juices and sodas.
- Add prunes to their diet, either as juice or whole. You can water down the juice or add chopped prunes to applesauce or yogurt.
- Keep healthy whole foods in the house, including celery, carrots, broccoli, and apples. Reduce bananas and cheese, which can be binding.
- Mix veggies in with other foods. With a blender or food processor, spinach can easily be added to a smoothie, for example.
- Schedule in regular exercise. Whether you take the kids on a walk or bike ride, throw the ball around at the park, or just dance in the living room, keeping them moving on the outside helps keep things moving on the inside.
- Simple changes can lead to big results for your children when it comes to moving their bowels regularly.
Reduce the Poop Pressure
When young children are potty training, there’s a lot of pressure to “perform” in the bathroom. We parents encourage and reward our toddlers for doing their business, and we have them sit on the toilet at regular intervals to ensure there are no accidents.
But could all of our good intentions be causing undue stress?
The pressure to poop can sometimes lead to childhood constipation, which is no fun for anyone, least of all your kiddos. Use these tips to create consistency and ease the worry about potty training:
- Establish a potty routine. Start with after meals, before naptime, and before bath and bed.
- Ask your child if they need to use the toilet, but don’t force them to sit there. When your child uses the potty on their own, provide positive reinforcement so your child feels encourage to go daily.
- Going for a walk, running around, doing jumping jacks, or having a dance party all shake up your child’s system and gets them ready for a squat.
- Provide privacy for your child, if that’s their preference. You can even ask your child if they were prefer if you stay or go.
- Talk about it! Some children may have fear around going to the bathroom. Minimize the issues by talking about potty time as a matter-of-fact occurrence that everyone does.
When children get into good potty habits early, they’re less likely to have issues with holding their bowels, which not only leads to childhood constipation but can cause bigger challenges.
Disclaimer: The material contained is for reference purposes only and obtained through public domain. Each healthcare facility and consumer shall employ their own practice guidelines. DocuSol® Kids and Alliance Labs does not assume responsibility for patient care or the accuracy of the process of information presented. Consult a physician to use by critically ill patients. Copyright 2019