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Children with Constipation: A Kid-Friendly Diet

Just like adults, children can become constipated for a variety of reasons. A high fiber diet can be just as effective in treating the uncomfortable symptoms associated with constipation.

Convincing children to eat healthy food might be more difficult than for adults, even when it’s to help them feel better when suffering from constipation or other diet related conditions. However, there are many helpful food options that kids love. They might not even realize they’re eating healthy foods intended to treat their constipation.

Children with Constipation: A Kid-Friendly DietMany effective bowel-improving foods may already be a part of their regular diet, such as fruits and cereals made from grain. Improving their intestinal function doesn’t require a large volume of fibrous foods either.

It is important to know how much fiber healthy foods contain in order to provide kids an appropriate amount of fiber.

Appropriate Fiber Intake for Kids

The Baylor College of Medicine has come up with a simple formula to determine a child’s fiber needs. The formula is the child’s age, plus five, equals the recommended grams per day.

Child’s age + 5 = Grams per day

For example, a five-year-old child would need 10g each day (5+5=10g). An eleven-year-old would need 16g each day (11+5=16g).

Make sure the child is consuming plenty of fluids to avoid discomfort. Water is always the best option, but 100% fruit juice is acceptable.

Tasty Fruits with Fiber

Many children like fruit, especially fruits that have a high sugar content. Feeding them these foods might be the easiest way to increase their fiber consumption.

Berries contain high levels of fiber, including strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. They contain 3g – 5g per cup.

Apples, apricots, and pears are great options too. A large pear contains nearly 6g of fiber and a medium apple around 3g. Much of the fiber in these fruits is contained in the skin, so serve them whole to retain a large part of the healthy components.

Children with Constipation: A Kid-Friendly DietYummy Vegetables

Getting children to eat their vegetables can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Serve their vegetables spread out throughout the day, giving them some with lunch and some with dinner.

Sweeter veggies like carrots have more sugar and are more appealing to kids. One big carrot has around 2g of fiber, but this can be increased if you serve it with peanut butter to dip it in.

Great Grains

A simple way to increase fiber for children is to switch their processed, white grains with their whole-grain equivalents. For instance, serve whole-wheat bread instead of white bread. Swap out their white rice for brown rice. Choose whole wheat pasta over regular pasta. Whole-wheat pasta contains up to three times as much fiber as the processed variation.

Nuts and Seeds and Beans, Oh My

Legumes, nuts, and seeds contain large amounts of fiber and also offer substantial amounts of protein. If the child’s diet contains a large amount of meat, which lacks fiber, beans and nuts can be substituted to increase fiber without sacrificing the protein that growing children need.

A half a cup of kidney or black beans can be added to many dishes to increase fiber levels a full 8g without decreasing the dish’s desirability. Try adding beans to salads and omelets.

Nuts and seeds make tasty snacks and can easily be added to dishes to give them a healthy crunch that kids love.

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*The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the Editor. Results may vary from person to person and cannot be guaranteed.

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