how to help constipated kids
Does your kid have hard poop? I’m sure all kids have faced the issue of constipation at some time in their lives – my son has battled with it since he was a baby.
When he was a baby, I gave him foods with high dietary fibre and fluids to combat the problem. Today, it’s tougher to feed him puréed prunes or get him to drink extra water. However, I have found a few techniques that work.
- Kids will complain about feeling bloated or say that it hurts to poop.
- Babies will simply cry and show visible signs of discomfort.
- Hard, pellet-like poops
- Loss of appetite
- A hard belly
- Formula milk is not as easy to digest as breast milk, causing poop to be firm and bulky.
- Starting solids. When a baby’s digestive system is learning to manage new foods, it can cause bulking.
- Lack of fibre and dehydration is the biggest cause of constipation among children. Processed foods are high in sugar, fat and starch and low in nutritional value.
- Distraction. Kids will put off going to the bathroom when the sensation arises, making it more difficult to go later on.
- Stress amongst kids. Research has shown emotional upsets can affect digestion.
How to treat
- Serve more fluids. Drinking the elixir of the gods will help move food through the intestines. School-aged children should consume 3 to 4 glasses of water per day.
- Serve more fibre. Fruits, veggies and whole grains can help prevent constipation. Fatty, sugary and starchy foods can slow the bowels down. Try my sister’s baby lax recipe below for quick results!
- Kids need exercise. Physical activity encourages digestion. For babies, move their legs in a bicycling motion to help movement. Gently massage the lower area of the tummy to encourage movement.
- Regular meal times. Eating is a natural stimulant and an opportunity to develop regular bowel movements. Serve meals a little earlier in the morning, giving kids some time to take a relaxed break in the “library,” as we like to call it.
I would always suggest consulting with your doctor before giving any over-the-counter medication for constipation and if it persists beyond a couple of weeks.
Founder, Baby Gourmet Foods
Jen is the mother of two well-fed children and has a passion for all things culinary. She is also an inspirational speaker to women, busy moms and entrepreneurs.
Physical activity encourages digestion. For babies, move their legs in a bicycling motion to help movement.