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Constipation in Children

Constipation in Children

Is your toddler constipated? Does your child frequently complain of chronic constipation? The truth is children can easily become constipated without proper fiber intake.

A diet high in fiber is known to prevent constipation and promote digestive health. Acting as a natural laxative, fiber ensures your child has regular bowel movements each day.


How can I help my child eat more fiber?

Young children need encouragement to develop a liking for healthy, high-fiber foods. Here are our suggestions:

·        Begin with small portions of fiber

·        Present the food in an attractive, appetizing presentation

·        Offer small snacks if your child is a light or picky eater

·        Offer fiber each day


What is a suggested daily routine to prevent constipation in older children?

You can follow the suggested daily routine listed below:

·        ­ Begin the day with fruit juice - preferably prune, apple, or pear juice

·        ­ Offer a high-fiber cereal at least once a day

·        ­ Serve raw vegetables or a salad with dark green lettuce every day

·        ­ Use whole grain or bran bread instead of white bread

·        ­ Help your child drink more water by offering 2 to 4 glasses of water throughout the day

·        ­ Help your child develop a taste for bran. Try to include 2 to 4 tablespoons of bran every day. You can sprinkle bran on cereal, yogurt, or applesauce.


A diet change did not work; my child is still constipated. What should I do?

If you follow the above guidelines and your child is still constipated, you must consult with your pediatrician immediately. Chronic constipation can be a symptom of an underlying condition. Further diagnosis may be needed to resolve constipation.


 Are there foods that I should avoid in my child's diet?

Certain food items are known to cause or aggravate constipation. These include:

·    Bananas

·    Chocolate

·    Fried foods

·    Excessive intake of milk and milk products such as cheese and yogurt


 It is important to note that children need no more than 3 servings of milk or milk products each day for bone growth. Teenagers need 4 servings of milk or milk products each day.





What amount of fiber is required each day for my child?

We recommend the following fiber intake per day as below:

Children 1-3 years: 19 grams of fiber per day

Children 4-8 years: 25 grams of fiber per day

Boys 9-13 years: 31 grams of fiber per day

Girls 9-13 years: 26 grams of fiber per day
Boys 14-19: 38 grams of fiber per day

Girls 14-19: 26 grams of fiber per day

A sample of common foods we eat and their fiber




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