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Foods to Relieve Constipation in Children

by
author image Sarah Harding
Sarah Harding has written stacks of research articles dating back to 2000. She has consulted in various settings and taught courses focused on psychology. Her work has been published by ParentDish, Atkins and other clients. Harding holds a Master of Science in psychology from Capella University and is completing several certificates through the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association.
Foods to Relieve Constipation in Children
Foods to Relieve Constipation in Children Photo Credit Flickr: by lucianvenutian

Overview

There are numerous reasons a child may become constipated. If you suspect that it is due to dietary imbalance, try to increase your child's intake of fiber and fluids. Children may also be constipated for other reasons. If you help your child make changes to the foods she eats and she does not resume normal bowel movements, then consider other causes of constipation. Regardless of gastrointestinal issues, your child will benefit from a balanced diet.

Fruits

Foods to Relieve Constipation in Children
Basket of peaches Photo Credit Jandee Jones/iStock/Getty Images

Not all fruits contain high amounts of fiber. In fact, apples and bananas may have the opposite effect on some children and adults. Avoid these two fruits if your child is constipated. Opt for choices like apricots, plums, peaches and pears. Dates, raisins and prunes are also beneficial to a constipated child. Dried fruit may have more additives and sugar than fresh fruit so opt for fresh whenever possible.

Vegetables, Nuts and Legumes

Foods to Relieve Constipation in Children
Hands opening a pea pod Photo Credit Eugene Bochkarev/iStock/Getty Images

Nearly all green vegetables are high in fiber and may relieve constipation. Feed your child peas, spinach, broccoli and beans to increase their fiber intake. Starches, like white potatoes, do not fulfill the role of a high-fiber vegetable. Encourage your child to try better alternatives like sweet potatoes and squash. A salad full of dark green lettuce can improve your child's bowel movements while providing them with many vitamins. If your child does not have an allergy to nuts or legumes, try almonds and chickpeas.

Whole Grains

Foods to Relieve Constipation in Children
Oats Photo Credit moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images

White grains do not have the same fiber content as whole grains. Provide your child with needed fiber by feeding him food made with oats, barley, rye and brown rice. Many products on the market, including children's cereals, are now made with whole grains. Adding these healthier versions to your child's diet may not only relieve constipation, but also help him meet daily nutritional requirements.

Fluids

Foods to Relieve Constipation in Children
Pear juice Photo Credit HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images

Consuming the right amount of fiber may still cause a binding effect if too little liquid is consumed to help digest the fiber. Increase your child's water intake by encouraging her to drink several glasses throughout the day. A child suffering from constipation may benefit from extra juice at this time. Try juices made from the high-fiber fruit category, such as prune or pear juice.

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