Skip to content

Children's Health

How to Teach Your Child Healthy Digestive Habits

Font Size
A
A
A

Eating Too Much Junk Food

Chips, sodas, sweets: At school, home, at the corner store, everywhere they turn, kids have easy access to high-calorie, low-nutrition snack foods and drinks -- and they love them. In fact, some estimates have kids eating fast food 157 million times a month.  

Expert Tip: Don't bring junk into the house.

There's not much you can do when kids are away from home, but you can keep calorie-dense, low-nutrition food and drink out of the family cupboards.

Bringing home occasional treats is great, but stock the pantry with plenty of healthy snacks too, advises Tolcher. Think nuts like cashews, almonds, walnuts; fruits like cherries, apricots, grapes; and crunchy-sweet veggies like red peppers and carrots -- body-building foods that also taste great.  

Drinking Too Many Calories

Some kids drink a lot of juice, milk, sports drinks, and sweetened sodas, and not nearly enough water. And though these drinks are high in calories, they're generally low in fiber and other things that help kids feel full, so it's easy to drink too much of them.

Expert Tip: Drink more water.

Water makes up every cell in our bodies and is vital to digesting and eliminating food, so it's a great idea to encourage kids to get more of it. How much water should kids drink?

  • Water. There's no set target for exactly how much water children need, the best idea is to just encourage kids to drink as much as they want. Boost water's appeal by making it easy to access. Try having a clear, icy jug of it in the fridge; add sliced oranges, lemons, and strawberries to make it look and taste great.
  • Other drinks. For kids under 13, pediatrician Tolcher suggests keeping milk intake to 24 ounces daily or less. For juice, aim for 6 ounces or less for kids under 6, and a maximum of 12 ounces for kids 7 and up.  

 

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
 
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool