A nonconstipating diet is the best way to
prevent constipation. If constipation develops, a nonconstipating diet will
help restore normal bowel movements.
For babies younger than 12
Breast-feed your baby. Constipation is rare in
Make sure you are adding the correct amount of
water to your baby's formula.
For children age 12 months and older:
Make sure your child is
drinking enough fluids. When the weather gets hot or
when your child is getting more exercise, make sure he or she is drinking more
Add high-fiber foods.
A diet with enough fiber (20 to 35 grams each day) helps the body form soft, bulky stool.
Give your child at least 1 cup of fruit a day. Choose whole fruit instead of fruit juice.
Give your child at least 1 cup of vegetables a day.
Increase the amount of high-fiber foods, such as bran flakes,
bran muffins, oatmeal, brown rice, beans, and unbuttered, unsalted popcorn.
Offer your child whole wheat bread instead of white bread.
Limit foods that have little or no fiber, such as ice cream, cheese, meat, and processed foods, if your child gets constipated easily.
Set a good example for your child by drinking
plenty of fluids and eating a high-fiber diet.
Constipation sometimes becomes a
problem when children start toilet training:
Encourage your child to go when he or she feels
the urge. The bowels send signals when a stool needs to pass. If your child
ignores the signal, the urge will go away, and the stool will eventually become
dry and difficult to pass.
Set aside relaxing times for having
bowel movements. Urges usually occur sometime after meals. Establishing a daily
routine for bowel movements, such as after breakfast, may help.
Make sure your child has good foot support while he or she is on
the toilet. This will help flex your child's hips and place the pelvis in a
more normal "squatting" position for having a bowel movement.
sure your child gets plenty of exercise throughout the day. Set a good example
for your child by following healthy routines of eating, exercising, and going
to the toilet.