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How can a high-fiber diet help treat constipation in children?

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A high-fiber diet with plenty of fluids means loading your child’s plate with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, high-fiber cereals, whole grain breads (look for at least 3-5 grams of fiber per serving), and a variety of beans and other legumes, like chickpeas and lentils. Two good sources of fiber that kids are often happy to eat are trail mix (let them make their own) and popcorn with minimal salt or butter. Foods containing probiotics, like yogurt, can also promote good digestive health. While focusing on fiber, don't forget fluids. If your child is eating plenty of high-fiber food but not getting enough fluid to help flush it through his system, you can make matters worse. Your child should be drinking plenty of water throughout the day, along with some milk. Limit sugary drinks to 4 ounces a day in younger children and 6 to 8 ounces in school-aged kids.

SOURCES:

Medscape: "Treatment of Childhood Constipation by Primary Care Physicians: Efficacy and Predictors of Outcome."

Deb Cloney, M.D., pediatric gastroenterologist, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids, Mich.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Constipation in Children." 

 

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on June 25, 2019

SOURCES:

Medscape: "Treatment of Childhood Constipation by Primary Care Physicians: Efficacy and Predictors of Outcome."

Deb Cloney, M.D., pediatric gastroenterologist, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids, Mich.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Constipation in Children." 

 

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on June 25, 2019

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What should I know when using a stool softener to treat constipation in children?

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