If your little one has been struggling with his/her motions in the morning, or if he/she has hard stools, the chances are he/she is constipated. How to deal with it? You may need to visit your pediatrician if it is chronic. Apart from any laxative/medication prescribed by your doctor, you need make certain changes in the diet pattern to overcome this problem.

How can a child’s diet help prevent or relieve constipation?

A child should drink water and other fluids, such as fruit and vegetable juices and clear soups, to help the fiber in his or her diet work better. This change should make the child’s stools more normal and regular. A doctor can help you plan a diet with the appropriate amount of fiber to help treat a child with constipation.

Children ages 1 to 18, depending on their age and sex, should get 14 to 31 grams of fiber a day. Fiber guidelines are not available for infants less than 1 year old, who normally eat little to no solid food yet. Talk with the infant’s doctor about possibly breastfeeding the infant or what kind of foods he or she should eat.

1. Increase fluid

Give more water. If the child doesn’t take plain water include fluids like coconut water, lime water, juices, soups etc.

2. Increase fiber

Give dals with husk and legumes/beans daily. These can be given as regular curries or in khichri form or added to the soups.

3. Give whole cereals

Dalia, brown rice, bajra, ragi, rice flakes etc. these can be given as porridge of dalia, oats, ragi, rice flakes. Alternatively these whole cereals can be used for khichri, uttapam, upma or idlis too.

4. Give plenty of fruits

Hard fruits like apple, pear can be given as stew. Fruits like banana, papaya, guava, cheeku , grapes can be given as it is or in a mashed form.Dried fruits like prunes and figs too help in constipation.

5. Give plenty of vegetables

Give as it is or after soaking overnight. Vegetables especially green leafy, peas, beans, carrots are helpful.

6. Sometimes, children react to milk

Either constipation or loose motions. Watch how your child’s system reacts after a glass of milk.

7. Avoid giving too much refined cereals/ maida products

Like bread, buns, pizza base, any pasta.

Though constipation is children can be relieved easily, if it continues beyond the recommended time, please consult the doctor.

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