Constipation is a very common childhood complaint, affecting 1 in 3 children, often coinciding with the introduction of solid foods, toilet training and starting school1. Constipation is characterised by hard stools, which are less frequent and difficult to pass. How often a child opens their bowels differs between children, but in general children should pass soft, formed stools every two to three days1.
What are the causes of constipation?
Some of the most common causes of constipation include:
- “Stool holding”, when a child avoids opening their bowels, making the stool become hard and impacted, therefore the stool is then difficult and at times painful to pass1
- Some children have a slow gut transit time, which leads them to being more prone to constipation1
- Consuming a low fibre diet, with limited fruits and vegetables2
- Inadequate fluid throughout the day2
What foods should I offer to help manage my child’s constipation?
Offering a healthy diet, including plenty of fruit and vegetables in addition to high fibre starchy foods such as wholegrain breads and cereals can help contribute to regular bowel movement. Probiotics can help support a healthy gut and may help with further episodes of constipation3.
When children are constipated, they often have a low appetite meaning they may be unable to consume an adequate diet to meet their nutritional needs. In these instances, Kid Essentials® makes an excellent nutritious top-up.
How can Kid Essentials help during times when appetite is low?
Kid Essentials® is a nutritionally complete supplement, which can help children meet their nutritional requirements during times of low appetite. Have you tried our easy nutritional boost recipe using Kid Essentials®? Learn more here
If you are concerned about your child speak to your GP or healthcare professional.
- The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. Kids Health Information. Constipation Fact Sheet. 2018. Retrieved on 14.7.20 from https://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Constipation/
- Better Health Channel. Constipation and Children (2012). Retrieved on 14/7/20 from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/constipation
- Huang R. and Jianan H. Positive Effect of Probiotics on Constipation in Children: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis of Six Randomized Controlled Trials . Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2017: 7: 153. Retrieved on 14.7.20 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5408016/
KID ESSENTIALS® is a food for special medical purposes and is specifically formulated for medical conditions where nutritional needs cannot be met through diet modification alone. Must be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional.