08 July, 2011
Snacks for Kids With Constipation Problems
Constipation can occur in any children and at any time, particularly during introduction of new foods or potty training or when the diet --- especially liquid intake --- changes. Whether children are passing hard stools or are experiencing diarrhea because of impacted stools, the struggle to resolve constipation for a child relies on caregivers who can provide the routine child support and healthful dietary options so that constipation problems do not recur. Snacks to relieve or prevent constipation are as important as healthful mealtimes for these kids.
Fiber is one of the best ingredients for digestive health and is found in numerous snack foods, particularly whole grain products and fruits. Mixes of dried raisins, cranberries, dates and apricots provide color and sweetness appeal to kids, and can be combined with oats or popcorn to provide high-fiber grains as well. Muffins, always a treat for kids, can be baked with bran, diced fruits or veggies and whole-grain flours to ensure that kids receive high levels of dietary fiber to resolve and prevent constipation. Breakfast cereals that include oatmeal or shredded wheat are high-fiber foods that can be given at snack time with little baking effort.
Because a primary cause of constipation is poor liquid intake, snacks provided in liquid or softened solid forms can improve hard stools. Extra water is essential, and prune or apple juices provide liquid and fiber to treat constipation. Liquid snacks that help prevent constipation problems can be fun, too, though. Colorful smoothies of high-fiber fruits in a small amount of milk or yogurt, homemade pear or apple sauces, and mashed fresh berries as a syrup on waffles or muffins are juicy and delicious snacks for kids.
Dairy products, from milk to cheese sticks and more, are a staple of children's meal and snack times. In fact, an imbalance of dairy and fiber ingredients in a kid's diet can contribute to constipation problems. In addition to increasing fiber, minimizing dairy intake by providing water instead of milk at snack time helps constipation. Using dairy alternatives, such as oat milk or soy yogurt, in recipes or alone as a snack provides similar textures and tastes as dairy without hardening the stool.
Sugary snacks provide little fiber or other healthy ingredients for kids. Homemade snacks can be made with lower amounts of sugar but may not taste as sweet as kids prefer. By sweetening baked goods or drinks with natural sugar alternatives, kid snacks can be fun and healthy to prevent constipation problems. For example, small amounts of honey in teas or cereals improve the taste, and adding applesauce to muffins or breads provides high-fiber, moist sweetness. Regular attention to snack ingredients like these helps caregivers keep kids with constipation problems healthy.
- MargoeEdwards/iStock/Getty Images