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 babies ages 6 to 12 months, give
an extra 2 fl oz (60 mL) of
water twice a day. Instead of water, you can add
2 fl oz (60 mL) to
4 fl oz (120 mL) of fruit
juice, such as grape, pear, apple, or cherry juice, twice a day.
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.
Add at least 2 servings of fruit-such as
apricots, peaches, pears, raisins, figs, prunes, dates, and other dried fruits-each day.
Add at least 3 servings of vegetables-such as cooked
dried beans or peas (legumes), broccoli, or cauliflower-each day.
Children older than 4 years may be offered unbuttered, unsalted popcorn as a
snack. To avoid choking, do not offer popcorn to
children who are younger than 4.
Increase whole-grain foods, such as bran flakes,
bran muffins, graham crackers, oatmeal, brown rice, and whole wheat bread.
Offer your child whole wheat bread instead of white bread.
sure your child is not eating or drinking too many servings of dairy products.
At age 1, a child needs 4 servings a day. Dairy products such as milk, ice
cream, cheese, or yogurt can cause constipation when a child has too many
servings in one day. One serving size of a dairy product is:
� cup (6 oz) of milk.
1 oz of
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.