Great tips to improve your child’s digestion
A happy and healthy child is the dream of every mother. A smoothly functioning digestive system plays a huge role in ensuring that your little one feels great and stays active at all times. Providing the right foods, monitoring bowel movements and keeping common digestive issues at bay, are hence important. This article discusses
everything you need to know about foods that will boost your child’s digestion and make everyday life hassle-free for both of you.
Digestive problems in children
Digestive problems are very common in kids between 2 and 5 years of age. Some of the common digestion-related problems include stomach discomfort, heartburn, nausea, gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhoea. There are several causes of digestive problems in children. It could be due to any particular medication, any food intolerance, or an improper diet.
An unhealthy diet is responsible for recurring digestive problems in kids. So, a healthy digestive system requires a fibre-rich diet, lots of fluids, and exercise.
According to dieticians and reputed health organizations, both children and adults should consume 20 grams of fibre per 1,000 Kcal, on an average. Toddlers between 1 and 3 years of age should get 19 grams of fibre every day, and those between 4 and 8 years of age should consume about 25 grams of fibre per day. Fibre-rich foods help in regulating bowel movements.
Some of the fibre-rich food options for kids include unpeeled apples and pears, beans (kidney beans, black beans), high-fibre cereals, oats, whole-grain bread, unpeeled and baked potatoes, and lentils. Spinach, carrots, beets, and beans are rich sources of fibre as well.
Children should be given plenty of fluids so that the fibre can easily pass through the digestive system. Plain water as well as fresh fruit juices made from apples, pears and oranges can help. Water is usually a better option as juices are high in fruit sugars. Coconut water is also a wise choice as it replenishes the electrolytes lost during sweating, apart from providing fibre.
Along with proper diet and fluids, exercising is important for solving digestive problems in children. Exercise is good for the heart, lungs, immune system, and the digestive system. Your child should be involved in plenty of physical activity, in order to have a good digestive health. The physical activity will stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and aid digestion of the food in a better manner.
How to treat digestive issues using home remedies?
To treat digestion problems, there are simple home remedies you can try before taking your toddler to a paediatrician:
- For quick relief, try giving your kid some mint tea, or you can also take him/her out for a slow walk.
- Encourage your child to eat slowly and relax before and after meals as it helps the body to digest the food gradually.
- Give your kid fibre-rich foods as well as fermented foods like probiotic yoghurt.
- Try rubbing your child’s belly in a gentle manner, so that if there is any gas, it will move smoothly through the body. This can ease stomach discomfort and bloating to a great extent.
What to avoid for improving digestion in your kid?
Here are some food items that you should totally avoid giving your child if you want to resolve digestion problems.
- Avoid adding too many spices to his/her food.
- Avoid giving him/her too many fried foods.
- Also, try not to give highly acidic foods like vinegar and citrus fruits.
- An excessive amount of sweeteners like fructose can also hamper the digestion process.
- Refined foods like sugar, white rice, and white breads can cause constipation.
- Reduce the consumption of cheese and other dairy products.
All in all, along with all the dietary precautions and home remedies mentioned above, make sure that your child stays physically active. This will help in proper digestion and make bowel movements easy.