If your child seems to have an unhappy belly, look more closely at the balance of fiber, fluid and exercise in his/her daily regimen. Children need these three essentials in their diet in order to promote a healthy digestive system. It may not be simple to find something they like in all categories, but there are some great options to persuade them in the nutritious direction.
The average child, depending on age, needs between 19-38 grams of fiber per day. This can be found in whole wheat bread or English muffins, baked potatoes (with skin), apples and pear (with peels) or berries with seeds, especially raspberries. If your child is constipated, then avoid white bread, cheeses and rice cereal.
This fiber intake needs to be matched with healthy amounts of water, plus a daily allotment of milk. Without fluid, fiber becomes clogged inside the body. The majority of liquid consumed by your little one each day should be water. Four ounces of juice is recommended for toddlers and six to eight ounces of juice for school-age children.
Exercise is the final key factor in ensuring a healthy digestive track for young children. Encouraging 60-90 minutes of play each day will help keep their digestive systems running smoothly. Just remember to keep up with how often they use the restroom while active. Children “holding it in” can lead to extra constipation issues.
For a reference scale on how much fiber your child should be eating each day, check out Super Kids Nutrition.
For more health tips for children, continue to check in on the Medical City Children’s Urgent Care blog. Medical City Children’s Urgent Care is a kid-friendly medical facility dedicated to providing children the best possible care. We have pediatricians that are board certified, offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it and are even open after hours or on the weekend.
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.