Constipation in children is not a very pleasant and common problem, which periodically bothers many parents. Problems with the timely emptying of the intestines can be caused by different reasons, but in any case, with constipation in a child, a balanced diet and health food can help to establish the work of the digestive tract.
What are constipation
Due to their occurrence distinguish constipation:
- organic (Hirschsprung disease, dolichosigma);
- inflammatory (colitis);
- due to viscero-visceral reflexes that can come from any internal organ.
Most often in children it is functional constipation that occurs - dysfunction of the intestines with an increase in the intervals between bowel movements or incomplete emptying. For example, in a newborn, the frequency of feces should roughly correspond to the number of feedings. After the introduction of complementary foods, the normal frequency of bowel movements is 1-2 times a day. Artificial children, preschoolers and schoolchildren can already be considered constipated by the absence of feces for more than a day.
Causes of functional constipation
Functional constipation is caused by a violation of intestinal motility mechanisms, so diet is very important in its treatment. The main reasons for its occurrence:
- Alimentary constipation - occurs when the diet is broken, the wrong mode is organized, the food is monotonous, the child drinks little or the mother breaks the rules for feeding a child under 1 year of age.
- Conditionally-reflex constipation - develops in very shy children, for whom going to the toilet outside the home (for example, in a garden or school) is a big problem.
- Psychogenic - arises due to psycho-emotional stress.
- Secondary changes in intestinal motility and tone against violations of the excitability of the autonomic nervous system, for example, with rickets, hypothyroidism, helminthic invasion, or due to taking certain medications.
- Atonic constipation - quite often observed in children with Down syndrome.
- Water electrolyte - when a significant amount of fluid is lost as a result of certain diseases.
- Intoxication constipation - occurs when poisoning by tranquilizers, opiates, benzene, lead.
Also, food allergies or intestinal morphofunctional immaturity can provoke constipation.
If you suspect constipation in your child, you will know about the diagnostic criteria for this condition:
- no stool for more than 24 hours;
- the need for hard and long to push;
- a scant amount of solid feces that resemble sheep peas;
- feeling of incomplete emptying (only older children can say);
- painful and painful act of defecation.
Constipation can be acute as well as chronic, which is formed gradually. If in case of acute constipation in a child the gases do not leave, a mandatory consultation of a pediatric surgeon is necessary, since intestinal obstruction should be avoided.
Principles for constipation
Treatment for constipation in children is aimed at eliminating pain, correction of motility and recovery of the defecation reflex.
With constipation in a baby breastfeeding, you will have to change the diet of a nursing mother. It is necessary to exclude the use of white bread, rice, semolina, whole milk, black tea and coffee. Do not drink carbonated drinks, especially sweet ones. Constipation in infants, usually pass with the introduction of a menu of foods.
If the crumbs of artificiality are constipated, make sure that the baby gets enough water and try to pick up another mixture. For the prevention of constipation, it is preferable to choose mixtures containing lacto and bifidobacteria.
Diet for constipation in children from 1 year to 2 years can be caused by buns and cookies, which they try to feed their grandmothers, indignant that "a child is thin as a reed." Products that delay the process of bowel movements should be eliminated first.
Pasta, dumplings, dumplings certainly make mom's life easier, but can harm the child’s intestines that are not yet strong. Also banned are dairy products, cheese and cocoa. When you are 2 years old, do not give your baby lentil or pea soups, avoid white rice.
For children over 3 years old, you can diversify the diet by introducing into the menu cereals with coarse fibers, rye bread with bran, dried fruits. It is also fashionable to add bran to vegetable soups, yogurts, juices.
At 4 years old, children should eat a common menu, but dishes should still contain healthy dietary fibers that stimulate intestinal peristalsis. Do not give children 4-7 years old carbonated drinks (neither sweet nor simple), chips, crackers and fast food.
In principle, the same rules apply to children of school age. Make sure that, for example, at 10 years old the child does not “lean” on fast food, and other “tasty hazards”, try to preserve a balanced diet as much as possible.
Do not forget about the water
Separately, it should be said about the drinking regime. Be sure that children from 1 year to 4 years should be given a sufficient amount of fluid. This may be boiled water, filtered unboiled, bottled drinking, mineral water is not carbonated. Also required are soups, compotes, juices.
Schoolchild drinking regime should also be sufficient, but it should not be carbonated water.
What is the diet No 3
For children with constipation, diet number 3 is well suited, which aims to restore all the functions of the digestive tract. The basic rule of this diet is that their diet excludes all foods that can enhance fermentation or decay, which strongly stimulate the secretory function of the stomach, pancreas, and enhance the secretion of bile juice.
Balanced nutrition for constipation is a big part of success.
Observing diet No 3, you can eat:
- all kinds of casseroles and porridges (except rice);
- fresh kefir, sour cream;
- cottage cheese dishes;
- slightly salted soaked herring;
- boiled or baked meat and fish;
- fresh or boiled vegetables;
- various fruits and berries;
- non-acute cheeses;
- vegetable soups (weak broths are allowed);
- soft-boiled eggs, scrambled eggs;
- vegetable oil filled salads;
- dried fruit and uzvar;
- various juices;
- dried rye or wheat bread necessarily coarsely ground;
- biscuits, honey, marmalade, marshmallows, jam.
With dietary compliance, you need to limit pasta, semolina, beans, lentils. Grind food is not necessary. If the permitted product is roasted, it is not necessary to allow the formation of a crust. In the day should be 4-5 full meals.
Usually, diet food is prescribed before normalization of an independent regular stool in a child. So that the child calmly went on a diet, not arranging hysterics and “hungry riots”, refusing tasteless and unloved vegetables, their share in the menu should be increased gradually.
What does a diet look like?
For children suffering from constipation, the sample menu for the week should be as follows:
- breakfast: buckwheat porridge, a piece of butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, tea;
- lunch: grated carrots, seasoned with sour cream, rosehip juice or broth;
- dinner: vegetable soup, mashed potatoes with baked meat, sour cabbage, fruit compote;
- snack: rye loaf, weak tea or compote;
- dinner: lean cabbage rolls, a patty with dried apricots, juice.
Using the recommended products you can diversify the recipes of dishes, taking into account the tastes and preferences of the child.