Constipation in kids is a common problem for parents, and most of them lose sleep over how to solve it. In truth, constipation is relatively very easy to solve in most cases. The answer is fiber. Fiber enriched food loosens intestinal knots and makes it easier for food to pass through the digestive system.
Now, the question is, how to is to coax your children to eat healthy, fibrous food? If you are a little creative, this seemingly herculean task becomes easier as well. The key is to present food the way kids like it. Children do not like boring and mundane meals, but food doesn’t have to be junk and unhealthy to look attractive. We will go through the everyday meals one by one.
Let’s start with breakfast. Introduce whole oatmeal as a family breakfast. Make an example for the kids by sharing oats with them. Whole-grain cereals on alternative days also will help keep the breakfast dynamic. Make pancakes with whole oat flour with apple and berry toppings, or burritos with beans and egg for fillings. English muffins are an excellent source of fiber and kids like it. Add some chopped almonds or pistachios to the morning milk for crunch. If the kids like waffles, fill those with fresh fruits containing fiber, such as apples, raisins and raspberries. It is better not to use canned fruits, because those contain added flavor and extra sugar; not too healthy.
For lunch and dinner, use the whole grains instead of refined grains. Grains contain the majority of the carbohydrates we eat everyday. Make whole-grain pasta or spaghetti for the whole family. Make peanut butter and banana sandwich with brown bread instead of white bread. Brown bread burgers work too if you want some junk food. Cook brown rice with various kinds of beans. Kids will love brown sushi now and then. Use oat flour to thicken soups and stews, also cook lentil soup. Mash sweet potatoes with their skin on with peas and pumpkins. Make salads with chickpeas, green peas and artichokes. You should also pack raw fruits with school lunches.
For snacks, try to avoid fries and chips. Those usually contain nothing but junk. Bake cookies and muffins with whole-grain flour. Popcorn is an excellent supplier of fiber and it is quite popular too. Sliced apple dipped in peanut butter is a good snack. Encourage kids to drink fruit nectar instead of fuzzy drinks. Of course, they will resist at first. Ask them to balance between soda and nectar consumption.
Make sandwiches with whole-grain crackers with peanut butter in between. You can also pour apple, berry and orange purees for added flavor and fiber. All kinds of berries contain high fiber such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Buy your children ice cream that has almonds and raisins.
Remember, a whole new diet is not acceptable to kids. They will ask questions and try to get back to the previous food habit. Bring the changes gradually, one at a time and keep the taste as close as possible to the foods they love.