If you have a toddler or kid experiencing irregular stools or constipation, before we talk about constipation relief, like using Begin Growing Up Prebiotics, it helps to go back to the basics.
There are two things our bodies need: fluids and fiber. Ready to learn more? Let’s get to the bottom of constipation!
Why? When we drink the right amount of fluids, everything in our gut stays hydrated and passes through our guts more quickly.
What’s the right amount of fluid for constipation relief?
How much we need to drink is determined by how much we weigh. Check out what your little one needs below.
Ounces (Cups of Fluids)
16 ounces (2 cups)
30 ounces (3-3/4 cups)
40 ounces (5 cups)
48 ounces (6 cups)
52 ounces (6 ½ cups)
55 ounces (7 cups)
61 ounces (7 ½ cups)
Over 80 pounds or an adult
64 ounces (8 cups)
That’s a lot of fluids!
We agree. This is one area that many families struggle with.
Plain water can get boring and soon you feel you are chasing your little one around with a sippy cup or water bottle non-stop! It’s exhausting. Some ways you can spice up plain water is by adding fruit to it like cucumber, watermelon or lemon.
Juice counts as a fluid, but the American Academy of Pediatrics just came up with strong guidance to limit juice. They say:
Younger than 12 months
1 to 3 years old
4 ounces or ½ cup
4 to 6 years old
4 to 6 ounces per day (½ cup to ¾ cup)
7 to 18 years old
8 ounces per day (1 cup)
Another fluid alternative to water is herbal tea. Varieties such as peppermint, chamomile, citrus, fennel, ginger, rooibos, are all safe for toddlers and kids. These can be served warm or iced. Hold off on adding sweeteners.
Last, there are endless options for other drinks. One category we want to mention are sugar-free options. Opt for varieties sweetened with stevia and monk fruit. Stevia has been found to act as a prebiotic in the body by feeding good gut bacteria. Other artificial sweeteners need to be investigated further before we really know their long-term effects on our bodies. So when in doubt use caution.
Milk is the preferred drink of choice for some toddlers and kids and it counts as a fluid. But, parents must watch out for too much milk. If kids drink too much milk that can lead to constipation or worsens existing constipation. We don’t want that.
For the kids that don’t tolerate milk, there are many milk alternatives at the grocery store. Milk alternatives like almond milk or oat milk are very different from cow’s milk when you think about nutrition. Some non-dairy milks do have added protein and are fortified with vitamins D and calcium. If you are looking for a milk substitute read the label.
Toddlers and kids ages 2-8 should have no more than 2 ½ cup equivalents of dairy per day. If you are serving too much here, this could provide the constipation relief you’re looking for. Some examples provided in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans include:
Here are some examples of a dairy equivalent:
Dietary fiber helps to form our poop. Sometimes fiber is called roughage or bulk, and includes plant foods your body can’t digest or absorb. It passes relatively whole through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out of your body.
Fiber is usually referred to as soluble, which dissolves in water, or insoluble, which doesn’t dissolve.
Both types of fiber are equally important in the diet. The good news: most foods have a combination of both. Aim to vary the sources of fiber in your toddler and kids diet every day. You can do this by serving different types of fruits, veggies and grains.
It’s more than many parents think. 95% of toddlers do not get enough fiber. Most toddlers and kids, aged 1-5 need between 15 and 20 grams of fiber per day. Kids older than this need approximately 25 grams per day (DGA). Don’t think in grams? Learn more daily fiber needs for toddlers and kids and fiber foods.
Now you know how to boost the fluids and the fiber. But, sometimes we all need a little help! If these toddler constipation relief tips are just not going to happen in your home, Begin has the perfect product for your family. Begin Growing Up Prebiotic is easy to use and tasteless. It is a great source of fiber you add to what you already eat.
You want to gradually introduce this to your little one. Keep in mind that changes to a child’s diet should take time since little tummies are not prepared for big changes and are more sensitive.
Start with ½ of a packet of Begin Prebiotics per day over several days before increasing to a full dose for age. Toddlers under 4 years old can take 1 packet per day as a full dose and kids over age 4 can take up to 2 packets per day.
Use a tracking sheet to keep a record of the foods your little one is eating, when they poop and whether their poop is hard, soft, watery, hard to pass. We want to know what happens after you start using Begin Growing up Prebiotics.
Shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org we can’t wait to hear form you!
Kate Gerweck is a Registered Dietitian based out of Charleston, South Carolina. Kate Gerweck specializes in pediatric nutrition and kids’ constipation.
© 2023 Begin Health, Inc. All Rights Reserved.