Food habits can cause constipation in children

 Constipation or infrequent passage of stools is more commonly seen in children.

Published: 23rd May 2019 05:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd May 2019 05:42 AM   |  A+A-


Image used for representational purpose.

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Constipation or infrequent passage of stools is more commonly seen in children. It is not just how often a child goes to the toilet, it also refers to how hard the stools are passed. It is characterised by: 

a. Having fewer than 3 bowel movements a week.
b. Having trouble passing bowels
c. Have hard and dry stools

Lack of fibre and water causes constipation. Also, high intake of processed foods, cheeses, white bread, Junk food, meats cause constipation in children. A diet full of fatty, sugary, starchy foods slows the bowel movements down. Apart from food, iron supplements given to children too cause constipation. Also if the child is drinking too much of milk and not getting enough solids, constipation becomes frequent. An allergy to cow’s milk or a high intake of dairy products like cheese or cow’s milk also can be a cause.

One of the more common times for children to become constipated is when they are switching from an all liquid diet to the one that includes solid foods. This problem is also seen if your child is sick and his appetite drops down which eventually causes a change in his or her diet. Family history of constipation also can cause it due to shared genetic and environmental factors.

Nowadays toddlers, who are on toilet training, become constipated especially if they aren’t ready. For some children who avoid going to the bathroom, even if they have the urge to go or who don’t want to stop playing fun games or who don’t want to use restroom, which is away from home usually face this problem as ignoring the urge makes it harder for them to go later. Last but not the least, a change in the child’s routine like travelling, extreme summers and hot weather or stress also affects the bowel functioning.

The author is the chief colorectal surgeon and founder, Smiles Hospital

Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp