Food Habits and Diet to Reduce Stomach Problems in Children
Adults pass gas 10 to 20 times a day which is normal for children also. Grown-ups show different symptoms when compared to babies and little kids. Bigger adults with knowledge of their body can differentiate between stomach pain and serious pain that warrants urgent medical addition. But what about minors and nestlings?
Many-a-times there are indicators that a child’s stomach ache is serious, which doctors can diagnose. Some of them include fever, significant vomiting, weight loss, and severe diarrhea, blood in the stool or vomit, or pain in the upper right or lower right abdomen. Also children are so naïve that they sometimes may confuse between a stomach pain and that actually which originates in a closer organ like the appendix.
There are indications that stomach problems in children is serious. Your kid may not be going to school, or participate in events like birthdays or football games. “It doesn’t necessarily signal disease, but it does signal that they need to seek medical care,” said Craig Friesen, MD, division director of gastroenterology and medical director of the abdominal pain program at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.
What are the Causes?
When a kid’s ache is below the belly button, Friesen concludes that, the most common reasons are irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, colitis, or an allergic reaction. The pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms include diarrhea (sometimes with blood and mucus), stomach aches, loss of appetite, weight loss, unexplained fever and tiredness, delayed growth or maturation.
Generally IBD symptoms are diagnosed by a physician with the help of the following tests:
• Blood tests
• Stool tests
• X-rays and CT scans
• Endoscopy or biopsies: colon (for ulcerative colitis) or the upper and lower intestines (for Crohn’s disease)
Some solutions to the above kind of symptoms in children is to avoid certain foods and take healthy diet. The following points will cover all these remedies.
It is not a simple carbohydrate. Starch is a complex product and more the complexity, the higher the percentage of causing gas. Carbohydrates affect children and adults in a similar fashion.
Parents should make sure that kids get healthy carbohydrates and should not be over-stuffed. Too many simple carbohydrates can raise blood sugar and lead to diabetes especially in children.
Avoid Trigger Foods
Certain type of foods can trigger “gastric pain” in kids and children. The most common among them are –
• Citrus Fruits (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, etc.)
• Caffeine-containing products
The best remedy for such sensitivities is to consult a child care specialist. If you want a home-made approach, you can try the “elimination diet”. In this concept, you remove all the trigger foods and replace them with healthy foods like sweet brown rice, before re-introducing the trigger diet one at a time.
If any one of them causes tummy trouble, you can avoid it and go on with the next one. A faster approach is the “rotation diet”. This is a system of controlling food allergies by eating biologically related foods on the same day and then wait up to 4 days before applying the same foods.
Stress Management Skills
This is helpful, if the kid has “emotional” sensitivity. Our intestine contains thousands of nerve cells that can be impacted by our food-intake, in both positive and negative fashion. The earlier food sensitivities can be increased by emotional stress. School and family worries can create lot of emotional trouble in young kids.
A better remedy for this kind of problem is to maintain a diary of events of a child’s symptoms and its relation to emotional needs and share with a health care provider. Mindful breathing like meditation and visualization can be a life-saver at a later stage, if started earlier in a kid’s life-style career.
— Naethan Hoaglund (@NaetHoaglund) October 3, 2014
Generally, babies are often able to digest the lactose in certain dairy products like yogurt and cheese. In contrast to this scenario, cow’s milk protein allergy often affects young infants and usually remedied in the first year.
Some indications of lactose intolerance could include loose stools, gas and nausea. Buffalo’s milk is better compared to cow’s milk, for infants. Though cow’s milk is good, it causes over-heat while buffalo’s milk is more thin and better for babies less than 1 year.
Avoid Gas-Producing Foods
Some type of foods contain certain sugars like fructose, lactose, raffinose and sorbitol) and/or soluble fiber. These produce lot of gas in children. Certain other foods which can produce gas are listed below.
1. Vegetables and Legumes – artichokes, asparagus, beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, lentils, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, green peppers, turnips.
2. Fruits – apples, apricots, bananas, oranges, peaches, pears, prunes, raisins.
3. Dairy Products – milk, cheese, ice cream, processed foods containing milk products (many breads, cereals and salad dressings, for example). There are certain lactase enzyme supplements for lactose intolerance like Dairy Ease and LactAcid which can be taken with dairy products to break down lactose in food.
4. Whole Grains – barley, flax seed, oat bran, wheat.
5. Snack Foods – Avoid foods that contain sorbitol. Candies and gums which are likely to have sorbitol should be avoided. Also nuts and seeds like sunflower and poppy seeds are good source of soluble fiber and can produce lot of gas.
6. Drinks – sodas and other carbonated drinks are likely to contain sorbitol.
Launching of New Foods
Generally after 6 to 8 months, infants are given solid diet. Till then they depend on mother’s milk. So when there is change of diet from liquid to solid certain children may take some time to getting used to different enzymes and probiotics.
So a better systematic approach has to be followed. New foods should be implemented one at a time. Allowing a gap of week between new foods is ideal to take care of any food sensitivities or allergies.
Significance of Liquid and Fiber
The digestive tract in children functions normally when there is abundant amount of liquid. Water, herbal teas and clear soup are ideal for grown-up kids and who can digest. Other drinks like soft drinks, fizzy liquids like soda can bring lot of air into the digestive system.
Government guidelines indicate that children ages 1-3 require 4 ½ cups of fluid daily, ages 4-8 require 5 cups daily and 9-13 need 7 to 8 cups daily. These amounts are bare minimum.
Fiber on the other hand cleanses and keeps things moving smoothly through the digestive tract. In 2009, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) increased the recommended daily fiber intake standards considerably.
Children between ages 2-3 require 19 grams of fiber, 4-8 years require 25 grams, 9-11 years (female) require 26 grams and (male) require 31 grams respectively.
Probiotics for Infants
Proper digestion depends upon many factors like healthy balance of bacterial flora in the bowels. Probiotics contain friendly bacteria and can improve digestion and decrease gas and bloating. Lactobacillus acidophilus provides the bowel with friendly intestinal flora, which eases digestion.
— What To Expect AU (@WhatToExpectAU) June 6, 2013
A bottle-fed baby should have 1/8 teaspoon of acidophilus powder dissolved in formula, twice daily. Acidophilus is available in powder and chewable form at health food stores. Lactobacillus bifidus are other friendly bacteria that help improve digestion.