October 23, 2012 by thehealthyheartcenter
Yep, that’s right… I said it! #2! The number of pediatric patients that I see and counsel that do not go number 2 regularly is quite alarming. Often times, the child is beyond the age that the parents are still “checking” and monitoring daily bowel movements and regularity. As we are sitting in sessions, I ask about “pooping” and going “number 2”; when the child/teenager admits that they rarely go daily, but instead once every few days, the parents is always shocked and sometimes mortified.
So where have we gone wrong?
I could comfortably conclude that 95% of the patients that I have seen whom do not have regular bowel movements also do not drink enough water, obtain enough fiber (through vegetables, fruits, and whole grains), and are often not moving enough (a.k.a PLAYING enough). The other 5% have clinical diagnosis, which impair their bowel physiology.
Most of the dietary recalls (close to 100%) that are given by each patient are rarely meeting the recommended vegetable and fruit servings per day based upon their age and gender. Not only is this detrimental to their vitamin and mineral needs, calorie intake, but also obtaining fiber.
What can you do?
1. If your child is under the age of 10-11 years old – speak with them about “potty” time. Ask about how often they go to the bathroom (#2). Be specific – you’re not talking about #1! Kids often have a misconception that going #2 is gross and unhealthy (you’d be shocked to hear how many children actually think that going #2 is BAD).
2. If your child is over the age of 11 years old – preface your question, “I’d like to ask you something personal, but it’s really important”. This has always worked with the older children and teenagers.
Once establishing whether action is necessary – incorporate the following into your child’s diet if they are in fact irregular and it’s diet related:
1. apples, figs, dates, prunes
2. dried fruits of all kinds
3. drink 8 glasses of water (8 oz each)
4. yogurt, kefir
5. celery, cauliflower, leafy greens, cabbage
Avoid bananas as they can constipate!
If difficulty still persists – contact your local pediatric gastro intestinal physician.
The Healthy Hearts