Lifestyle

Five tips to help solve your child’s tummy troubles

Creating these healthy habits from a young age will make all the difference. 

“My tummy hurts.” The phrase every parent dreads. The cause can be anything from stool retention, fear of discomfort when going to the toilet, a change in routine, lack of physical activity, medication or illness. Often, however, it is linked to the child’s diet as this plays a major role in their gut health.

The usual suspects are: a high intake of processed foods, dairy and sweets; a low intake of fibre and not drinking enough water. UCOOK suggests these five tweaks to your child’s diet to help their tummy issues go away:

  1. Drink more water

Drinking enough water makes going to the toilet a little easier. If a child is dehydrated then stomach contents battle to move through the intestines. School-age children ideally need to drink between three and four glasses of water per day. Help your child get his or her daily intake by making it fun – introduce interesting (environmentally friendly) straws or drinking cups.

  1. Load up on fibre

High-fibre foods are a critical part of a child’s diet as they help to keep the bowel moving. Fruits, vegetables and whole-grains are good sources of fibre and are easy additions to your child’s plate. As a rule of thumb, 50% of a child’s plate at each meal should be made up of fruits and vegetables and an additional 25% of wholegrains like brown rice, quinoa, whole-grain pasta or bread. TIP: The UCOOK range of frozen meals for children are made up of 30% – 50% of ‘hidden’ vegetables to boost fibre content.

  1. Create an eating routine – and stick to it

Regular meals work as a natural stimulant for the bowels. Keeping your meals at the same time each day means your child is more likely to develop healthy habits. Schedule your first meal of the day slightly earlier so that your little one has time to visit the bathroom before leaving for school.

  1. Slow down on the sugar

It goes without saying that eating fewer sugar-filled items leads to a healthier constitution. With small children this can be a challenge, but opting for healthier alternatives will help to keep them happy. Choose whole-grain pasta and breads instead of processed alternatives, opt for natural nut butters instead of regular peanut butter and try to steer clear of the party sweet assortment.

  1. Choose the right protein sources

When it comes to protein, choose a variety of  sources – beans, nuts, seeds, as well as fish, eggs and poultry are great choices for growing little bodies.

 

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