It can often seem like digestion problems don’t start until you are an adult, but many children and teens also experience issues digesting food. In some cases, it is from food sensitivities or allergies, like lactose intolerance, but in other kids it has to do with what they’re eating and often how much.
Here are some helpful tips for improving your child’s digestion.
Know the Common Food Sensitivities Among Kids
The first way to help your kids with their digestion is by understanding what food sensitivities they might have. They don’t need a full-blown allergy just to experience digestive issues from what they eat. There are many foods that cause mild sensitivity, but enough to affect their young digestive system.
While this may vary depending on each person, some common foods that might cause sensitivity in kids include:
- Dairy – milk, ice cream, yogurt
- Seafood or shellfish
- Peanuts or other shelled nuts
- High-fiber foods
Try to keep track of what your kids eat and how it affects their body. If your child complains of a tummy ache after eating something, that is a good indication that it contained something their digestive system doesn’t enjoy.
Help Your Kids Avoid Overeating
A very common cause of indigestion in both kids and adults is overeating. For kids, they aren’t thinking about weight or nutrition, they just know what they enjoy eating. Sometimes, this is watermelon, and other times it’s sugary cereal. Regardless of what they are eating, overeating anything can be hard on their digestive systems.
While you don’t need to weigh and measure your kids’ foods, try to encourage using child-sized plates or bowls when dishing out their food, so they have a better concept of portion sizes.
Minimize Snacking When They Struggle with Digestive Issues
With digestive issues in kids, the best way to figure out the cause of it is by tracking what they are eating. With snacking, it can be a little more difficult to nail down what the actual problem is. For now, it might be a good idea to reduce in between meal snacking. Or at the very least, keep it to one small snack a day until you have a better understanding about what is affecting their digestion.
Keep a Food Diary When Necessary
Food diaries provide so many great purposes, including helping you figure out why your kids have digestive issues. This really is the best way to find out why your kids have digestive issues. Bring your food diary to their pediatrician to see if they notice any patterns.