Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that results in painful bowel movements, diarrhea or constipation, and abdominal pain. Other symptoms such as bloating and cramping can also be noticed. While this is a painful condition for everyone, IBS is especially difficult to manage in children. As a parent, you may feel helpless seeing your child in constant discomfort. Luckily, IBS is a condition you can easily manage with the right food changes. Here are some dietary tips for IBS that you can make your child follow to handle the condition better. Keep in mind that no drastic dietary changes should be brought about without consulting the doctor.
- Preventing processed grains
One of the topmost dietary tips for IBS is to stay away from all kinds of processed grains. These include white rice, all-purpose or refined flour and de-germed corn. When a grain is processed in a manufacturing unit, it loses most of its nutrients and can lead to conditions such as constipation. Always give your child unprocessed grains such as brown rice, whole wheat, and barley.
- Staying away from dairy products
A very common trigger for IBS in children is dairy products. Items such as cheese, milk, yogurt, and butter can make the symptoms of the condition worse and can cause difficulty in digesting food. One of the dietary tips for IBS that doctors give parents is to limit their child’s consumption of dairy products.
- Control the intake of proteins
While protein is a very good source of nutrition for kids, it can have a negative impact on children with IBS when they consume it in excess. Talk to your doctor and understand the protein levels that are acceptable in a day and do not cross this while cooking or choosing food for your child.
- Improve fiber intake
Fiber works great for both constipation and diarrhea. It is, however, important to identify the amount of fiber that is suitable for your child based on the severity of IBS. Talk to your child’s doctor or nutritionist to find the acceptable quantity.
- Say no to carbonated drinks
This is one of the worst foods that a child with IBS can consume. Carbonated drinks or soda can instantly cause a flare-up of IBS and the child will end up with abdominal pain or cramps that will be very difficult to handle. You can make fresh fruit juices for your child instead; as this will keep their gut healthy and happy.
- Control portion size
If your child eats a large portion of food at a time, it can cause stomach troubles. A very useful dietary tip for IBS is to split mealtime into 5-6 parts and to make sure the child eats smaller quantities all through the day.
Follow all these dietary tips for IBS and educate your child about their condition and its symptoms. It is a condition that can be managed easily with a little extra effort from the parent and the child.