Constipation and picky eating - a marriage needing a divorce!

If our child is constipated, they may be reluctant to eat, eat less than usual and not be hungry at mealtimes. Wow doesn’t that sound like picky eating!

Constipation and picky eating can be very chicken and egg. If we are constipated, it’s uncomfortable and the last thing we can feel like doing is stuffing more food into an already overfull space. But if we have a child that is eating a limited diet then constipation is often the result.

Although this is not my area of excellence, I have seen what an impact constipation has had in our family and I know it affects many of the children in the families I work with. Given our experience, I have spent time figuring out what is happening and what we can do and wanted to share some of my findings.

Please do not use this in the place of medical advice. If you do have a child who is constipated please do get them checked out by your medical provider. If I’d known earlier what I know now, I’d have hit the help button way sooner!

What is constipation?

Constipation is generally defined as fewer than three bowel movements per week. Stools are hard and difficult to pass and can require excessive straining and time spent on the toilet. If we have older children, this may go under the radar so it’s important to keep our eye on the ball.

What happened to us... We have been through this in my house and it’s an awful experience for everyone. One of my boys is sensitive to wheat and used to get tummy aches when he was little and ate too much. One Christmas holiday when away, my husband insisted on toast every morning for breakfast (not usual for us). My sons joined in and all seemed fine.

We returned from holiday only to find that my son had ongoing stomach-ache. I left it for a while thinking it would go away once we were back in routines. Bad mistake! The pain got so bad we took him to the doctor and the verdict was severe constipation.