Our expert says:
If there are no physical conditions that are causing the constipation in your 12-year-old child, then the same principles apply for children as for adults, namely increasing dietary fibre content and using probiotics to normalise bowel function. To increase your dietary fibre intake and obtain tips about this condition, click on ‘Diet', ‘You are what you eat' and "Healthy GI tract'. The use of probiotics ('beneficial microorganisms') such as LP 299V (buy at chemist) can also promote normal bowel movements. You will find a number of articles on child nutrition if you click on 'Child' at the top of this page and then on 'Nutrition'. Some of these articles mention the problem of fussy eating. As regards vegetables and refusal by a 12-year-old to eat some or all vegetables, I can only recommend that you make sure the child eats fruit (3-4 portions a day) and that you take a 'casual' stand on the child's refusal to eat vegetables. In some cases children just don't like the taste or texture of vegetables (eating certain vegies is what we call 'an acquired taste') and in other cases they use the vegetable issue to gain attention. You could say that vegetables are the healthiest foods available, but if he/she does not want to eat them, then that's ok by you. Say that if he/she changes his/her mind, she/he should just let you know and then you will start serving her/him with vegies again!
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