Fruit Juice

Fluids are key.  Try giving your child lots and lots of clear juice.

Now I know that fruit juice is considered poison juice in some parenting circles: it causes obesity, diabetes and makes your child grow horns. 

But my experience has been that adding a fairly large amount of juice to my child’s diet greatly improved her constipation and encopresis symptoms.

Here’s why I give my daughter 16 oz (2 cups) of fruit juice a day:

1) Our pediatric GI recommended adding 100% fruit juice to her diet.  He suggested starting at 16 oz (2 cups) of 100% clear fruit juice (like apple juice or grape juice, NOT citrus juice like orange juice).  And really, 2 cups of juice isn’t that much. 

2) A diet low in fluids causes constipation. The body needs fluids to keep things moving in the intestines.

Fruit juice will not kill your child.  And it might help their encopresis symptoms.

3) Fiber without fluids causes constipation.  Many people recommend high fiber to fight constipation.  Fiber is good, but fiber without fluids will increase constipation problems.  It will create bulkier, drier stools.  Not good.

Citrus juice (orange juice, grapefruit juice) isn't the best choice, but it probably won't hurt.

4) It is hard to get young kids to drink water. When my daughter was young, we had a “no juice and no soda” rule.  I think in some ways, that may have contributed to our encopresis problems.  Since she wasn’t drinking juice or soda and she refused to drink plain water.  She drank a little milk, but not much (unbeknownst to us, the diary was giving her stomach cramps).  So she was having very little to drink. Low fluids = pooping problems.

[Note: Adding fruit juice is helpful, but you're probably going to have to make some other changes too.] 

Have you tried giving your child  16 oz/ 2 cups of fruit juice per day?  What was the result?

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