Kids often complain to us of stomach aches. This could be due to several reasons, for example: they do not want to go to school or bed, they are feeling stressed, or when they had a big meal which they cannot seem to digest properly, or they are feeling a bit gassy.
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A gassy child can become fussy. They might not be able to explain the way they are feeling so look out for the signs! When the tummy aches are persistent and are coupled with other symptoms (i.e., fever, vomiting, tenderness in the tummy area, change in bowel patterns, etc.), you must consult your pediatrician immediately for any gut health issues.
What are the signs of gassiness?
Tummy discomfort or stomach aches in kids can manifest in different ways. One of the most common reasons is because of gassiness.
When you notice that your child is very fussy, irritable, and cries out for no reason for long periods of time (colic) this could be one of the first signs that they have a gassy tummy.1
You may notice that a colicky child may fart, or they may burp frequently. This is because of excess gas. To avoid colic, make sure your child is not hungry – ensure that they have small snacks in between meals. Also, make sure they are up and about when they play and exercise so that gas can pass easily.
Colic is just one of the many symptoms of gassiness. Other signs of gassiness in kids could take the form of burping excessively or belching, drawing up their legs close to their belly for comfort, bloating the tummy area, and even not eating well.3,5
What causes gassiness?
Gassiness could be the result of air being trapped in their digestive system possibly due to swallowing of air or the kind of food and drinks they consume.
Some foods that can cause gassiness and bloating are fried food, beans, and some fruits and veggies like bananas, broccoli, peaches, cabbage, etc.4
Gassiness and bloating for kids could also be due to the difficulty in digesting lactose, which commonly happens to kids with still growing and possibly developing tummies. It’s also good to note that lactose intolerance (difficulty in digesting lactose) is different from a milk allergy (immune system reaction).2
Just because our kids are having trouble digesting lactose, that doesn’t mean we should remove milk from their diet completely. Milk is a very integral part of your child’s development. Therefore, you should choose a milk that is easy on digestion* for their tummy comfort just like Enfagrow Gentlease 3+ which has reduced lactose and has smaller protein molecules, called PHP (Partially Hydrolyzed Proteins), that are more suitable for children who have tummy issues.
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Tips to support your child’s gut health and tummy comfort
- Cut down on the foods that cause gassiness, but do not cut out the fruits and the vegetables all together. You can pre-soak these so that it lessens gas intake.4
- Include probiotics in your kid’s meals. You can find this in yogurt, soy, and juice beverages.6 It is still best to consult your child’s pediatrician to find out what is best suited for your child.
- Provide them small but frequent meals so that they do not get hungry. Eating and drinking too fast can cause excess air in their tummies. Milk could be a great snack as it not only supports tummy comfort but also your child’s growth and development.
Choose milk that is easy on developing tummies. Enfagrow Gentlease 3+ – Easy on Digestion*, Big on Brain*, has smaller** proteins and reduced lactose. It also has MFGM and Superior DHA that help support brain and cognitive development. *
Tummy aches eventually go away on their own but it’s always best to look out for the signs. If you notice symptoms such as weight loss along with their gassiness, diarrhea, persistent stomach pain or vomiting, you should consult your child’s doctor. It could mean something different for your child’s gut health.
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*with proper nutrition and stimulation
**versus regular cow’s milk
- Colic, available at https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/colic. Accessed on 6 September 2022
- Stomachaches in Children & Teens, available at https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/abdominal/Pages/Stomachaches-in-Children-Teens.aspx. Accessed on 6 September 2022
- Gas and gas pain, available at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gas-and-gas-pains/symptoms-causes/syc-20372709 Accessed on 6 September 2022
- Gastrointestinal Gas, available at https://www.gikids.org/files/documents/digestive%20topics/english/Gas.pdf. Accessed on 6 September 2022
- Abdominal pain - children under 12, available at https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007504.htm. Accessed on 6 September 2022
- Gas (Flatulence) available at https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/article?contentid=822&language=english. Accessed on 6 September 2022