Poop – a topic that we prefer to sweep under the carpet. Little do we know, there is so much to understand about it!
Do you know if your child is pooping hard lumps, long tubes, or mushy stools? You should—because those variations of poop indicate something very important about your child’s gut health. And it can make or break your child’s long term health and happiness.
Thankfully, to mark World Digestive Health Day 2020, FRISO has launched Singapore’s first-ever “Good Poop Advisory Panel”, helmed by David Naidu, General Manager of FrieslandCampina Singapore.
All parents want the best for their child’s health and happiness. Since poop is the most obvious indicator of a child’s digestive health, we hope that Singaporean parents will be empowered with knowledge to help their children achieve good poop via a natural approach to digestion to help them grow strong and healthy at every stage of development.
General Manager or FrieslandCampina, Singapore
On our end, we had the privilege to speak with a few of these panelists to understand the topic better.
What is good poop?
Good poop refers to poop that is soft to firm in consistency and painless to pass, requiring minimal strain. “Normal stool frequency ranges from 2-3 times per day to about 3-4 times per week,” says Dr Ong, Paediatrician & Paediatric Gastroenterologist, SOG, and Ms Bibi Chia, Principal Dietitian, Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre as they share their insights on digestion through a series of public education initiatives.
A helpful chart that parents can refer to is the Bristol Stool Scale devised by a group of doctors to characterise the different types of poop.
Type 1 and Type 2 indicate hard stools. Type 3, 4 and 5 generally normal stools while types 6 and 7 refer to diarrhoea. If you notice that your child’s poop is frequently abnormal, immediate action should be taken.
“Many parents don’t realise that proactively taking care of their child’s gut health can benefit their overall health and well-being,” said Dr. Ong. After all, close to 70% of the immune system lives in the digestive system, and it also contains more neurotransmitters than the brain. Furthermore, the gut produces 95% of the body’s serotonin, a hormone that regulates emotions. Therefore, a good digestive system can result in a healthy and happy child.
Achieve good poop
A good way to resolve bad poop is to change up your child’s diet. Dr Ong offers some tips to help parents get started:
- Healthy and balanced diet: Provide a healthy diet consisting of natural and wholesome foods which are important to establish good gut health.
- Add fibre: Add more fibre to your child’s diet in the form of wholegrain, fruits and vegetables. The amount of fibre a child needs a day is dependent on their age. A 5-year-old child, for example, will require about 10-15g of fibre per day.
- Drink up: Let children drink more water or milk to ensure good hydration.
- Get off your feet: Encourage children to exercise to promote regular bowel movement.
- Take your time: Make time for children to sit on the potty or toilet just as we make time for them to sleep and eat meals.
If you would like more tips, feel free to follow the conversation online with the panelists using the hashtag #GoodPoopMattersBaby on Facebook. You can also spread the word and communicate about all things poop with these cute stickers for WhatsApp and Telegram.
Images: Shutterstock, Pixabay and University of Bristol