Help your Child Find Relief From Constipation
Does your toddler or young child suffer from constipation? My son suffered from constipation from the time he was a baby until just recently, he is now almost 3 years old. It has been a very frustrating and worrisome problem that I have found some solutions to. Perhaps this can help.
Adequate fluids, fiber, and movement are all key to relieving constipation. Make sure your toddler has a drink handy at all times. A lot of kids don't get enough fluids because they don't like drinking water. If your child won't drink water, very diluted fruit juice is the next best thing. Coconut water is a very healthy alternative to fruit juice. It can be purchased in most health food stores and comes in flavors that kids love.
I make sure my son has a sippy cup all the time when he is playing. I entice him to drink water by giving him a straw or squeezing some lemon juice in it. It's amazing how good the straw works!
Most Americans do not get enough fiber in their diets, and fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system. However, fiber will only exacerbate the problem of constipation if enough fluids are not also consumed. If you increase the amount of fiber in your child's diet, you must also increase the amount of fluids such as water and fruit juice in his or her diet.
Some great sources of fiber are: whole grain pasta, brown rice, any fruit or vegetable with the skin on, dry beans or peas, lentils, and homemade smoothies and popsicles. Check out my article titled "How Your Kids will Love their Vegetables" for a great recipe for homemade 'green' smoothies and popsicles that kids really enjoy. Another great trick is to puree veggies and mix them into marinara sauce, serve this over whole grain pasta with a sprinkle of Parmesan and, voilà, a healthy, kid friendly meal chock full of fiber.
Movement is key to relieving constipation. Most young children move constantly, but if yours doesn't, encourage him or her to get up and dance with you, do some simple yoga stretches together, and play at the park. After you get back from playing outside, draw a warm bath for your little one. Soaking in the warm water can also bring relief.
Look at your child's diet and try to figure out what the culprit is. Dairy products, especially cheese and milk can cause major constipation. Processed foods and white flour products can also cause problems. Eating too many bananas can make it hard for kids to have a bowel movement.
I have had great luck with dried fruit, probiotics, and fish oils. Probiotics are naturally occurring in dairy and non-dairy yogurt and are very healthy for the digestive system. Children's probiotic supplements may be purchased online or at health food stores. Fish oils may be purchased as gummies that kids love! Fish oils offer an array of health benefits besides helping to lubricate the digestive system.
Most kids love dried fruit. I have had the best luck with dehydrated mangoes, my son's favorite. Be sure to read the ingredients and buy dried fruit that is 100% fruit. Many dehydrated fruits contain preservatives and sugar.
I hope that this article has been helpful and can bring some relief to your constipated child. Please be sure to consult your health care provider if this problem persists.