How to Treat Constipation in Children
This digestive condition is one of the leading reasons for visits to the pediatrician. It may not be a serious problem, but it can be painful and lead to other complications without the adequate treatment. How can you know if your child is suffering from constipation?
The main signal of this problem are changes in digestive patterns. Sometimes, a child has less than three bowel movements a week, showing hard and dry stool. The child might also experience painful bowel movements and abdominal bloating.
Fortunately, we don’t always have to turn to commercial laxatives. Before resorting to them, you should try out some diet changes and natural remedies. Check them out!
Recommendations for naturally treating constipation in children
There are many factors that can cause constipation in children. However, among the main factors are poor dietary habits. While children’s digestive systems adapt to their diet, the problem is that sometimes we feed them foods that aren’t so nutritious.
What can we do to treat constipation in children? The first step is to make dietary changes. In order to do so, we’d like to share our main suggestions below.
Increase fiber consumption
Fiber is a key nutrient that aids in digestion. When their diets are lacking this substance, children become vulnerable to constipation. To make sure that doesn’t happen, you can add more fiber to their diets with:
- Whole grains
- Fruits (skin-on)
- Fresh vegetables
- Chickpeas and lentils
- Natural popcorn
Avoiding sweets and sugar
Eating excessive amounts of sugar can have a negative affect on digestive health. As a result, many cases of constipation in children result from eating sweets and candy daily. Though children love their sweets, you should try to keep them out of their diets.
Try to get your child to drink water
Drinking plenty of water starts being important early on. When children fails to get enough water, their digestion slows down and the risk of constipation increases. This happens because liquids increase the volume of fiber, softening stool.
Also read: 7 Easy Ways to Drink More Water
Encourage physical activity
Playing any kind of sport, or even just playing around, regularly stimulates blood circulation and improves digestion. Thus, as a compliment to a healthy diet, you should encourage your child to partake in any kind of physical activity.
Teach them how to follow a bathroom routine
When children are old enough, they should adopt a bathroom routine. Given that younger children are scared to start, you should accompany and guide through it so that it becomes a habit. Children who aren’t potty-trained tend to hold in their needs to avoid going to the bathroom.
So, it’s better it start training them in bathroom habits little by little, without pressuring them. Once they get the hang of it, you need to show them the correct posture for when they go to the bathroom. In addition, remind them that they should always go to the bathroom when they feel a need.
Natural remedies for treating constipation in children
Pharmaceutical laxatives should only be an option for chronic constipation cases. You should consult their pediatrician about their use beforehand. If your child has only recently starting having constipation, or if it’s a mild case, you should opt for natural remedies.
Prunes are a laxative fruit that can boost digestive functions to fight the effects of constipation. For prune juice, you should prepare one or two ounces of prune juice diluted in equal parts water for young children.
You’ll be interested in reading: The 12 Best Natural Laxatives
Grapes on an empty stomach
Grapes are a delicious fruit that kids love to eat. In addition, they’re great for treating constipation in children in no time. Have your child eat 6 to 8 grapes on an empty stomach, skin-on.
Children older than one year can eat honey diluted in water as an alternative solution for slow digestion. Honey contains natural enzymes that help optimize the food break-down process to facilitate their elimination.
Apple juice is a highly recommendable drink for younger children. Thanks to the fact that kids love its sweet flavor, apple juice is a great for constipation treatments. Its pectin and water content is perfect for the problem. We recommend giving your child 2 to 4 ounces of apple juice every day.
To sum up
The simplest and safest ways to fight constipation in children is by improving their diet. You should replace refined and processed foods with organic alternatives. In addition, include fruits and foods with laxative effects to help end your child’s constipation.
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