Constipation is something every child experience at some point or the other.
It is very difficult for parents to see their kids suffering from constipation. It is very common cause of pain and discomfort in kids, though sometime it may become a chronic issue.
Whether constipation is mild or severe, in most of the cases home remedies can treat it.
How can I say my child is constipated?
Every kid is different and has different bowel frequency. Some kids pass the stools twice a day while some may go only once in two days which might be considered normal for them.
So, to identify whether your kid is constipated or not, you need to know the symptoms which include,
- Painful bowel movements
- Abdominal pain
- Hard stools
- Not passing stool for three or more days
- Blood in stool
If you observe any of these symptoms, your child might be having constipation. Deal with it patiently and get the root cause of constipation in your kid.
Causes of constipation
The main reason of developing constipation is fewer intakes of fibers and water. Also the kids who eat more of sugar, fast food, white bread, processed cheese may often become constipated.
Another lesser known reason of the constipation is to withhold the stools for any reasons like they don’t want a break from playing or watching TV or due to pain. This makes stool even harder due to re-absorption of water from stool in intestine.
Now as we are aware of the causes of constipation, let us try to treat it with simple but effective home remedies.
Home remedies for constipation
There are many “Dadima ke nuskhe” for constipation which are very effective even nowadays.
If your child suffers from mild constipation, try these home remedies. It is better to seek doctor’s advice in case of chronic constipation as medication may be required in that case.
So let’s begin our discussion of different easy and effective home remedies for constipation.
Diet change for treating constipation
1. Increased water intake
Requirement of fluid varies depending on your child’s age and weight. In general, a healthy preschooler may require about 4 glasses of water in a day. Encourage your kid to keep themselves well hydrated.
Water helps stool to pass easily through the intestines and softens stools.
2. Fruit juices and other fluids
Fruits are very good source of fibers and are very effective in treating constipation naturally.
- The “P fruits” like prune, pear, papaya, plums are considered very effective in treating constipation.
- Prune is considered very effective in treating constipation as it contains more unabsorbed sugar (sorbitol) which holds water in stool and softens stools.
- Papayas are also very well known laxative and natural remedy for constipation
- Papayas contain the enzyme called papain which helps digesting complex protein molecules which other body enzymes cannot do. In addition to breaking down tough protein molecules, papain also speeds up the digestive process. This papaya enzyme is also believed to retain fluids in the body for the long time.
- Besides the presence of papain, papayas are also rich in dietary fibers which aid to reduce effects of constipation.
- Papayas also contain vitamin E, C and folic acid which help to deal with the bowel issues.
In addition to “P” fruits, apple, apricots, raisin, ripe bananas, dates are also great source of dietary fibers and help to relieve from constipation.
Lemon juice is also a very good stimulant for digestive system. It helps to flush out toxins and undigested food out of the body and thus helps to get back to normal bowel movements.
I know it is difficult to bring together both, the vegetables and the kids. But it is mandatory to give high fiber food like vegetables to your kids to treat constipation. Increase intake of vegetables like sweet potatoes, beans, broccoli, spinach, and fenugreek leaves etc in your child’s diet.
So mommies, start searching the interesting recipes for your kids which will attract them to eat even healthy vegetables. Good luck!!
4. Whole grains
Whole grains are another fiber rich food which helps treat and prevent constipation.
Give at least one serving of whole grain foods like whole wheat, whole grain bread, oats, brown rice etc to your kids daily.
You can also encourage your child to replace junk food/ snakes with healthy options like replace burger with popcorns.
5. Aloevera juice
Aloevera is not only good for skin and hair, but it also soothes your tummy. Take pure aloevera gel from plant and give one teaspoon of concentrated juice to your kid first in morning. If you are using aloe juice, give him about half a cup of juice first in morning. This is very effective remedy in treating constipation.
Make sure that the aloevera juice/ gel you use is of purest quality for the best results and to minimize risks as you are using for kids.
Healthy gut flora keeps our digestive system smoothly working. These helpful bacteria prevents digestion and lessens severity of constipation.
There are many ways you can include probiotics in your kid’s diet. The simplest one is to serve your child a cup of fresh yogurt.
Yogurt is full of useful bacteria which help in digestion. You can give yogurt to your kid with breakfast and also during the day time.
Behavioral changes to treat constipation
1. Get them moving
Don’t encourage your kid’s “couch potato” lifestyle which can make the constipation worse. Let them get indulged in some physical exercises. Simple activities like running, taking a walk with you, playing catch, riding bicycles will help improving their body system and digestion.
So let your child do adequate physical exercises for normal bowel movements.
2. Attend nature’s call
As mentioned above, to withhold stools may also lead to constipation. So to prevent constipation, explain your child calmly that when they need to go to bathroom- go!
Make them understand that the longer they hold the stools the harder it becomes.
If necessary, set a routine for your kid and have him/her sit on toilet for at least ten minutes at same time each day. This will regularize their bowel movements and resolve constipation.
I hope you have understood now that little change in your food habits and life style can make a great difference to your body. So encourage your children to acquire healthy life style to stay healthy.
Use these home remedies for your kids if they have constipation. I am very sure that these will give you positive results. If the problem remains unresolved for 2-3 weeks, it is advisable to consult doctor for further treatment.