Does Your Child Have Constipation?
Children have constipation just like adults and perhaps more often since they sometimes don’t like to eat food that has a lot of fibre – vegetables and more vegetables. Children with constipation can use the same natural remedies as adults, but in lesser amounts.
You can use these guidelines for children 3 and older. Children should have a bowel movement every day. It would be best for them to have at least two, if they are eating three meals a day. If your child is having three or less bowel movement per week, it is time to get worried and take action.
If you use some natural remedies, and your child still has only 3 or less bowel movements per week, then it’s time for you to take your child to see a doctor. Continual constipation can reflect a more serious condition, especially if your child is eating the foods that promote natural bowel movements.
Here is a list of things that you can do for your child with constipation. In fact, these recommendations are also good for you if you have constipation.
- Drink more water – children are very active and will perspire more than an adult during the day and lose water. If the body needs water, it will take from the stools and make them hard and difficult to expel.
- Eat more fibre – fruits and vegetables is where the fibre is. Using artificial fibre and laxative products is not a good idea. The body can become dependent on these products and lose its bowel sensitivity and colon wall tone.
- Having a bowel movement when it is time – teach your children to go to the bathroom when they get the urge. A lot of times they will put it off if they are playing or doing something they like. Putting it off will de-sensitise the colon and it will stop giving the bowel movement signal after a time. This will lead to constipation.
- Use natural products that promote bowel movements – there are many fruits and vegetables that promote bowel movements. Use these as snacks. In cases where you use a natural remedy that is bitter, remind your child that it is medicine to help them go to the bathroom more frequently.
Have your constipated child drink more water throughout the day. Use distilled water. Minimise the use of sodas, tea, and sweetened juices, as these are not water. Eating fruits and vegetable provide the body with distilled water since they contain up to 70% water. Drink unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices which provide water and promote bowel movements.
Eating Fruits and Vegetables
The best time to give your child fruits is in the morning. From the time they wake up to noon time is when the body is detoxifying. Heavy foods like meat, milk, cereal, and eggs hinder the detoxifying process. Fruits and their juices accelerate the detoxifying process and promote bowel movement, provided no protein or carbohydrates are eaten. A good breakfast is simply a bowel of fruit. A glass of fresh juice can also be provided.
When in season use a big bowl of watermelon and cantaloupe slices. Otherwise, use a variety of seasonal fruits. Use fruits as a snack between meals. But do not give fruits after a meal as desert. Wait 2-3 hours after a meal before giving fruit. This helps digestion and promotes bowel movements.
Vegetables should be eaten with each meal at noontime and dinner. Vegetables provide water, fibre, and an array of minerals and vitamins necessary for good digestion and colon function.
To make the salad more appealing for your child add raisins or pieces of apple to it.
Look to my other articles for Natural Constipation Remedies. For a child, any herbal products that are used as a constipation remedy should be used at 1/3 the amount listed for an adult. If in doubt always check with a registered homeopath, naturopath, herbalist or doctor.