Healthy Digestion for Children

Yes I am talking about Poop! I never thought that I would write or discuss this subject but over the years I have reached a comfort level and an understanding that digestion and bowel movements are a critical foundation of health. This subject is just to important to avoid!

Unfortunately, I hear about children crying while having bowel movements (as a result of constipation) a lot and it breaks my heart, especially when it causes pain. When this happens, please know that it is a sign that their body is not working properly and NOT NORMAL. Something needs to be changed.

kiddigetion

Digestion and bowel movements tell us a lot, if we pay attention. No one, especially children, should have pain while going to the bathroom. This is something that many adults experience, however, now it tends to be prevalent in very small children; neither adults or children experience this if their body is working properly.

Unfortunately, this is a more prevalent issue today because of our (as a society) shift away from whole foods and the addition of fast food, processed food and consumption of a lot of carbs (such as bread, crackers, etc).

The great news is that there are simple steps to resolve this and in most cases it can be resolved in a short time frame.

My top 5 simple and natural support tips:

  1. Increase whole foods, fruits and vegetables. In particular: dates, dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, swiss chard, romaine, etc), bananas, etc.
  2. Reduce and eliminate sugary drinks. Instead encourage a lot of water. Many times constipation is a result of dehydration, increasing water intake can be an easy solution. Sugar dehydrates the body. Infuse fruit in the water as a fun alternative for kids!
  3. Remove key food sensitivities such as gluten and dairy (to see if that helps); both can cause slow digestion.
  4. Make and encourage whole food based smoothies packed with vegetables, superfoods, and plant based foods and protein.
  5.  Incorporate other drinks and supplements that support a healthy digestive system such as:
    1. Fermented drinks (milk kefirs, water kefirs, kombucha). Fermented drinks provide healthy probiotics to the intestinal tract which supports healthy digestion
    2. Aloe Juice – it supports nutrient absorption and supports healthy digestion
    3. Chia Seed drink – when chia seeds are in “gel” form they act as a digestive broom
    4. Probiotics
    5. Magnesium  – there are many ways to get more magnesium into our children’s body such as: adding NaturalCalm to some water to drink, placing Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil or Lotion on skin for a limited time, and adding Epsom salt to their baths

If your child refuses or dislikes to eat many fruits and vegetables, I encourage you to try different smoothie recipes and call it “ice cream”, make up purees and disguise in recipes, and/or get them involved in preparing snacks and meals or even growing the food to generate interest and awareness.

MelanieMelanie is the Wellness Coordinator for Willowsong Midwifery Care, a Certified Health Coach (through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and AADP), and more importantly a mom of 3 small children. She is very passionate about empowering moms and children in attaining overall health and wellness and loves supporting Willowsong Families with health classes, free initial prenatal consults, information via blogging and much more! Melanie approaches health from a holistic perspective, meaning that she believes each component of our lives creates our overall health and wellness. You are welcome to connect with Melanie anytime via email (Melanie@Food4Thoughtdm.com).

Please don’t just take Melanie’s experience…as always consult with your medical professional and your own self understanding when making health decision; Melanie is not a medical professional, a nutritionist or dietician. She does not hold a degree in medicine, dietetics, or nutrition. Melanie makes no claim to any specialized medical training, nor does she dispense medical advice or prescriptions. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease, preconception or pregnancy health. It is intended to be provided for informational, educational, and self-empowerment purposes ONLY. Please consult with your doctor or wellness team if you have questions and then make your own well-informed decisions based upon what is best for your unique genetics, culture, conditions, and stage of life.