​How to help your constipated child​

    Constipation generally means passing fewer than three stools a week or having a difficult time passing stool, according to Mayo Clinic. Constipation in children is a common concern and home remedies can often provide relief without the need for medication. It is important to not let constipation persist as the child can feel uncomfortable and disturbed. Here are some effective home remedies for constipation in children:

    Increase their dietary fiber

    Increasing dietary fiber is one of the most effective ways to relieve constipation in children. Incorporate fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables into their diet. Fiber adds bulk to stools, improving bowel movement. Fiber-rich snacks like sliced apples, pears or carrot sticks may help. You can also prepare fiber-rich smoothies to help alleviate constipation in children. Blend fruits like bananas and strawberries with yogurt and a teaspoon of ground flaxseed or chia seeds. Your child will enjoy this drink and it will also improve their bowel movement.

    Make sure they are hydrated

    Dehydration can exacerbate constipation. Ensure your child is drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day. Hydration helps to soften stools, making them easier to pass. Offer water, diluted fruit juices (freshly-squeezed), lemon-water, coconut water etc., to increase their hydration level.

    Yogurt with probiotics can help

    Probiotics can help regulate the digestive system and maintain a healthy gut flora. Yogurt with probiotics can be a tasty way to introduce these beneficial microorganisms into your child’s diet. Look for yogurts specifically labeled as containing probiotics. If your child is reluctant to eat plain yogurt, who can make them consume it through vegetable raitas or fruit-flavored yogurts.

    Establish a regular toilet routine

    Establish a regular toilet routine for your child. Encourage them to use the toilet at the same times each day, especially after meals when the body’s natural reflexes are most active. Make your child sit on the toilet at least twice a day for 10 minutes. Ensure they do not carry phones or any other distractions to the toilet seat. This routine can help establish healthy bowel habits and prevent constipation.

    ​Morning and night routine as per Ayurveda​

    Start giving your child one glass of warm water every morning. Also make them eat 4-5 raisins that have been soaked overnight. For night time, give them a glass of warm cow’s milk at bedtime with half a tsp of cow’s ghee. If your child has bloating or gas due to constipation, apply hing (asafoetida) on their stomach at night in a clockwise direction.

    Cooking instructions when kids have constipation​

    If your child has constipation, give them boiled food instead of raw food as raw food could be heavier for them to digest. Reduce the amount of sugar in their food and cut off any junk and dry packaged snacks from their diet, at least as long as they are constipated. Give them warm semi-solid freshly cooked meals to promote better digestion and bowel movements.

    When to see a doctor​

    While these home remedies can be effective, it’s crucial to monitor your child’s condition. If constipation persists or is accompanied by severe symptoms like abdominal pain, blood in stools, or weight loss, consult a pediatrician. They can provide guidance, rule out any underlying medical conditions, and recommend appropriate treatments or interventions.

    Read more:

    Positive attitude towards physical activity may be associated with less anxiety about ageing