Constipation is one of the most common reasons pediatricians see toddlers, preschoolers and grade school age children. While laxatives are a common treatment, many parents are seeking natural remedies for constipation in Charlotte. Over the last 12 years in practice, I have built a list of the 9 Most effective Natural Remedies for Constipation in Children.
1) Fiber–While fiber typically won’t solve the problem completely, it is a good starting point.
- 1 to 3 year-olds should get about 19 g of fiber each day
- 4 to 8 year-olds should get about 25 g of fiber each day
- 9 to 13 year-old girls should get about 26 g of fiber each day
- 9 to 13 year-old boys should get about 31 g of fiber each day
- 14 to 18 year-old girls should get about 26 g of fiber each day
- 14 to 18 year-old boys should get about 38 g of fiber each day
Apples, Pears, Prunes, Berries, Figs are easy sources of fiber.
2) Magnesium–Magnesium helps form healthy stools and improves gut motility. Green leafy vegetables are great sources of magnesium. 1 cup of spinach has 157mg of magnesium (twice the recommended amount for 1-3 year olds) and can be added to a smoothie. Smoothies are effective ways to sneak vegetables into a child’s diet.
Recipe for a Blueberry Spinach Smoothie
- 2/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 1 ripe banana
- 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
- 2 large frozen strawberries
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup milk (coconut or almond)
- 2 teaspoons protein powder
- 1 tablespoon of stevia
Add all ingredients to a blender and mix for desired consistency.
3) Apple Cider Vinegar–Apple Cider Vinegar has been used by parents for numerous remedies and constipation is commonly one of them.
Recipe for a apple cider juice:
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of cranberry juice
- 2 cups of water
- 2 teaspoons of maple syrup
4) Probiotics–Foods with probiotics not only improve digestive system health, but they also help balance the immune system. Foods like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and probiotic yogurt help increase the beneficial bacteria in the body. If using supplements, I recommend Garden of life Raw Probiotics for Kids.
5) Coconut Water–Coconut water balances electrolytes and is a natural laxative for children.
6) Healthy Fats–Healthy fats like coconut oil, grass fed butter, fermented cod liver oil, (excellent source of Omega-3s) and olive oil can help regulate the digestive system. Compared to eating more fiber, my patients have seen better results with increasing their fat content. Stay away from vegetable oils and margarine.
7) Water Intake–Increase water intake by 2-3 cups daily.
8) Eliminate Dairy–Cut back on dairy products but make sure your children are getting adequate calcium from another source. Spinach, kale, okra, sweet potatoes and collards have high amounts of calcium and can be added to smoothies if your child resists eating vegetables like mine does.
9) Try Chiropractic Care! A well trained pediatric chiropractor can help balance your child’s nervous system. Spinal misalignments, or subluxations, place pressure on the nerves that control the digestive system. As a result, the nerves cannot effectively communicate with the digestive system. Some chiropractic adjustments in Charlotte calm down the body’s fight or flight mechanism and speed up digestion. Chiropractic adjustments on children are safe, gentle and effective at balancing the central nervous system allowing the body to function properly.
If you enjoyed this article and tend to gravitate towards natural medicine, like our Facebook page (Active Life Chiropractic) to keep up to date on the latest natural approaches for raising healthy children.
About the Author: Dr. Bob Mason owns one of the largest pediatric chiropractic offices in Charlotte. He has practiced for 10 years, and is known for uncovering and eliminating the root cause of many ailments so that his patients can live a fulfilling life.