- Massage can help relieve constipation in children. Have a child lie on their back. Using a firm but gentle pressure, rub your hand in a clockwise motion along their lower abdomen below the belly button. Imagine you are drawing a rainbow from the left hip to the right. The bowels flow in a clockwise, left-to-right direction, so be sure to always to always go from left to right. Repeat this several times. This can help babies and children get rid of gas too.
- The best way to naturally relieve constipation is with diet. Processed foods are typically low in fiber. Increase fiber from natural sources like fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes like beans. High-fiber cereals or granola bars can help too. Be sure your child eats multiple sources of fiber every day. If you are tube-feeding and your child can eat solid foods, provide pureed fruits vegetables - even finely pureed vegetable soup works well.
- Feed your child high-fiber chia seeds. Chia seeds are super absorbent and can be mixed with fruit juice to make an easy pudding. They are also super healthy, with “brain building” omega fats.
- If your child is using powdered formula, mix formula with 100 percent fruit juice instead of water. Try pear juice or white grape juice. Babies younger than 6 months should not have juice.
- Did you know that stress can cause diarrhea or constipation? If your child has an onset of trouble with constipation, try to evaluate if there is some type of stress in their life that you can help them manage better. Teaching a child relaxation techniques like deep breathing or talking about problems can help them be healthier and teach them how to manage stress better in the future.
- Increase fluid intake. The body uses water to break down food and uses water to lubricate the bowels. If your child isn’t getting enough water, the body can’t function properly.
- Fruits juices can help. Prune juice is best, but other juices to try include white grape juice, apple juice, pear juice and aloe vera juice. If your child has acid reflux problems, avoid citrus juices like orange and grapefruit, which will make the reflux worse.
- Add probiotics to a child’s diet to help the stomach break down food and digest better. You can buy powdered pro-biotics, or drinkable versions in the yogurt section of the grocery store. Greek yogurt is a natural source of probiotics. You can put fruit in Greek yogurt or use it an alternative to sour cream. After a child has had antibiotics or if they have a problem with yeast infections, it is especially important to supply probiotics to help reestablish healthy bacteria in the stomach.
- Lower body movements can help kids have bowel movements or get rid of gas. Encourage children who can walk or run to do this to help the bowels. For young children or children who can’t walk, move their legs in a running motion by tucking one knee up to their belly button while pulling the other straight down, then switch legs. Do this repeatedly for a few minutes at varying speeds. You can also tuck both legs up into their abdomen (like they’re doing a “cannonball”) and push gently. With their legs tucked, rock their legs and hips side to side.
- Some of the top fruits for constipation relief include blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, apples, peaches, dates, figs, plums, prunes, apricots, grapes, cranberries, and raisins. Dried fruit is a good snack for kids and is especially healthy because the drying process concentrates the nutrients. Be sure slice up berries and grapes because they are a choking hazard.
- Have your child eat the skin of fruits. A lot of the fiber is in the skins. Be sure to wash fruits well. If our child refuses to eat the skin, puree it with the fruit.
- High fiber beans include navy beans, kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans, great northern beans, lentils, black beans, fava beans and maricoba (used in refried beans). A lot of kids will eat pureed beans. To make an easy puree, buy canned beans, drain and rinse them and puree them with a little salt, pepper and a touch of olive oil. You can buy refried beans or hummus at the store if you want the beans already pureed. Pureed beans can be used as a sandwich topping, put in a wrap or quesadilla or used as a dip.
- Nuts and seeds are high in fiber too. Try Brazil nuts, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, sunflower seeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds. Nuts are high in calories, however.
- Be sure your child gets whole grains. An easy way to get kids to eat whole grains is to serve them oatmeal, whole grain pasta, brown rice and whole wheat bread, whole grain cereal and whole grain granola bars. Popcorn is whole grain but it is one of the most commonly choked on foods for young children, so be cautious. One way to hide whole grains in their food is to sprinkle ground up grains into foods, such as ground oats, wheat germ, ground flax seed, and alternative whole grain flours like millet and barley.
- If all else fails, you can buy children’s suppositories. Suppositories are inserted into the rectum. They melt and lubricating the rectum and helping poop slide out more easily. They also help by making a child push because they stimulate the physical sensation of needing to poop. This also works with children who are hypotonic (low muscle tone).
Chronic constipation is a big problem for many kids, especially G-tube fed kids, kids with disabilities or digestion problems but hopefully our constipation relief foods and tips will help your child poop more comfortably! These home remedies are a good way to naturally relieve constipation without medicine.
Please comment below and share your experience with us, or give us a feedback about this article. If you think some tips are not included here, please let us know so that we could share them with the rest.