Constipation is tough for kids to deal with… and adults alike! It’s uncomfortable, discouraging, and can be straight up painful. When your child is constipated, as a parent you feel the instinct to fix it on the spot. But what if the real answer was fixing the root cause: you child’s digestive health.
Children and toddlers can have a multitude of reasons behind slow digestion, from low fiber food choices, to irregularities in schedules, and stress. Constipation is the body’s way of telling us to take a seat and slow down, but it can cause more stress for families caring for children with constipation. Digestive health in general is closely tied to our emotional and mental health. There is a common thread that connects children’s food choices, overall stress, and constipation.
Food can be the main cause of constipation, especially if your child is a picky eater. It also doesn’t serve our kids when the foods that are found on a typical kid’s menu lack fiber and water. Fruits and vegetables are high in water content and fiber, making them a powerhouse when combating constipation. Whole grains also contain a different type of fiber that aids in motility. Continually exposing your picky eater to healthy food choices (or sneaking them into foods they already love) can help to combat issues with constipation. If your child still does experience constipation, it is important to recognize the manifestation physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
Physically for the first few days of constipation, children may not even notice there is a problem. They usually continue their normal routines, sans going to the bathroom. After several days of not going to the bathroom, things can start manifesting physically. Bloating, abdominal pain, and cramping can be a few symptoms your child may feel when they are constipated.
Emotionally, when children see their parents worked up about a problem, they usually have similar reactions. In the grand scheme of things, constipation is usually no big deal and can happen from time to time. Staying cool, calm, and collected when your child is experiencing changes in regularity is key for keeping them relaxed.
Psychologically, constipation can teach your child about body awareness- which is a good thing! When they can recognize that something feels off in their own body, it sets them up to be health-conscious adults in the future. They are also able to learn ways that their body reacts appropriately to, like increasing their fruit and veggie intake… or taking their prebiotics regularly.
Like stated prior, fiber helps motility immensely. Prebiotic fiber in particular feeds the good gut bacteria we have, making them ready to take on other forms of fiber. With this, regularity can be achieved. Begin Health Growing Up Prebiotics optimize digestion by feeding the good bacteria in your gut. It can keep your child’s gut microbiome healthy and high-functioning, therefore keeping your child happy by helping them to go to the bathroom!
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