Let’s face it: A constipated child isn’t happy.
If your child has a sudden bout of constipation or frequently has trouble going poop, you’ve probably tried several things to help him or her like pep talks, diet changes, and laxatives among others.
The good news is that you can break the painful cycle of constipation in your child’s life, and get things going normally again.
A study in the Gastroenterology journal reveals that children struggling with constipation may benefit from exercise.
However, one of the quickest ways of dealing with the problem is by giving them smoothies loaded with nutrition.
What Causes Constipation In Kids
Infants and toddlers usually poop about 2-4 times in a day, though there are some who only go once every few days.
However, not all poops are soft and easy to excrete, especially where the child is constipated, in which case it manifests in a hard, painful, or large stool.
Generally, constipation tends to resolve on its own, but if it takes several weeks or longer, it’s not a good sign.
Some of the main and known causes of constipation in kids include dehydration, poor diet, food allergies, and sensitivities especially with dairy products like milk-based formulas.
Other causes include medication especially for mood disorders or cold medicine, routine changes like sleeping over at someone else’s home, stress, anxiety, and lack of regular exercise.
There are other uncommon conditions that lead to constipation such as celiac disease, spinal-cord defects, thyroid issues, or lead poisoning.
There are several treatment methods used to help children struggling with constipation get their system back on track. Some of these include using laxatives that hydrate the intestine in turn softening the bowel movements, indigestible sugars like Lactulose, and salt solutions like enemas.
While these are commonly used, they’re not necessarily the best when it comes to safe ways of ensuring the child’s bowel movement gets going.
In fact, kids don’t like the taste of laxatives, and they may be dangerous for those with kidney issues, while lactulose may be too sweet and has been known to cause gas pain.
Enemas, on the other hand, work quickly to break up hard stools, but can be uncomfortable for some kids and may not be a good solution for the long-term. It also doesn’t clean out the intestines.
A better solution is by going the natural way and giving your child smoothies packed with whole, nutritious, healthy, and fiber-rich foods or veggies. You can add lots of nutritious content into your smoothies such as avocado, flaxseed oil, chia or hemp seeds, and much more that give their digestive systems much less work.
7 Smoothies For Constipation In Kids
1. Blueberry Smoothie
To get your child’s digestive system going again, you can give them this yummy smoothie packed with healthy fats, natural hydration, and sweetness.
- Frozen blueberries (if not available, use a small fresh orange)
- Frozen mango
- Avocado or coconut oil (you can use almond butter)
- Chia or hemp seeds
- Plain kefir (contains probiotics that may help with digestion), or half plain yogurt/non-dairy milk
Put all the ingredients in a blender and start on low speed as you work up to the high speeds for about 30-60 seconds so that everything is very smooth. Serve in an open cup with a straw if your child is over 18 months old (if it’s too thick for the straw, use a little water to thin the smoothie out) or a reusable pouch for infants 7 months and older.
You can also serve it to your baby on a spoon.
2. Prune Juice Smoothie
Prunes are dried plums with a black and wrinkled appearance. They’re a good source of energy and have high sugar and fiber that helps regulate the bladder and your bowels. They don’t cause a rapid hike in your blood sugar levels though.
- ½ cup organic prune juice
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup of frozen organic mixed berries
- 1 leaf organic kale
- 1 teaspoon flax seed
Throw all the ingredients into your blender and blend them properly until they’re very smooth. Serve in a straw cup or reusable pouch depending on your child’s age.
3. Berry Probiotic Smoothie
Berries come in a variety of colors, mainly red, blue, or purple, and are typically high in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidant polyphenols.
The high level of phytochemicals in berries also helps protect cells from damage, so incorporating them into your child’s diet could prevent and reduce other chronic disease symptoms besides enhancing the functioning of their digestive system.
This triple berry treat smoothie contains yogurt, whose probiotics can help balance out constipation and other disruptive gut conditions.
- 1/3 cup strawberries
- 1/3 cup blueberries
- 1/3 cup raspberries
- ½ cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)
- ½ cup cold coconut milk
- Ice cubes (optional)
- Honey (optional)
Throw all the ingredients into your blender and mix at high speed until it’s smooth. You can add some honey to get your child to drink the smoothie especially if the berries weren’t too ripe.
4. Avocado Green Smoothie
Avocados are a go-to ingredient for a variety of juices, salads, and dips. The pear-shaped fruit is the darling of the produce section in grocery stores because it’s a superfood and nutrient all-star. It offers almost 20 vitamins and minerals per serving including folate, potassium, lutein, and B vitamins that fight off infection and disease.
It also contains vitamin C and E, low sugar, fiber, monounsaturated fat (good fat) that helps reduce bad cholesterol, and natural plant chemicals that may help with cancer prevention.
For kids, avocado is an easy fruit that helps develop their systems to tolerate and absorb.
- ½ avocado
- 1 pear (unpeeled but cored)
- ½ frozen banana (very ripe with spotty skin)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup baby spinach
Blend the coconut milk and spinach to break down the greens and then add the rest of the ingredients away until they’re very smooth. Serve in a reusable pouch or cup depending on your child’s age.
5. Peachy Smoothie
Peaches are a fuzzy fruit related to apricots, plums, almonds, and cherries, and that contain fiber, antioxidants and vitamins among other nutrients.
They’re in season during the summer when they’re at their freshest and have the most nutritional value and flavor.
When picking peaches, choose those that give in to pressure slightly, but you can place them in a bag to ripen them.
- 1 cup frozen peach (sliced)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup orange juice with pulp
Place all the ingredients into a blender and secure the lid. Blend for about 40-45 seconds or until you get the desired consistency and serve in a cup or reusable pouch.
6. Grape Smoothie
Like berries, grapes also come in different forms and colors from red, purple and green, to seedless grapes and other forms such as jelly, raisins, juice, sultanas, and currents among others.
Grapes were first cultivated about 8,000 years ago, and today, about millions of tons of grapes grow all over the world every year. Besides being a popular finger food, they’re also a rich source of nutrients such as potassium, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and resveratrol, plus health benefits including prevention of constipation.
- 1.5 cups frozen grapes (with skin)
- 1/3 cup yogurt
- Slice of watermelon (optional)
- ½ cup water
Add all ingredients to the blender and mix them up for up to 45 seconds, and then serve them in a reusable pouch or cup.
7. Pineapple Banana Smoothie (Tropical Island)
Pineapple and banana are both incredibly delicious and healthy fruits. The pineapple is packed with benefits from the antioxidants, nutrients, and other helpful compounds that fight disease and inflammation. It also contains vitamin C, fiber, minerals, B vitamins, and more that aid digestion, and boost immunity among other benefits.
Bananas are also very popular and offer multiple benefits thanks to essential nutrients like water, fiber, potassium, electrolytes, and others that help promote regularity and encourage digestive health.
This smoothie blends the two together for a natural laxative smoothie that’ll go a long way in combating constipation in children.
- ½ cup frozen pineapple chunks
- ½ banana
- 1 cup pure carrot juice
- ½ teaspoon ground flax
Blend all the ingredients together and serve in a cup or reusable pouch. You can also administer to your baby using a spoon.
Get Things Going
Constipation is common with children, so if you find your child struggling with occasional constipation, it’s not something to worry about unless it becomes chronic, where you’ll have to see a pediatrician or pediatric dietitian for more help.
The smoothie recipes above are not meant to replace specific medical advice for your child though. They’re just suggestions for occasional constipation.
However, you can also serve more fiber, give your child more liquids including water to help stool move more easily through the intestines, add physical activity to nudge their bowels to action, develop regular meal schedules that regularly and naturally stimulate the bowel, and get kids into the habit of going.
Adding these small changes into your kids’ life will help their bowels move as they should, and make them feel better.