What kind of food can I give my granddaughter to help her with her BM and what should we avoid?

by Carla C
(Nova Scotia, Canada)

What kind of food can I give my granddaughter to help her with her BM and what should we avoid?

My granddaughter has a lot of problems with having a BM. We have tried several medications suggested by her doctor, but they don't seem to do anything.

Can you please give me some advice and maybe suggest a diet that will help regulate her?

Thank you,

Dear Carla,

How old is your granddaughter? What type of diet does she currently have?

Personally, I would avoid the use of "medications" to promote BM's if at all possible. Even if they did give temporary relief (which they obviously have not in this case), they don't "fix" the problem and you don't want her to become dependent on them.

As for food to avoid, generally speaking, you need to cut out processed foods, white bread, chips, cheese, etc, and foods that tend to cause constipation in some people.

Foods that help constipation are fresh fruits and vegetables (although bananas constipate some children), nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

She needs to drink plenty of water to keep the bowels hydrated. Not juice, milk, or other drinks, but water. It makes a difference for most people and is really essential. You can put a small amount of juice in the water to make it a little "tastier" but keep it highly diluted.

If you haven't already done so, please read our page on toddler constipation as it offers a number of tips in dealing with poor BM's.

One of the simplest things that we have found to be most effective is the use of Salba or Chia seeds. This is a whole food rich in essential fatty acids that help promote good bowel movements and overall good health.

You only need to give her about 1 tablespoon or so per day sprinkled in her food to get results. What's particularly good about these options, apart from the fact that they are completely natural, is that the grain is virtually tasteless, so she shouldn't object to it at all, even if she is a picky eater.

My nephew has been sprinkling the Salba on his cereal each morning since he was about 4 years old with very positive results.

I hope this helps and that your granddaughter is able to eliminate her problems with difficult BM's.

Kindest regards,

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