If your child is suffering from these problems, the cause and cure is often diet. Consider permanently reducing or eliminating processed foods. They contain a multitude of problematic substances, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), and chemicals, while lacking fiber and nutrients. Instead, use whole, single ingredients to make a meal, for example: chicken, sweet potatoes drizzled with olive oil, and broccoli.

A high sugar diet is another common cause of digestive issues. Sugar inflames the gut, interferes with proper immune function, and causes overgrowth of the wrong bacteria while inhibiting growth of good bacteria. A high quality probiotic (a supplement of the helpful types of bacteria) can be extremely beneficial, but often won’t help much if the diet has a lot of processed, high sugar, or immune system-triggering foods.

The next things to consider temporarily eliminating are these commonly problematic foods and drinks: dairy, gluten, eggs, peanuts, corn, and soy. (Almost all of the corn and soy in this country is GMO). Work with your trusted health care provider if you undertake an elimination diet because it is important to ensure that your child gets enough essential nutrients. There are many delicious ways to do this!

When it comes to drinks, keep it simple: water. Constipation in children is often caused by simple dehydration (often compounded by a low fiber diet). Also, all the flavors, colors, and other additives in sports drinks, energy drinks, chocolate/strawberry milk/milk alternatives, etc can cause stomach aches and other problems for little digestive tracts. With real food, simple meals, avoiding common problem foods and added sugar, using a high quality probiotic, and getting adequate hydration with clean water, many digestive problems in children will resolve.

Monica is a board certified family nurse practitioner at Lakeside Holistic Health. She treats adults and children of all ages for a variety of chronic problems, and provides preventive check-ups and annual exams. Visit our website at www.lakesideholistic.com or call us at (208) 758-0568 for more information or to schedule an appointment. To learn more about this topic, come to Monica’s upcoming presentation at Natural Grocer’s in Coeur d'Alene, Tuesday October 28th from 6-7 pm.