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What can I do to help my child with constipation?

Dr. Lynne Kenney
Psychology Specialist

Increasing magnesium consumption can improve pooping for our little one’s who are living’ on the “stuck side.” As with all supplements, you are best to consult with your health care provider before changing your medical or health protocol. This is provided for education only.

According to Consumer Labs, one’s daily requirement for magnesium can be obtained through food sources without much difficulty and it is thought that the great majority of individuals in developed countries have an adequate intake. Especially rich sources of magnesium include whole grains, nuts, beans, avocado, shellfish, green leafy vegetables, coffee, tea and chocolate. A cup of whole grain flour has nearly 200 mg of magnesium. A cupful of spinach or most beans, nuts, seeds or trail mix offers anywhere from 50 mg to 150 mg of magnesium. A cup of milk, orange juice, or grapefruit juice provides about 80 mg. 

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium is 80 mg for children 1 to 3, 130 mg for those 4 to 8, and 240 mg for those 9 to 13. 

Bear in mind that the recommended amounts noted above are for total daily magnesium intake. The average daily intake of magnesium from food sources in the United States is approximately 320 mg; thus supplementation is likely to increase magnesium intake above nutritional needs. 

For children who have pooping issues (who have been cleared by the pediatrician or gastroenterologist), we usually start with 100 mg of high quality cal-mag (USP or CL labels – Solgar, New Chapter, Country Health, Thorne etc.) with 1/2 serving Good Belly in addition to an increase in fiber-rich foods, daily. Often this can move us from synthetic laxatives.

  • Feed your child at the same time every day.
  • Have your child exercise regularly.
  • Allow time for your child to sit on the toilet so he can have a stool.
  • Have regular toilet times for your child once or twice a day—after eating a meal is best.
  • Avoid making toileting a “big” issue.
  • Do not criticize or embarrass your child about his toileting problems.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.