“Digestive or intestinal discomfort: these are very common in children 1 to 11 years of age.” There may be multiple causes: poor digestion, inappropriate diet, anxiety of the child regarding upcoming events…
The Digestive Apparatus and Digestion
A healthy digestive system is essential, as it is this system which transforms food into the raw materials necessary to form the body’s cells and provide them with energy. The foods that we consume are made up of molecules too large to be usable by the organism without alteration. To assimilate them, it is necessary to break them down into smaller elements: nutrients. This transformation takes place during digestion in the digestive system (or apparatus).
Digestion takes place through two major types of mechanism which complement each other:
provided by mastication (combined action of the tongue and the teeth) and by the mixing of the food bolus in the digestive tract (whose walls contain muscle cells);
provided by the enzymes present in the digestive juices. They cleave food molecules to transform them into nutrients.
The diagram opposite presents the various organs involved in digestion.
The diagram opposite presents the various organs involved in digestion: The digestive system, is composed of two major complexes: the digestive tract, in which foods advance while undergoing the phenomena of digestion; the digestive glands, which secrete digestive juices intended for the digestion of foods into the digestive tract. Foodstuffs do not pass through the digestive glands.
How Can Digestive Discomfort in Children Be Managed Naturally?
In some children, stress or anxiety about upcoming events, such as homework or school, can trigger digestive disorders. Essential to the well-being of children, digestion must be protected, if possible naturally through plant wisdom!
Phytotherapy allows the provision of a gentle, well-tolerated solution using plants such as Lemon Balm, Fennel, Linden, Rosemary, Flax, Matricaria, Prunes, Rhubarb stalks, Figs…
Alone or in combination, in syrup, in capsules or in other forms, they facilitate digestion and proper intestinal functioning while improving the digestive well-being of the child. Doctors and pharmacists are there to advise you.
A few simple measures performed in parallel daily can greatly improve the quality of digestion. There is a great deal of advice on hygiene and diet which essentially appeals to common sense. However this may elude parents who cannot calm their children. Below, there is a non-exhaustive list of advice to promote good digestion in children.
- To do
- Encourage children to go to the bathroom at set times, preferably after each meal, without rushing them, for a good ten minutes. Their bodies must become accustomed to this schedule.
- Ensure they are sitting properly on the toilet seat, it is important that their feet are placed on the ground.
- Ensure the child drinks enough water.
- Consult a doctor if the problems persist for longer than 2 days or worsen.
- To avoid
- Outside the house, avoid criticizing the doubtful cleanliness of public restrooms or the unpleasant smells coming from them. You could risk increasing their fear of passing stools. Rather, take advantage of this opportunity to explain to them the hygiene measures to follow, such as washing their hands, etc.
- In the event of difficulties in passing stools, avoid green vegetables and fruits, especially citrus, and milk.