by Kymythy Schultze
There are probably ancient cave drawings depicting this well-known
joke; it’s been around so long! And let’s face it;
there’s a time and place where it can earn a good chuckle. But if
your child has a problem with frequent gas, it shouldn’t be
ignored. It can be much more than just unpleasant aromatherapy! First
the question: What’s causing the gas? Unfortunately,
there’s not one simple answer. To get to the, uh, bottom, of
what’s causing your child’s gas, it’s a good idea to
access their overall health. Are they an all around happy and healthy
child without any other health issues? If your child is not in good
health, then a trip to your favorite doctor is in order. This is
especially important if the child’s gas is accompanied by
abdominal pain, cramping, or other distress. If your child is in good
health, other than occasionally clearing the room, then it may be time
to put on your detective hat and start looking for clues. Take a good
look at what your child is eating; at home and away. You might consider
keeping a food diary to better connect the symptom to its cause. Your
child could have food allergies or intolerances. Gluten, a form of
protein in some grains, is being recognized today as being problematic
for many individuals. People who have gluten sensitivity or intolerance
may suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms when they eat foods
containing gluten (wheat, rye, barley, and foods derived from these
grains). Celiac disease is also associated with gluten intolerance, but
involves the immune system and can lead to damage of the small
intestine. Today, more children are being diagnosed with these food
issues. For more information check out www.gluten.net
news is there are treatment options for these digestive difficulties.
Other causes of frequent flatulence concern the expression
“Garbage in = Garbage out.” Gas may be caused by poor
quality foods such as those that contain artificial colors, sugar,
hydrogenated fats and oils, or any ingredient that interferes with
healthy digestion. And that includes snacks, treats, and soda! From my
experience as a clinical nutritionist over the last two decades I find
that a fresh food diet creates the healthiest children I’ve ever
seen. Fresh unprocessed food is loaded with vital nutrients and great
for your child’s health – now and for their future. Many
whole foods actually contain nutrients that aid digestion. And please
don’t assume that your child will refuse to eat healthy foods.
Marketing hype would have you believe that “health foods”
don’t taste good, but that’s just not true. You really can
find healthy foods that you and your child will find very delicious.
One way to encourage your child to eat well is to let them help you in
the kitchen. Make it fun and make a big deal about their contribution!
The sense of pride that a child feels when they’ve help prepare
food will encourage them to eat it. To learn more about preparing
simple kid-friendly recipes of extremely yummy and healthy food check
out my book “The Natural Nutrition No-Cook Book”.
For simple occasional gas, there are a few
home remedies that you can try. Please do not let them replace
competent medical help when needed. The following suggestions are just
for those little tummy aches and/or odiferous offerings that sometimes
1. Peppermint – easy to grow or purchase at the
store. A leaf or two can be chewed (this is my seven-year old
niece’s favorite). You’ll also find peppermint tea at the
store which is also good. Just make sure the tea is made from
peppermint only and doesn’t contain actual black tea.
2. Nux Vomica – this is a homeopathic remedy
and should be given away from food. The small sweet-tasting pellets are
very child-friendly. Look for the 30c potency.
3. Enzymes – these help breakdown undigested
food. They can be purchased as supplements, but fresh foods such as
pineapple and papaya contain them naturally in abundance.
4. Probiotics – flora found in the digestive
system; these “good guys” help knock out the “bad
guys”. Look for the non-dairy variety. Can be put in a bit of
applesauce if that makes it easier.
5. Massage – relax your child and gently
massage the midline of the stomach and the abdomen from hip to hip
– no tickling! Also, and I know this sounds a bit odd, but trust
me, it often helps; make counter-clockwise circles with your hand a
couple of inches above the stomach and abdomen. Speak calmly and
quietly to help relax your child. Make it a pleasant experience between
the two of you.
Do not try all of the above at the same time or you’ll never know
which worked best. But, do try them, as they are all gentle and
effective ways to allow your farting little friend back into the fold!
R. Schultze is a clinical nutritionist and has been a trailblazer in
the field of nutrition for almost two decades. The recipe above is from
her new book “The
Natural Nutrition No-Cook Book: Delicious Food for You…and Your
Pets!” She is also author of the best-selling book “Natural
Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Diet.” Both
books are published by Hay House, Inc. For more information go to www.kymythy.com