Avoiding medicine and instead using home remedies for indigestion in children is always a better option. Maintaining the healthy gut bacteria is key to good health. My grandmother said “the root of all illnesses comes from an upset stomach”. Each time I complained of a headache or any discomfort she made me drink pudin hara or heeng pani and it usually worked.
It’s actually true that a healthy gut makes a happy person! And “Dadi ki gharelu nuskhe” are always effective. It’s upsetting to see your baby cranky and it becomes all the more hard because you have to guess what the problem is.
Why do kids and babies suffer from indigestion?
While constipation is a common problem is young children, indigestion can occur primarily because of the following reasons.
- Lack of quality sleep
- Being overweight
- Drinking too much carbonated drinks
- Eating while running around
- Heavy or spicy meal
Is my child suffering from Indigestion?
If your child is feeling pain and discomfort in the tummy and is not acting normal, it could be indigestion or heartburn. Other symptoms to look out for:
- Flatulence or passing of wind and belching more than usual
- Feeling of fullness and not wanting to eat or drink
- Acid reflux (food or water coming into the mouth from the stomach)
- Frequent vomiting
Although it’s natural for children to show symptoms of indigestion as their digestive system is not as strong as ours. If your kid is fond of junk or fatty food, he may suffer indigestion more often.
When to consult a doctor?
You can try some of the home remedies for indigestion, but if you see your child in pain and vomiting after every meal, you should consult the doctor immediately.
- If the child is suffering from anemia or iron deficiency.
- If the child is losing weight or not eating at all.
- If you see your child sweating more than usual.
- If the child is vomiting after every meal.
- If you find blood in the vomit or stool of the child.
Home Remedies for Indigestion in Children
If the above mentioned symptoms are absent in your child, and he is experiencing general discomfort you can try the following home remedies for indigestion. Avoid indigestion tablets or indigestion medicines and opt for any of these home remedies. They will surely provide comfort to your child.
Water is the best home remedy for most of the stomach problems. Water helps to flush out the excessive food clinging to the food canal and stomach lining. It also reduces to acid reflux bringing you some instant relief from indigestion.
Try this: Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water as drink throughout the day to help reduce indigestion.
Ginger is a great way to relieve indigestion. It helps the digestive system by stimulating the digestive enzymes. Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory to our digestive system. It contains antioxidants like gingerols, which help to reduce nausea and indigestion.
Try this: Take one table spoon of ginger juice with a spoon full of honey and lemon for instant relief.
#3. Mint leaves
Mentha Spicata or Mint leaves is an fast and effective home remedy for indigestion. The calming and numbing effect of peppermint reduces calcium ions that cause the cramping. This in turn relaxes the involuntary muscles of your digestive tract, reducing the cramps. The accumulated painful gas can then pass both upward and downward relieving bloating and nausea.
Mint leaves also relieves heart burn and indigestion. Mint is rich in antioxidants, phytonurients and menthol. These help the digestive enzymes in our stomach to digest food. The aroma of mint activates salivary glands in our mouth.
Try this: Give a table spoon of mint leaf juice to the child to comfort the stomach.
Fruits are a great source of fiber which is good for the digestive system. Fruits are also very easily digestible so, if your child is experiencing indigestion fruits will be easy on his tummy.
- Papaya: Papaya is known to contain papain, an enzyme that dissolves protein, aiding in easy digestion.
- Pineapple: Pineapples have strong acids in them which help to regulate the bowel movements and fights indigestion.
- Orange: A glass of orange juice in the morning does wonders for the stomach. Though it is a citric fruit (considered acidic) it surprisingly provides instant relief from indigestion and heart burn.
- Grapefruit: Grapefruits are rich in antacids which help soothe the stomach and relieve indigestion. You can give a glass full of grapefruit juice for quick relief or let them eat the fruit itself.
- Banana: It may sound strange to give bananas for indigestion but it helps.
A glass of buttermilk everyday is a great way to keep the digestive system in order. It helps the immune system as well as prevents indigestion. The lactic acid bacteria present in buttermilk contains probiotics, which are friendly bacteria that promote gut health and play a role in digestion.
Try this: Add half teaspoon of powdered cumin and a pinch of salt for extra flavor and effect. Have your child drink a glass of buttermilk right after breakfast to sooth the stomach for the day.
Garlic is the best way to fight indigestion. Add garlic daily to the food you serve your child be it curries, khichdis or paranthas.
Fennel seeds are packed with volatile oil that reduces flatulence and nausea. The best ways to use fennel seeds is to dry roast them and grind them into powder. Have your child drink it after eating fatty food. Add half teaspoon of this powder in half a cup of water and have your child drink it at least twice a day for best results.
Cumin is every grandmother’s favorite home remedy of stomach problems. It helps regulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes to help indigestion. Take a spoon full of roasted cumin powder in a glass of water and have the child drink it twice a day for instant relief.
Green is good! Take a few leaves and twigs, squeeze them and add the juice with half cup of warm milk. Have your child drink it empty stomach in the morning. You will see a happy child in minutes.
Add two teaspoons of powdered cinnamon in a glass of water drink after an hour of a heavy meal. It prevents and cures indigestion and heartburn.
Yes, you heard me right. Ice helps. Put an ice pack on the stomach of the child suffering from indigestion. It stimulates the blood flow and helps the stomach to digest faster.
I hope the above home remedies will help your child and bring back that smile on his/her face. It is important to know that each child is different and different methods may work for them. You can try several ways to comfort the child as none of these have a side effect. If you see that these remedies are not helping get it checked by the doctor as there might be some other problem with the child.
How to prevent Indigestion in children?
It is very important to limit the intake of fatty food in children. You will see some children eating about anything and digesting it but there are kids who have very sensitive stomach and may get sick often. Certain things are important to keep in mind when you want to prevent indigestion.
- Limit the intake of chocolates.
- Teach your child to eat slowly by chewing the food properly instead of gulping it.
- Avoid watching TV or mobiles during eating.
- Avoid any physical exercise right after meals.
- Give small meals instead of large meals to your child.
- Have your child eat early at night
- Have your child eat in a relaxing environment to avoid stress
- Make sure your child is getting regular exercise; it is a must to maintain weight and prevent indigestion.
- Don’t forget to give at least 6 glasses of water to your child during the day but avoid too much water right before bed time to avoid bed wetting.
Certain things you need to do to prevent indigestion
- Make sure your child is not over eating, don’t forcefully feed the child.
- Avoid fatty and greasy meals. Limit it to once a week
- Too much carbonated drinks and chocolate cause’s indigestion.
- Avoid giving fruits and vegetables together to avoid indigestion.
- Don’t let your child run and play right after meals.
- Cold water and cold drinks with food slows down the digestive system therefore do not let your child take it with food.
- Avoid giving meat to the child if it is suffering from indigestion. It is hard to digest and worsens the system.
At the end I want to tell all the mothers that mother hood is the best and the most difficult phase of our lives. We try our best to do what is best for our child. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail but what is important is that we are always there for the child to love and comfort him/her. A mother’s touch is the best remedy for a child so be patient and don’t stress yourself over small illnesses, they come and go. Be a happy mother, you will raise a happy baby.