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Raisins: the constipation solution for toddlers

June 2, 2011

IT AIN’T PRETTY BUT TODAY’S TOPIC is constipation, or rather, how to fix it. As part of my husband Paul’s job with the United Nations here in Rome, we have access to the commissary and one of our staples is, as mentioned above, raisins. At first it was the little red paper box that intrigued Phoebe–finally something she could hold herself. Here’s what I like: they don’t spill. Ever. Sure a couple drop here and there (in the bottom of the stroller, in the seat of the stroller, in the…) but there is no liquid involved and cleanup is incredible easy, especially when one observes The Two-Second Rule and pops the wayward raisin in her mouth. Our pediatrician once asked if there was glue in the box because the little guys stayed put so well. They’re also tasty and sweet without sugar. As a kid who groaned when raisins appeared in a sack of otherwise delicious Halloween candy, I will understand if someday Phoebe decides these aren’t really a “treat”. But right now they’re also good for something else…

One box of raisins every other day helps keeps this kid regular. And if she’s been raisin-free for a while or gets backed up by eating too much starch or not drinking enough water, one box does the trick. (But don’t go too far. We once gave her two boxes on an international flight, as an activity to keep her busy. Then we were busy. Let’s just say there were repurcussions. Messy ones.) Raisins even work for adults too. Lots of grownups get blocked up when traveling for example, and one box for you is simply an easy way to keep things moving. Don’t worry, that’s all I have to say about that.

In addition to plenty of water, other natural kid-friendly diuretics include: cherries, pears, Granny Smith apples (with the skin on) and of course prunes. The last of which gets such a bad rap in the US. Europeans make delicious things out of dried plums, like rich ice cream, creamy custards and buttery, flaky tarts. To this I say, try it.

Or just stick with raisins.

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