Ahh, papaya! I’ve come across two groups of people when it comes to this amazing fruit. Those that love it and those that are, well…let’s just say, not so fond of it. Whether you like it or not, it’s health benefits are impressive, to say the least, so finding a way of incorporating it into your diet is definitely a good idea. You will often find papaya in tropical frozen fruit blends. Blended in a smoothie is a tricky way of sneaking it in if you ave a struggle with the after taste. But that’s only 1 way. There are lot’s of recipes to suit anyone’s tastes.
Aside from being and excellent natural laxative, papaya has some some pretty impressive nutritional facts . One cup of raw papaya contains:
only 8 grams of sugar
3 grams of dietary fiber
144% RDI of vitamin C
31% RDI of vitamin A
13% RDI of Folate
10% (360mg) RDI of potassium
Papaya can also: Promote digestive health, work as an anti-inflammatory, boost the immune system and much much more.
Food Tip: When pureeing papaya, remove the skin. It adds no nutritional benefit, can be bitter to taste and can contain latex can cause allergic reactions. Also, for some reason, papaya goes from being a smooth, slippery, and easy to use in a bolus or pump feeding to this:
Yes I did that. No, it does not bolus well (threatens to clog) and will not blend into my food-based laxative cocktail. Chalk one up for experience. So, in the end, if you have not tried papaya…Go for it!
The Poopinator was lovingly named for it’s ability to move “mountains” (insert laughter)! I had reached the end of my rope, tied a knot and was hanging on for dear life when the knot unraveled. Matthew’s KUB showed that he was backed up again and the GI wanted me to do another “clean out”. Matthew does not suffer from constipation in the typical sense (hard stools). He suffers from slow transit constipation and lack of sensation so he can’t feel when he has to go and I wanted him off Miralax. We had done it before (more times than I care to remember) but this time was particularly bad. Needless to say I (and I’m sure Matthew) had had enough so I reached out to my Facebook group, “Blenderized RN” for help. I got lots of suggestions for foods that work as laxatives. I tried several individually but they didn’t work. So I put on my mad scientists lab coat and glasses and went to work. And so The Poopinator was born! No more Miralax!
1 once pureed celery
1 once pureed pumpkin
1 once pureed butternut squash
1 once pureed papaya
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or small jar and stir.
Using a 60cc syringe, draw up mixture making sure to expel any air bubbles.
Give bolus at a rate that is comfortable for your child. For example, Matthew does well if I give 20mls at a time and wait 5 minutes in between.
Finish with a water flush. Use whatever volume your child can handle. I use 15ccs because Matt can handle it.
If 1 once of each item is too much volume, you can cut them in half. You can also start with only 1 item and see how it works before adding another.For convenience I blend the ingredients separately, freeze them in ice cube trays and store them in labeled and dated freezer bags. That way you use exactly as much of each ingredient without wasting any. Because he gets his bolus in the afternoon, I take out the cubes I want in the morning, put them in a small mason jar and let them defrost in the refrigerator. Be sure to warm the jar slightly before giving the bolus so you don’t end up with an upset stomach.
Here are some other foods that can have a laxative effect: Prunes or prune juice, *fresh spinach, black strap molasses, peaches, pears,pineapple, orange, apricots, plums, soaked raisins, flax seed and flax seed oil, hemp seed and hemp milk, Aloe juice and fresh Aloe Vera,coconut oil, dried dates, dried figs and sweet potatoes.
Since everyone’s system is different, some things may work too well (causing diarrhea) and some not at all. It can be frustrating but don’t give up. Try foods independently or, like I did, create your own cocktail. Like any good recipe, just remember to write it down so the items and amounts stay consistent.
*Be careful not to use too much fresh spinach. The iron in it can be counterproductive if not constipating.