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Foods That Relieve Constipation In Babies And Toddlers

Seeing your baby in distress is very taxing on parents. Especially, when the child is still a baby and cannot express to us what exactly is causing the discomfort. Constipation is a common problem in babies and toddlers as they switch from breastmilk to formula or whole milk. Every time the child goes through a routine change or a dietary change some gastrointestinal issues arise. Their bodies take time to adjust. We can help with constipation though. Today, I will share with you some common foods that relieve constipation in babies and toddlers.

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FOODS THAT RELIEVE CONSTIPATION IN BABIES AND TODDLERS

  1. Dried fruit like dates, raisins and prunes.
  2. Whole grain foods like oats, ragi, whole wheat crackers, whole grain cereal, brown rice etc.
  3. Fiber rich vegetables like broccoli, peas, spinach, fenugreek leaves.
  4. Fiber rich fruits like pears, guavas, berries, mangoes all work wonders.
  5. Flax seeds.
  6. Chia seeds
  7. Beans.

Read on to know how we can add these in different ways to baby and toddler recipes and my tips on how to get your picky toddlers to try these Whole Foods.

But first,

WHAT CAUSES CONSTIPATION IN BABIES AND TODDLERS?

Change in baby’s diet from breast milk to formula or formula to whole milk can be one cause for constipation.

Infant constipation also often begins when baby transitions to solid foods.

In toddlers too, diet changes could be one reason and another one could be toddler refusing to eat a variety of Whole Foods rich in fiber and sticking to only a few low fiber favorites.

Early toilet training could be another reason why children learn to hold their poop for fear of the potty. It is therefore advisable not to rush with potty training and wait for the child to show signs of readiness for potty training.

SIGNS OF CONSTIPATION IN BABIES AND CHILDREN

  1. Baby is visibly uncomfortable and cranky when trying to pass stools.
  2. Hard and dry stools.
  3. Bloated or swollen belly.
  4. Blood in the stool (a sign that the child is straining too hard.)

WHAT FOODS TO AVOID IF BABY IS CONSTIPATED?

It is better to avoid low fiber foods like,

Refined flour breads, cookies, pastries and other processed foods made using refined wheat flour.

Fried foods.

Reduce white rice

Starchy foods like potatoes

Salty foods

Reduce dairy and dairy products

Read more : How to relieve a constipated baby. This post includes tips, home remedies and food recommendations.

FOODS THAT RELIEVE CONSTIPATION IN BABIES AND TODDLERS

Constipation is relieved by adding more bulk to stools that helps with easy passage. Think of high fiber foods you can include in your child’s diet that can help the child pass stools easily. Some examples are:

  1. Raisins. Soak some raisins for half an hour and add these to your child’s porridge.
  2. Prunes. Soak prunes in water for 30 minutes and use these soaked prunes to make a prune puree for babies and toddler.
  3. Dates. Add chopped dates to baby porridge. For toddlers you can add dates to smoothies or make date nut bars as a snack.
  4. Whole grain foods like oats, ragi, whole wheat crackers, whole grain cereal, brown rice etc.
  5. Fiber rich vegetables like broccoli, peas, spinach, fenugreek leaves.
  6. Fiber rich fruits like pears, guavas, berries, mangoes all work wonders.
  7. Flax seeds. Add flaxseed powder to pancakes, porridge, smoothies or chutneys to boost the fiber content of the meal.
  8. Chia seeds
  9. Beans and Lentils. Check here my post on lentil recipes for babies and toddlers for food ideas.
  10. Water. Technically not a food, but don’t forget hydration. Ensure proper water intake both as a drink and as water rich foods like soups and smoothies to the child’s diet.

Toddlers, age 1-3 typically need about 2 to 4 cups of water a day. To understand how much water a toddler should have and what other beverages are considered okay alongside water read the AAP’s recommendations here.

foods that relieve constipation in babies and toddlers
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HOW TO HELP WITH CONSTIPATION IN PICKY EATERS

If you have a picky eater at home you may be wondering how to get your child to eat all these fiber rich foods? Here is what you can do,

  1. Add mashed vegetables like broccoli and peas in your child’s favorite potato mash.
  2. Make a green smoothie with spinach, mango and soy milk. Kids usually love smoothies and these are great vehicles to get in those leafy greens and fiber rich fruits.
  3. Make fruit popsicles. Flavor combinations can be mango and mint, strawberry and lime, spinach and almond milk popsicles sweetened with some honey.
  4. Oatmeal cookies
  5. Oat breakfast bars
  6. Whole grain pancakes, these ragi pancakes are great for babies and toddlers alike.
  7. If your toddler doesn’t drink adequate quantity of water each day, try natural flavored waters like strawberry water, lemon water or even fresh cucumber and mint in water.

Related reading : Ragi recipes for babies and toddlers.

QUICK AND EASY RECIPES FOR CONSTIPATED TODDLERS

During the toddler years appetite fluctuates a lot which causes parents quite a bit of stress. We need them to get adequate calories of food and ensure that most of it comes from Whole Foods sources so that they don’t get constipated. Here are a few recipes you can try with your constipated toddlers.

1. Oat porridge with fruit toppings.

oats recipes for babies
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Most toddlers love strawberries and blueberries and these can be added to oatmeal to make some yummy porridge flavors. Try my favorite oat porridge recipes from this previous post, your toddler will surely love these.

2. Oat breakfast bars

breakfast bars for kids
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Super easy to make and so yummy and nutritious at the same time. You got to try these oat breakfast bars. Serve with some fresh mangoes and yogurt and you got the perfect breakfast for toddlers.

3. Whole grain pancakes

Ragi pancakes - weaning foods for Indian babies
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My ebook, The Easy Toddler Snack Book features many whole grain pancake recipes. These are super delicious and so healthy, the kids don’t even notice the swapped ingredients.

4. No bake energy bars

Energy bars
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This date packed energy bar is a great snack idea for picky toddlers.

5. Chia chocolate pudding

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Make this chocolate chia pudding for dessert instead of the regular cake or cookie. It contains all the goodness of chia seeds and a silky delicious chocolaty flavor like a mousse.

6. Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Soup for babies
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This soup for babies and toddlers is made using a coconut milk base for an extra creamy flavor. We usually pair this with a whole grain pasta dish for a complete meal.

Adding a combination of these foods to your child’s diet should help relieve the constipation symptoms. Constipation is usually a temporary issue and resolves if adequate exercise and good fiber rich foods are included in the child’s diet.

If however, symptoms persist for more than 10 days talk with your health care provider to get your child further help.

I hope these food ideas and recipes help relieve constipation symptoms your baby or toddler is facing right now.

If you have your own home remedies to relieve constipation in babies and toddlers, do leave me a comment below. I am sure it will help other mothers looking for ideas.

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