Family Magazine

Foods That Cause Constipation in Babies and Toddlers

By Sangeetha
foods that cause constipation in babiesThis article is about the various foods that cause constipation in babies, toddlers and kids.Constipation is a common cause of concern in parents. It is also one of the common most causes of tummy pain in babies and toddlers.However, constipation is considered normal if the baby or the toddler is constipated once in a while.What is constipation? Constipation is an abnormal pattern of bowel movements that causes a person to pass stools less often than usual. The stools may be difficult to pass or harder than usual.Constipation makes passing stools uncomfortable and painful.Symptoms of constipation in babies and toddlers:Tummy pain or a hard tummy is one of the common symptoms of constipation in babies and toddlers. However the other signs and symptoms of constipation are as follows.#  Discomfort, irritability, pain or crying before passing stool#  Dry hard and pellet like poop# Decrease in bowel movements# Hard belly# Visibility of blood in stoolFoods that cause constipation in babies:There are several factors which may cause constipation in babies and toddlers. However, the main cause of constipation in babies could be a switch from breast milk to formula milk to solid food.#1. Formula milkYes, you read it right, a baby on formula milk is more prone to constipation. Formula is harder to digest than breast milk, causing poop to be firm and bulky.You have to discuss with your pediatrician if the current formula powder you use gives your baby constipation.A breastfed baby is unlikely to get constipated. Breast milk produces poop that is almost always soft, even if a baby hasn’t done a poo for a few days.#2. Solids introduced lately/ First solidsBabies are often constipated when they start solid food, as their bodies learn how to manage new foods.Initially low-fiber food diet and lack of enough fluids contribute to constipation. This is what I have faced initially with my daughter when she started taking solid food.#3. Less intake of waterYes, apart from food, dehydration is also a major reason for constipation in babies.Your baby may refuse milk because of many reasons like teething, a throat infection, cough and cold or an infection. But if your baby is not drinking enough milk or water with their solid foods, they may suffer from dehydration. It might cause dry, hard poop that is difficult to pass.To prevent constipation in babies stick to breast milk as much as possible. When switching to solid food, make sure to keep them hydrated with enough water.Like babies, the main cause of constipation in toddlers is also lack of water and low fiber intake. It can also be due to some other food items being consumed by your kids which lack fiber.Food causing constipation in toddlers:#1. Too much Milk Replacing wholesome fiber rich meals with milk is often the main cause of constipation in toddlers. In such a case their body’s need for fiber is not fulfilled and is replaced by milk. Make sure your kid eats a balanced lunch post school and not to replace it with a glass of milk.Earlier, my daughter who is often tired when back from school, used to demand milk instead of lunch.#2. Excess consumption of dairy and refined productsYou read that right.Your child could wind up constipated if they eat a lot of cheese, ice cream, butter, white bread or pasta. Such food items are low in fiber as compared to fruits, vegetables and whole grains.#3. Fried foodsFried foods are typically low in fiber and high on fats. Such unhealthy junk leads to constipation if consumed in excess.Kid’s all-time favorite french fries, potato wafers and chicken nuggets are the common example for the same.#4. Processed or Packed snacksMany parents rely on pre packaged snack because they are convenient and portable. However, they are also high in fat and low in fiber which when consume without moderation can lead to constipation just like fried foods.Parents should limit the consumption of snack cakes and cookies in kids to avoid constipation.#5. Aerated drinks:They contain caffeine and fills up a child’s stomach, leaving little room for the fiber-filled food they need to relieve and prevent constipation.Adequate water intake is important to regular bowel movements. This means that a child who drinks soda over water is at risk of developing constipation.Water helps a child’s digestion occur regularly. However, sugar and caffeine in soda prevents this from happening.Summary:Constipation can be cured and prevented if parents encourage their kids to eat good wholesome fiber rich food and drinking plenty of water. However, if a baby or a toddler suffers from constipation frequently, then a doctor needs to be consulted.Further reading:20 healthy on the go snacks for toddlers and kids15 super foods to increase lactation in new momsJuices for infants;when, why and how?Hope you got an idea about the various foods that cause constipation in babies, toddlers and kids.Share this article in your Twitter and Facebook please

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