Constipation in children is a common problem. Children with constipation have stools that are dry and hard to pass out. Though constipation is temporary, diet plays a major part in making kids constipated. Hence, parents must be aware of the foods that can cause constipation in toddlers.
When a baby is pooping regularly, it means their digestive system is working fine. So, this means that when the poop is irregular or there is a change in the toddler’s poop texture, the parents are under stress. With a change in diet, it is easy to set right the child’s constipation problem.
Discussions about the baby’s poop by parents are now common and you will be surprised how much the baby’s poop schedule matters to you. If your child has just started eating solid foods and is having difficulty in passing stool read further for better guidance.
Constipation is a common problem where there is an irregular bowel in toddlers. In normal cases, a child who has a bowel movement less than three times a week (or less often than they typically do), and whose stools are hard and difficult to pass are known to be constipated.
It is normal for your child to get constipated once in a while. But if constipation lasts for more than two weeks, it is time you reach your child’s pediatrician. Constipation could be due to any reason right from medicines to diet. When your child’s diet is more of flour and white rice with less fiber content foods, it can lead to constipation in children.
Your child could also be constipated when there is less fluid intake and not eating a good number of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Foods and drinks often help prevent constipation. Apple juice & orange juice are highly recommended for baby constipation. Make sure the child is given the right fruit and vegetables to avoid the baby getting constipated.
Listed below are some of the worst foods for toddler constipation which one should better avoid.
If you are wondering if processed foods fall under foods that make toddlers constipated, the answer is yes. Because of the ease of packaged foods, many parents offer this to their children forgetting that it is one of those foods that can cause constipation in toddlers. These foods contain little or no fiber which is essential for a healthy bowel movement.
Ensure your child gets a sufficient amount of fiber every day. Replace one processed food with a fiber snack or peanut butter to avoid constipation in toddlers.
Related Reading: 15 Most Common Unhealthy Foods For Toddlers
If you are worried about thinking — does milk cause constipation in toddlers, it is yes. Dairy can cause constipation in children especially when they are sensitive to milk protein. Dairy is a common allergen to many children whose sensitivity outgrows over time.
If your child is sensitive to cow’s milk, you may try replacing it with almond, soy, or coconut milk to see if the child’s digestive system improves. Also, if your child is allergic to milk, you can resort to these healthy alternatives to milk for toddlers.
Don’t be surprised as many moms go through the net searching for — Do bananas cause constipation in toddlers? Though bananas are great and yummy finger food for toddlers, they can slow down their digestion process. Although giving a ripe banana is a good option, unripe banana is not recommended (due to its starch content) as it is one of the foods that can cause constipation in toddlers1.
It is common for your baby to become constipated when they start having their first infant formula feed. This is because formula feeds are harder to digest than breast milk. Hence it is common for the baby to get constipated as their body is learning how to cope with digesting new things.
When you feed your baby with formula, always use the amount of powder recommended on the packaging. Too much formula than the recommended level could make your baby constipated.
Many moms are surprised by the fact that rice is one of the foods that can cause constipation in toddlers as many parents prefer rice or porridge as the first baby solid food. Foods such as white bread, white rice, and white pasta are processed grains that are lower in fiber and lead to constipation in toddlers2.
White rice is said to be more processed and polished than brown rice. The husk and bran in the white rice are removed, which takes away the necessary nutrients from the rice thereby causing constipation.
Related Reading: 13 Common Foods For Weight Gain In Toddlers
It is good to feed your baby with raw carrot or carrot juice. However, baby foods that are lower in fiber and high in starches can worsen the baby’s constipation. These include foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, bananas, applesauce, and rice cereal.
This does not mean you have to completely avoid offering these foods to your baby. You can include these foods in your baby in a high fiber diet to keep it balanced.
Though many parents consider cheese to be an excellent source of many nutrients, it is one of the foods that can cause constipation in toddlers as it has less or no fiber. Also, the fat content in cheese could worsen the baby’s constipation.
Also, dairy products contain lactose, and kids who are lactose intolerant may find additional bloating after consuming cheese.
Related Reading: Introducing Curd To Babies: When, How, Benefits And Risks
Snacks such as chips are always under the list of foods that can cause constipation in toddlers as they replace a snack or a food that is healthy and rich in fiber. High-fat foods like potato chips can lead to delayed digestion. This could make your child feel ‘too-full’ that could trigger constipation.
It is a good option to replace potato chips with some potato snacks in combination with other fiber-rich vegetables.
Though the ready to offer meal box might be quite convenient for you, they rarely have the nutritional value that is present in the meals cooked by you. This means they belong to the list of foods that can cause constipation in toddlers.
Frozen dinners are almost always low in fiber and often high in fat. Also, they are high in sodium which fastens water to dilute the salt, keeping it from pushing waste through the body.
Cookies are sources of refined carbohydrates like pastries, cakes, and many crackers. They tend to constipate kids as they are low in fiber, low in fluid, and high in fat. It is best to replace cookies with healthy options such as fiber-rich dessert or snack choices, such as fresh fruit, which are great for constipation relief.
Related Reading: 12 Healthy Habits To Teach Kindergarteners
Greasy, fried foods, such as French fries, doughnuts, onion rings tend to slow down the movement of the digestive tract. These kinds of foods can bind the kids up and could be a cause of their constipation issues.
Just like potato chips, these deep-fried foods take a long time to digest. It is better to offer your kids foods that are steamed and broiled when they are constipated.
Foods made with plain flour, white flour or Maida can cause constipation to babies as it doesn’t contain much fiber in it. Regularly eating food made using plain flour, without including enough vegetables and fruits in the diet, can lead to constipation in toddlers. Make sure you feed your baby with whole grains, which are high in fiber.
Many people perceive chocolate to be the cause of their constipation. According to research involving patients receiving chemotherapy, it was found that chocolate significantly increased the rates of constipation in participants. Other foods such as white bread, animal fats, and cheese were also leading to constipation.
Though it is not clear why chocolates could lead to constipation, it is assumed that high amounts of saturated fat and a low amount of dietary fiber found in regular milk and white chocolate could be one of the reasons.
Related Reading: 7 Common Foods That Cause Cavity In Toddlers
Gluten is a binding protein found in wheat, semolina, rye, and barley. It is used to give the food its shape and helps in holding it together. Children are gluten sensitive and may suffer from constipation due to these foods.
Not all gluten-sensitive individuals experience constipation, but those with Celiac disease should completely avoid gluten products.
Though it could be another surprise for parents, ice cream is a part of the list of foods that can cause constipation in toddlers. This is because of its high-fat content and the lactose amount in it. Also, it is free of fiber which could worsen your child’s bathroom situation.
Most of us experience constipation at some point in our lives, so we know how tough the situation is when our kids experience the same. Food plays a major role in treating constipation issues and that is why it is important to know the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods do offer for kids for a healthy bowel movement.
Make sure to follow a healthy diet for your child by giving them food that is high in fiber. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into the child’s diet and add more whole-grain cereals and bread. Check the nutrition labels on food packages for foods that have more fiber.