While no one likes to have gas, it can be especially uncomfortable for toddlers who have trouble understanding why they are in pain and telling you how they feel. Generally speaking, the foods that cause severe gas in adults are the same foods that cause severe gas in toddlers. Introduce new foods to your toddler one at a time, and notice any negative reactions. If a food causes gas the first time you offer it, try it again at a later date after your child's digestive system has had more time to mature.
Dairy products are a common cause of gas pain. Even toddlers who have had no trouble with formula may begin to have problems as they make the switch to whole milk. Observe your child to see if gas pains occur after drinking milk. If milk is a problem, try giving your child yogurt or hard cheeses as alternate sources of calcium and talk to your doctor about using a product designed for people with lactose intolerance.
Many vegetables are introduced during the toddler years. Vegetables known to cause gas include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, celery, Brussels sprouts, onions, radishes and legumes. If these foods cause gas in your toddler, try pureeing them or using them in smaller amounts and talk to your doctor about products designed to help break down vegetables, like Beano.
The sugars in fruits can cause gas in some toddlers. These include apples and apple juice, grapes and grape juice, prunes and prune juice, apricots and apricot juice, raisins and bananas. Foods sweetened with fructose may also cause problems if your child has issues with fruit sugars. Some toddlers may have problems with a fruit and not its juice or vice versa.
Constipation can cause gas; make sure your toddler is getting plenty of healthy liquids and an adequate but not excessive amount of fiber. Sparkling and carbonated drinks can also cause gas. Artificial sweeteners known as sugar alcohols are notorious for causing severe gas and should not be given to toddlers.