Your child might be suffering from constipation if he has dry, hard stools, pain in passing stools, streaks of blood on the outside of the stool or even abdominal discomfort. Toddlers are still discovering a wide variety of foods, but some of those foods might actually be causing your child’s constipation. Consider reducing or eliminating the following foods if you suspect constipation is an issue for your toddler.
Keeping Kids Healthy says that dairy products, particularly milk and cheese, can cause constipation. If your toddler is new to cow’s milk or other dairy products, introduce these foods slowly and watch for any signs that your child is constipated. If your child is drinking more than 12 to 16 ounces of cow’s milk per day, that might be the cause of her constipation. Keeping Kids Healthy says that switching to soy milk might help your child’s constipation, but discuss this switch with your doctor, as soy is a major allergen. Make sure that you’re also giving your child plenty of water and fruit juice in her cup to combat constipation. AskDrSears.com, the website of the Sears family of pediatricians, recommends adding flax oil to your toddler’s milk if you think that milk might be the culprit. Your toddler can have one tablespoon of flax oil a day. You also could sprinkle one tablespoon of ground flaxseed into a smoothie or onto your child’s cereal in the morning. Like flax oil, flaxseeds help ease constipation, but unlike flax oil, flaxseeds also have fiber, which also will help.
Eggs and Meat
The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse says that one cause of constipation is eating foods that are low in fiber, such as eggs and meat. Because these foods are high in protein and low in fiber, they can cause your toddler to be constipated. While protein is necessary for your toddler, consider pairing these foods with fiber-rich foods and a large glass of water to help ease constipation caused by protein intake. Fiber-rich foods include whole grains, raw, unpeeled fruits and vegetables, bran and popcorn.
Some Fruits and Vegetables
Cooked carrots and bananas can be constipating for your toddler, and high-fiber fruits and vegetables also have the potential to be constipating without an adequate amount of water intake. Make sure your child is eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. You might find that pears and prunes will help your child’s constipation.
Some High-Fiber Foods
AskDrSears.com says that while high-fiber diets are necessary for easing constipation, the problem could worsen if your child doesn’t also increase her water intake. When your child doesn’t drink enough water, her colon takes water from waste products, which causes stools to harden. For fiber to correctly empty the intestines, it needs ample amounts of water to do its job.