4 Oct 2022 | 7 min Read
Author | 759 Articles
Did you know certain foods can cause constipation in toddlers? While consuming these foods in moderation doesn’t affect them much, a diet enriched in them can slow down your tot’s bowel movement and may lead to passing hardened stools or difficulty in passing stools.
We have rounded up a list of seven common foods that can increase the risk of constipation in toddlers. If your child is suffering from constipation, then it’s best to limit the intake of these foods or put them off the menu altogether, until their bathroom issues are resolved.
Here are the foods that cause constipation in toddlers and useful remedies to help ease their bowel movements and relieve the condition.
Cheese is an excellent source of protein and calcium for kids. It’s also one of the most beloved foods among kiddos, who love a handful of it in their pizza, pasta, or bread. But unfortunately, a diet high in cheese can contribute to fewer bowel movements in kids. Some dairy foods, in general, have low fibre, and most of the foods that cheese is commonly paired with don’t provide much either. So when your tot is suffering from constipation, try to keep cheese to a minimum.
Also, while considering dairy foods in your toddler’s diet, don’t kick yogurt to the curb! Yogurt is probiotic-rich and helps the intestinal flora thrive, leading to regular and smoother bowel movements.
Processed meats like sausage, hot dogs, and deli meat contain low-fibre, and high amounts of fat and sodium, which can slow down intestinal activity. So although a meat sandwich may make for a quick and easy toddler lunch or snack option, try opting for high-fibre foods and protein instead.
You can use mashed chickpeas, sliced veggies, or a beans patty as their sandwich filling to enhance your tot’s fibre-intake and keep their gut healthy.
While bread is appealing to a lot of kids due to its smooth and pillowy texture, and neutral taste. But white bread isn’t gut-friendly! As you know, white bread is created by refining white flour. The refining process strips away key nutrients, particularly fibre. While the refining process still retains a certain portion of nutrients like B vitamins, it doesn’t compensate for your little one’s nutritional requirements.
So when your child is constipated, instead of serving white bread, whole wheat or multigrain bread that is enriched with essential nutrients like protein and fibre, and keep your toddler’s gut healthy.
Potato chips are the go-to snack for every kid, but it isn’t the healthiest choice, to begin with, especially when your child is suffering from constipation. They have low fibre content and minimal nutrients, which don’t work in favour of speeding your tot’s intestinal activity.
You can consider swapping potato chips with other high-fibre snacks like cereals, edamame, sweet potato chips, dry fruits, and nuts.
Most fast food items, such as french fries, chicken nuggets, and burgers have low levels of fibre and other essential nutrients. So while indulging in them in moderation is still considered fine, a diet high in fast food choices should be strictly avoided for your kid, especially when they are constipated.
Additionally, fast foods contain high amounts of sodium and fat that alter the fluid balance in the body, resulting in the harder-to-pass stool. That’s why it’s best to reserve fast food as an every-once-in-a-while indulgence, rather than a daily stop.
White pasta is also made with white flour, making it one of the common foods that cause constipation in toddlers. In fact, a cup of spaghetti contains less than a single gram of fibre that doesn’t help promote any bowel movement in your toddler.
Instead of white pasta, consider switching to healthier versions of this favourite food, such as whole wheat pasta or vegetable-based pasta. They will not only improve your toddler’s bowel movements but also expose them to a wide range of flavours.
Candy and other sweets can also slow down your toddler’s digestive system, especially if they take precedence over other healthier items in your child’s diet. For a high-fibre sweet fix, you can offer your child home-baked goodies like whole wheat cookies, chocolate-covered fruits, and nuts, or just fresh fruit juices. You can also experiment with other healthier alternatives to help your child develop a taste for nutritious desserts.
High fibre foods help keep the digestive tract steady and enable smooth bowel function to avoid constipation. That’s why you must ensure that your child’s diet is well-balanced with fibre-rich foods and other essential nutrients to help keep their gut healthy and also promote healthy bowel movements.
Including fibre-rich foods in your tot’s daily diet can also reduce the occurrence of this condition in the future. Some fibre-rich foods to add to your child’s diet include:
Light physical movements can stimulate bowel movements in your child. Encourage them to walk, or do some bicycle exercises with their legs to promote healthy bowel activity.
Besides exercise, you can also try other alternative remedies, such as applying BabyChakra’s tummy relief roll-on on their tummy. The tummy relief roll-on is formulated with botanical ingredients like nutmeg oil, peppermint oil, fennel oil, and ginger oil that ease bowel movements, reduce gas and flatulence, and prevent constipation in children.
Giving your child a warm bath can help relax their abdominal muscles and help relieve any tightness. Use a moisturising baby wash with plant-based essential oils, such as strawberry oil, rose oil, and moringa oil that helps relax your toddler, and also reduces abdominal pressure for easy stool movement.
Hydration is crucial for keeping your toddler’s digestive tract healthy and preventing constipation. So ensure your toddler is drinking adequate water throughout the day, and also supplement their fluid intake through fresh fruit and veggie juices.
A gentle belly massage in a circular motion can also stimulate bowel movement in your toddler. Moreover, a massage can help relieve stomach cramps and aches in your toddler due to constipation. Use BabyChakra’s nourishing baby massage oil formulated with avocado oil, saffron oil, moringa oil, and almond oil to help calm your toddler, reduce discomfort, and improve bowel activity.
There are many factors that can cause constipation in toddlers and their diet is one of them! That’s why you must focus on incorporating fibre-enriched foods in your tot’s diet, and limit foods that we mentioned in the list above when your toddler is constipated. Apart from consuming a healthy diet, encourage your child to indulge in regular physical activities and stay hydrated to keep their bowel movements steady and prevent constipation.
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