Watch Out For These 11 Foods That Cause Diaper Rash

Watch Out For These 11 Foods That Cause Diaper Rash

13 Mar 2023 | 7 min Read

Manisha Pradhan

Author | 369 Articles

As parents, we all want to see our little ones happy, healthy, and comfortable. But despite all the efforts, a diaper rash can become the most common cause of discomfort to toddlers.

There are many factors like bacterial or fungal infections, moisture, and friction that can contribute to a diaper rash. But did you know that one of the most common causes is the foods that toddlers are fed?

While a diaper rash–which is a form of irritated skin that looks red and patchy in the diaper area–is a very common problem with toddlers, it can be quite uncomfortable for your little one. 

The good news is that as parents, you can take a few steps to ease the discomfort, including avoiding certain foods and maintaining good diaper hygiene.

How Certain Foods Can Cause Diaper Rash In Toddlers

When a baby transitions from breast or formula milk to solid food, their digestive system begins to adjust to the change, and sometimes cannot break the food items down. As a result, they experience changes in their bowel movements. Sometimes it may even cause food intolerance, which leads to diarrhoea or loose stools.

When that happens, a baby may soil their diaper and need to be changed frequently. Both of these may lead to the development of a diaper rash and the diaper area can become sore, red, and irritated.

Diaper rashes caused by food intolerances are very common in toddlers during their transition to solid food so there is nothing to worry about. But you must be more aware of the foods that trigger this discomforting issue. 

11 Foods That Cause Diaper Rashes In Toddlers

foods that cause diaper rash
Fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are highly acidic and can cause diaper rash/ Image source: freepik

1. Citrus Fruits

Fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are highly acidic and can cause acidic poop. Essentially, lactose build-up draws water into their lower bowel, which is then fermented by the bacteria present there, giving the baby gas and acidic stools. This can irritate the baby’s bottom. So it is best to avoid giving these fruits to your toddler until they are a little bit older.

2. Tomatoes

Another highly acidic food is tomatoes which can cause sore red rings around the bottom, anus, upper legs, and mouth. Studies suggest that proteins in tomato pulp and peel may lead to protein contact dermatitis, which is a rash. Avoid giving your toddler food made with tomatoes like tomato soup, spaghetti sauce, and ketchup.

3. Dairy Products

Products such as milk and cheese cause gas, allergies and diarrhoea in some babies. A toddler’s body does not make enough lactase to break down lactose and the undigested lactose sits in the gut and gets broken down by bacteria. This causes bloating, stomach cramps, gas, and diarrhoea which can trigger diaper rash in toddlers. 

4. Processed Foods

Most processed foods are often high in sugar and a toddler’s body can only digest a small amount of sugar. Studies have proved that sugar can only be absorbed through the GLUT-5 transporter and GLUT-5 isn’t even present in newborns. And, a sugar intolerance can lead to loose stools, diarrhoea, vomiting, and as a result bright red skin rashes, and inflamed skin.

5. Berries

Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are some of the berries that can also cause diaper rashes in some toddlers. They contain insoluble fibre which the baby’s developing digestive system cannot digest. It irritates the baby’s digestive system and can lead to diarrhoea. 

6. Peanut Butter

Some toddlers can be allergic to peanut butter and that may cause an upset stomach besides rashes. When a baby has a peanut butter allergy their skin may become very pale and they may even have diarrhoea and vomiting as the baby’s body tries to expel the peanut butter.

Products such as milk and cheese cause gas, allergies and diarrhoea in some babies/ Image source: freepik

7. Eggs

Eggs can cause indigestion in toddlers and may cause vomiting and diarrhoea, which can lead to diaper rash in toddlers. That is because the baby’s digestive system cannot tolerate the protein found in eggs. Egg allergy is common in kids below five years of age.

8. Soy Products

Products such as tofu and soy milk can cause stomach issues like indigestion and diarrhoea in toddlers, which lead to diaper rashes. Soy products are high in protein and it can cause a baby’s digestive and immune system to overreact because of intolerance to the protein.

9. Shellfish

Shellfish such as shrimps and crabs can cause diaper rash in some toddlers. Shellfish contains toxins that can cause gastroenteritis-like symptoms and even watery diarrhoea.

10. Corn

A toddler’s digestive system takes time to adapt to some foods like corn or corn-based products and may cause loose motions. It is difficult for toddlers to digest corn as each kernel has an outer layer that is made of a fibre called cellulose, making it difficult to break apart when chewed. You may have often noticed that after a toddler eats corn, the kernels come out whole in their poop.

11. Honey

Honey can cause botulism in infants under one year of age. Sometimes honey contains bacteria that produce toxins and these can get into the baby’s digestive tract and produce toxins when they grow in the tract. This affects the baby’s intestinal tract. It is best to avoid giving honey to your toddler until your toddler is a little older.

If your baby develops a diaper rash, stick to starchy foods such as:

  • Bananas 
  • Crackers 
  • Pasta 
  • Rice
  • Toast 
  • Beans or lentils 
  • Whole grain cereal

What Can I Do If My Toddler Has Diaper Rash Caused By Food?

If your toddler is experiencing diaper rash, there are a few things you can do to help alleviate their discomfort. 

Change Your Toddler’s Diet

Firstly try changing your toddler’s diet to see if certain foods are causing the diaper rash. By eliminating foods that are known to irritate, you may be able to prevent future diaper rash episodes.

Choose The Right Diaper

Choosing the right diaper for your toddler firstly helps to avoid rashes but even if your toddler has developed a diaper rash caused by food, a good diaper that is made with breathable and soft materials will help to ease the discomfort. 

Keep The Diaper Area Clean And Dry

Change your toddler’s diaper frequently and wipe their skin gently with baby-safe wipes like the BabyChakra Bamboo Wipes which are paraben free and contain the soothing goodness of Aloe Vera which helps to prevent rashes and redness. 

Once you clean and wipe the diaper area, allow the skin to air dry before putting on a fresh diaper.

Use A Diaper Rash Cream Or Ointment 

Apply a diaper rash cream or ointment to your toddler’s skin after every diaper change to create a barrier between their skin and the diaper. Look for products that are natural and contain zinc oxide as it helps to soothe and protect the skin.

Give Your Toddler Plenty Of Fluids

Drinking plenty of fluids can help flush out irritants from your toddler’s system and keep their skin hydrated.

By following these tips and being mindful of the foods that you give your toddler, you can help prevent and ease diaper rash. Remember, every child is different, and what works for one toddler may not work for another. 

Don’t feel sad about your toddler not being able to enjoy certain foods, because you can reintroduce these foods once your toddler grows a little older and the digestive system becomes stronger. If your toddler’s diaper rash persists or becomes severe, it’s always best to consult with your doctor.

You may also want to check these natural products to protect your baby:

Also Read:

Need To Change Your Baby’s Diaper But Don’t Have A Table?: Here’s how you can change diapers without a diaper changing table.

9 Interesting Facts About Babies: We bet you didn’t know about them!

Cover image source: freepik