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Does your baby have a hard time pooping every other day and pass a lot of gas? Does she or he experience discomfort while passing their stool? If yes, then he might be suffering from constipation. Like any other anxious parent, it is only natural that you will lose your sleep over the inconvenience faced by your baby. After trying innumerable home remedies, if you still do not find a solution to this problem, then it is time for you to recall your baby’s diet.
The food that a baby consumes directly influences the ease with which they poop. There are some food substances which tend to constipate babies. This happens especially when babies start having solid foods. Read on to know about the various food substances that cause and relieve constipation in children and how you can ensure that your child has a good bowel movement.
Foods That Cause Constipation in Infants
If your child has just started eating solid foods and if you find your baby having difficulty in passing stool or has dry and hard stool, then it is a sign of constipation. There are many causes of constipation in babies, but it primarily depends on your baby’s fluid intake and diet. If you are checking your baby’s diet plan, then keep in mind this list of foods that may cause constipation in babies.
1. Milk Protein
Milk protein can cause constipation in babies. Milk proteins other than from breastmilk can cause this problem and parents need to be careful once you start giving them formula milk. Sometimes, babies even develop an allergy towards the protein present in the breastmilk, which may result in constipation.
2. Formula Food
Babies are often fed formula food in their early years. Formula food consists of ingredients that are difficult to digest, thereby causing constipation. Even formula milk contains complex proteins that cause hardening of the poop.
Rice and porridge are the two solid food for babies that most mothers begin with when considering solid foods. Some children find it hard to digest rice and may feel constipated.
Carrots, when given raw or in the form of juice is usually good for babies. But, if you are giving steam-cooked carrots to your baby then it may cause constipation. These steamed carrots tend to solidify the poop making it difficult for babies to excrete.
5. Raw Banana
The places where banana is grown in abundance, babies are often fed raw bananas either as a cooked vegetable or as a porridge made out of sundried raw banana powder. Although giving a ripe banana is good, unripe banana may cause gastric problems and he may feel constipated.
Apple is a well-known fruit to harden the stool. In fact, it is given as a home remedy for diarrhoea. Steamed apple, a popular baby food can cause constipation in babies. You should also avoid giving applesauce to your baby as it contains pectin protein, which hardens the stool.
Cheese is a very good source of many essential vitamins and minerals and is a superfood for babies. It is usually given to babies as a snack to munch on. However, cheese is low in fibre and can cause constipation.
8. White Bread
White bread, made with all-purpose flour, is a processed form of grain and contains very low fibre as compared to its source. Fibrous foods are known to improve digestion; the white bread which lacks fibre in substantial quantity causes constipation in babies. It is also one of the primary foods that cause constipation in toddlers.
Tubers are high starch vegetables that give babies the energy to grow and function. However, most of the tubers, except sweet potato, contain less fibre and make it difficult for babies to pass stool.
Yoghurt contains good bacteria that facilitate digestion. But, it also has a binding effect on food substances and sometimes may cause constipation in children.
Foods That Help Relieve Constipation in Infants
Now, as you know which foods cause constipation in babies, you can obviously avoid incorporating them into your baby’s diet. But if your baby suffers from constipation, then what will you do? So, take a look at these high fibre foods for babies suffering from constipation. These foods for infants with constipation, will not only relieve them from the condition but also prevent it from occurring in future:
Prunes are rich in fibre and a great source of multivitamins. Prune also works wonders when it comes to curing constipation. It can be soaked overnight and given to babies first thing in the morning or you can also give them prune juice for constipation relief. Both ways, this fruit aids smooth bowel movement.
Beans contain both soluble and insoluble fibres which help in digestion and aid in smooth excretion of poop in babies.
3. Green peas
Fresh green peas available in winters are loaded with fibre. It can be given as a simple snack by just boiling and seasoning. Infants can be given blended puree of boiled peas to ease the process of releasing stool.
Apricot is another seasonal fruit used for treating constipation. It can be given raw or in the form of juice. Dried apricots are also available in the market, which can be soaked overnight and given to babies.
Oatmeal, a common and widely preferred food for babies, is an excellent food for children with recurrent episodes of constipation. Oatmeal provides the much-needed fibre present in food and prevents stool from hardening.
Pear is another fruit which is rich in fibre and vitamin C. Both fibre and vitamin C aid in proper digestion and relieving constipation. Babies can also be given a few drops of fresh pear juice to cure constipation.
Broccoli, a superfood for babies, is a rich source of protein and fibre. Small florets can be steamed and given as finger food. It will ease the excretion process.
8. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato, unlike other tubers, is one of the non-constipating baby foods. It helps in relieving constipation and provides with a lot of essential nutrients and carbohydrates for growing babies.
Berries are rich in antioxidants and are a great food for babies and toddlers. Apart from the innumerable benefits they have, berries also provide relief from constipation.
10. Whole Grain Bread
Whole grain bread, unlike white bread, contains good fibre and thus prevents constipation.
Apart from including all these high fibre foods in the diet of your baby, you should also give them a substantial quantity of water to keep their excretory system well-lubricated. If your baby is exclusively breastfed, then the water comes from the milk, and there is no necessity for feeding water additionally.
Many times, parents go through a lot of stress when their child suffers from constipation. Slight changes in his diet and regular physical activity can cure constipation and other stomach-related problems.
Also Read: Indigestion in Children