Has your child started the transition to solid foods?

When your child makes the change to solid foods, one issue parents need to be aware of is constipation. If your child is faced with this issue, there are 3 simple dietary solutions that can help them get back to normal.

If your child has started the transition to solid foods, this is an exciting stage for many families. With this knowledge, you will be well on your way to a smooth transition into solid foods.

At this new stage in a child's diet, you may notice some potential challenges. They might be picky eaters or have other difficulties eating. One issue that might arise is constipation.

There are many ways that diet can impact constipation. These suggestions can help your child build food tolerance and improve regularity.

Signs of Constipation

Constipation is when someone has difficulty pooping. For children, this can be related to diet.

A child's early diet consists of breast milk or formula, things that soften stool. For this reason, it is uncommon for children to experience constipation before the transition to solid food.

If you notice these symptoms, it could be a sign that your child is constipated.

  • Being very fussy and spitting up more often (infants)
  • Difficulty passing stools or seeming uncomfortable
  • Hard, dry stools
  • Pain when having a bowel movement
  • Belly pain and bloating
  • Large, wide stools
  • Moving their body in different positions

Some children do not go to the bathroom daily, however, if you notice a pattern then they might be constipated. There are diet changes that can be made that will improve these conditions.

Add More Liquids

As mentioned earlier, much of a child's early diet consists of liquids. A lack of liquid may lead to dehydration which can be linked to constipation. Liquids soften stool and help with bowel movement. Not only will drinking more liquids help ease the transition to solid foods, it can also be helpful for children experiencing constipation.

For children under 6 months, breast milk and formula are recommended. After 6 months, diluted fruit juices become another alternative. Some examples are:

  • Prune juice
  • Apple-prune juice
  • Grape juice

Adding more liquid to your child's diet is one potential solution to constipation. Within days, there should be progress. If problems continue, be sure to seek medical advice.

Solid Foods High in Fiber

Foods that are low in fiber tend to bind your stool. Although this is great for treating diarrhea, this is a problem for people experiencing constipation. When experiencing constipation, it is important to limit low fiber foods such as:

  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Canned or cooked fruit with no skin or seeds
  • Ripe bananas, melons, and peaches without skin
  • Applesauce
  • White breads
  • Saltine crackers

Instead, focus on a high fiber diet. Foods that are high in fiber increase bowel movement and soften stool. Many fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of fiber. Some of the best foods for relieving constipation include:

  • Prunes
  • Beans
  • Green Peas
  • Apricots
  • Oatmeal
  • Pears
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potatoes

Maintaining a diet high in fiber will relieve constipation and help prevent it in the future.

Puree Meals

The final option is to puree your child's meals. In many ways, this is a happy-medium between the other options mentioned. This makes it easier for children who are transitioning to solid foods by providing an alternative. Use the food suggestions listed with high fiber in your puree for the same effects.

To combat constipation, start with your child's diet and nutrition. Make sure to add liquid, incorporate foods high in fiber, and puree food when necessary. Using these suggestions, you will notice progress towards healthy bowel movement.

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All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  If your infant has severe eczema, check with your infant’s healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.