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Which Baby Foods Could Cause an Upset Stomach in Babies?

author image Elizabeth Donahue, R.D., L.D.N.
Elizabeth Donahue is a clinical dietitian in a pediatric special-needs clinic. She is a registered dietitian with the American Dietetic Association, a licensed nutritionist with the State of Florida and has been certified as a breastfeeding specialist by Lactation Education Resources. Donahue holds a Bachelor of Science in dietetics and nutrition from Florida International University.
Which Baby Foods Could Cause an Upset Stomach in Babies?
Are you feeding your baby good foods? Photo Credit Rayes/Lifesize/Getty Images

Babies do not have the ability to tell us which types of foods don't agree with them. It is your job as a parent to monitor your infant for signs of stomach upset. Bloating, stomach distension, gas, crying, spitting up and vomiting are all signs that something in the diet should be changed. There are some common causes of stomach upset and eliminating these foods, one at a time, from the diet should resolve most problems. Watch your baby as each food is eliminated to determine whether or not that particular item is the offending food. If problems do not resolve after changing your baby's diet, consult a pediatrician.


Breast is best. Breast milk is the easiest food to digest, helps prevent infant food allergies by coating the infant's digestive tract and contains only human proteins. Under rare circumstances, a mother is unable to produce enough milk for her infant, is separated from her infant or the baby is unable to latch on appropriately. In these cases, formula is the best substitute for breast milk, but some formulas can cause stomach upset. Most baby formulas are made from cow's milk, which have the potential to cause stomach upsets in babies who are allergic to bovine proteins. Try using soy-based formulas to see if problems resolve.

Gas-Forming Vegetables

Once your baby begins eating solid foods, it is important to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables. Some vegetables, however, may ferment in the intestines, producing gas. Common offenders include broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Check your baby's belly for a bloated or rounded appearance. If your baby is gassy, it may cause fussiness. Try eliminating a food that you suspect to be the problem and watch for changes in belly shape and comfort.

Fatty Foods

Fat is an essential part of the diet for infant and adults alike. However, an excess of fat intake may be too much for the belly to handle. Avoid giving fried foods or saturated fats to your infant. Saturated fats are fats that are solid at room temperature, such as those found in animal products. Instead, aim to serve mostly unsaturated fats, such as those found in olive and canola oil, avocado, and fish.

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