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What to Feed a One-Year-Old for Constipation

author image Amber Canaan
Amber Canaan has a medical background as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and pediatric oncology. She began her writing career in 2005, focusing on pregnancy and health. Canaan has a degree in science from the Cabarrus College of Health Sciences and owns her own wellness consulting business.
What to Feed a One-Year-Old for Constipation
Fruit is high in fiber and water content. Photo Credit Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

The condition of irregular bowel movements, occurring fewer than three times per week, is referred to as constipation. Although constipation is often experienced by adults, children and babies can suffer from it as well. Changes in diet, the introduction of solid foods and some health conditions cause constipation in children. Dietary changes are useful in both the treatment and prevention of constipation in small children, even as young as 1 year of age.

High-Fiber Foods

What to Feed a One-Year-Old for Constipation
Add fiber through fruits and veggies. Photo Credit gpointstudio/iStock/Getty Images

Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet can help with constipation problems. Fiber is very important for healthy bowel habits because it increases the bulk and softness of the stool, making it much easier to pass. By the age of 1, most children are eating a variety of solid foods. Introduce different foods, one at a time, to find fruits and vegetables that your child likes. When all else fails, blending whole fruits and vegetables into a smoothie provides a tasty drink, along with the necessary fiber for bowel regularity. Prunes, bran and wheat germ are all good choices.


What to Feed a One-Year-Old for Constipation
Drink more liquids Photo Credit Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images

Fiber is a big help in the fight against constipation, but what you may not realize is that as you increase the amount of fiber in your child’s diet, you must also increase the amount of water you offer him. Water helps maintain bulk in the stool, ensuring that it doesn’t become dry and compacted, which is harder for the child to pass. BabyCenter.com explains that approximately 1.3 liters of water is required daily for children ages 1 to 3. The water in milk and juice also counts toward this daily recommendation.

Foods to Avoid

What to Feed a One-Year-Old for Constipation
Home cooked meals are going to be healthiest for your child. Photo Credit wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

If your 1-year-old is suffering from constipation, try to avoid processed and fast food. These foods contain little fiber, are high in sodium and often have poor nutritional value. By cooking for your child at home, you can control the ingredients, adding more fruits and vegetables to increase the amount of fiber she consumes.


What to Feed a One-Year-Old for Constipation
Talk with your pediatrician if dietary changes don't resolve the issue. Photo Credit CandyBox Images/iStock/Getty Images

While diet is one cause of constipation, if dietary changes do not resolve your child’s constipation, talk with her pediatrician. Your child may have a food intolerance or other condition that causes recurring constipation. Some children require daily stool softeners to maintain regular bowel movements when high-fiber foods and increased water intake do not resolve the issue.

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