If your toddler has had fewer than three bowel movements over the last week, she is constipated. Other symptoms include difficulty passing stool and the passage of hard, dry stools. The KidsHealth website reports that constipation is common among children and can be treated with certain foods. Constipation can be caused by poor diet or by holding stool in rather than using the toilet. If your toddler is constipated, call her pediatrician for advice, but in the meantime serve her foods that may help relieve the condition.
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Certain varieties of fruits may help your toddler fight constipation because they are high in fiber, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. When your toddler gets plenty of fiber in her diet, she is less likely to get constipated, but adding them after the fact may help reduce the time she spends suffering. Fiber cannot be digested and helps keep your toddler's bowels clean. The most effective fruits for fighting constipation include prunes, apricots, plums and raisins. Bananas are not useful for constipation, so eliminate them from your toddler's diet until her constipation has passed.
Vegetables that are high in fiber can also help your toddler fight constipation. Certain vegetables contain several grams of fiber per serving, which helps clean out your toddler's bowels and enables her to pass stool. The best vegetables to include in your toddler's constipation diet are peas, beans and broccoli. Keep vegetables in your toddler's diet after she recovers from her bout of constipation to help prevent recurrence in the future.
If your toddler is experiencing constipation, do not serve her white rice, bread or pasta. Replacing those foods with grains higher in fiber will help treat your toddler's current case of constipation, according to HealthyChildren.org, but keeping them in her diet may help prevent future occurrences. Whole grain cereal, bread and pasta are some healthy options that your toddler is likely to eat. Oatmeal and brown rice are additional high-fiber grain foods that are effective at fighting constipation.
The fluids your toddler consumes are important in fighting constipation as well. If your toddler does not drink plenty of water, increasing the amount she consumes may help treat and prevent constipation. Getting plenty of fluids helps digested food move through the bowels more easily, which makes constipation less likely explains KidsHealth.org. Water is the healthiest beverage for your toddler, but 3 to 4 ounces of prune juice can help ease constipation so that your child is able to pass stool more comfortably.