Your Baby or Toddler and Constipation


First, let me say that my boys have NEVER been constipated. I feel very strongly that the food they have eaten has played a large part in this fact. As a huge fan of Ruth Yaron’s Super Baby Food book, I think that her Super Porridge plays a large contributing roll in keeping my boys “super regular.” They eat porridge daily as well as a wide variety of meat, fruits, vegetables, other grains, and dairy. So, the following tips don’t come from experience of dealing with constipation, but rather from my experience of avoiding it.

  1. Feed Super Porridge daily. I actually give my boys oatmeal with flax seed, apples, and cinnamon every morning. Recently, I have even started using steel cut oats and soaking them overnight with water and a couple tablespoons of yogurt. Most nights for dinner, they also get some form of grains or mixed grains with beans or legumes mixed in as well as tahini, wheatgerm, or some other “healthy extra.” Not only can Super Porridge be a complete protein, but it is full of fiber.
  2. Offer water daily. Any time we are on the run or outside, my boys get water. It is also the general drink at dinner if they have finished their milk for the day. One of the major symptoms of constipation is dehydration and water helps to keep things moving.
  3. Serve a variety of fruits and vegetables at meals and snacks. Many fruits and vegetables offer lots of good fiber including avocado, pear, broccoli, etc., but the best idea is just to make sure you’re including a variety of tastes, textures, and colors. Lots of nutrients and minerals aid in the digestive process.
  4. Avoid added sugar. Sugar may add to digestive problems and be a source of constipation. Let your little one enjoy sugar from natural foods including great tasting fruits.
  5. Yogurt, yogurt, yogurt. Don’t buy prepared over-marketed yogurts. Just buy whole milk plain yogurt and add natural fruits or vanilla. Yogurt is a great source of nutrition all around.
  6. Avoid processed foods. I’m not going to rant about this one as I’m planning a post soon about all of the processed stuff in grocery stores today, but do yourself and your whole family a favor and just stop buying it. If you really knew how to pronounce all those words in the ingredients and knew what they were and how they were processed in a large plant to make what you’re eating, you’d probably drop the box, can, jar, etc. and run. So, just take my word for it and run!

If you’re in the middle of your little one experiencing a bit of constipation, you may want to focus more on a few of these things to get through the situation, but overall, keep a well-varied, natural, whole food mix to the meals and snacks your offering and everything should stay right on track.

TIP OF THE DAY: Microwave Porridge


If you’re not against using a microwave, this can be a quick way to prepare porridge. Use the same proportions of ground powder mixture and water as usual. Microwave in three, 1 minute increments, stirring between each. It may seem to be a little gummier, but keep stirring well and it should be just fine. And, it’s much quicker.

Please share your thoughts and ideas.
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WEEK 15: Flax


Trial and error. Some things worked this week and some didn’t. I finally bought some flax seed and am trying to get it into to something every day. The boys are still eating well pretty much on their own. Some meals are messier than others.

FOOD DESCRIPTION
I added flax to porridge and dusted on top of tofu pieces. I also attempted to bake some cookies and we introduced cauliflower.

PROCESS

  • I added a scoop of flax seed to porridge (either oatmeal or a whole grain version at dinner) this week.
  • Cauliflower – I fed the boys frozen, organic cauliflower this week. It was part of a mix with broccoli and seemed to take a few days to catch on.
  • Cinnamon Flax Seed Cookies
    • 3/4 cup butter (softened, not melted)
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup flax seed
    • 2 Large eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2-1/3 cups whole wheat flour
    • 2/3 Tbsp baking soda
    • 2 cups oatmeal

      Cream butter and sugars in a large bowl; add flax seed. In another bowl, beat eggs and vanilla together. Combine with flax mixture. Sift together the flour and baking soda. Mix in oatmeal and cinnamon and combine with other ingredients. Form dough into 1-1/2″ round logs. Wrap and put in freezer to chill. Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice into 1/4 inch medallions. Place on baking sheet and bake 13 to 15 minutes.  

WHAT I LEARNED
Flax is easy to mix in to existing foods, but I must work a little harder to learn how to bake with it effectively. Flax seed can also be used as a substitute:

  • 3 Tbsp flax seed = 1 Tbsp margarine, butter or cooking oil
    To substitute for all of the fat, increase liquid by 75% as ground flax absorbs liquid. Note that baked goods will brown more quickly.
  • 1 Tbsp flax seed plus 3 tablespoons water = 1 egg
    Allow to sit for several minutes together before adding to your recipe
    for pancakes, muffins and cookies

REACTION
The boys at their porridge with the flax added the same as usual. The cauliflower took a few days to catch on, but both began to eat it themselves. They will always eat anything that I feed to them on a spoon or fork, but for picking it up themselves, they definitely have favorites and preferences. I honestly haven’t fed the cookies to the boys. I thought them as a definite treat due to the added sugar and just haven’t seen the need for them yet. I made them to try myself and must say I was disappointed. I am definitely not used to that much whole wheat flour and I’m sure they would have been great with all-purpose flour. I did eat one and still have some dough in the freezer to try again.

SUMMARY
As mentioned in Brain Boosting Nutrients, you will see that flax seed is an Omega-3 Fatty Acid. When buying, choose cold milled because all the nutrients remain in-tact. Consider using it in smoothies, pancakes, and meatloaf; or as a topping on cereal or yogurt. Maybe I’ll get the chance to post something else made with flax in the future.

Please share your thoughts or ideas.
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