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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.