AKA the Total Control Freak’s Guide to Introducing More Fiber into a Child’s Diet to Win the Battle Against Constipation.
I have more experience with toddlers with “hurty poop” than I care to discuss. Sneaking in high-fiber foods along with encouraging lots and lots more water is a great place to start. Did you already know that beans have a TON of fiber? Canned pumpkin? Stewed prunes? Once I did the research on the highest fiber foods to manage my little one’s constipation, I started a spreadsheet called “Operation Constipation” to remind myself which foods were pretty good and which were outstanding.
In an effort to get more fiber into my toddler’s belly, I printed this list and hung it up inside my cabinet for easy reference.
Here’s the cheat sheet of high-fiber foods I thought my tot would actually eat.
My constipated toddler loved those squeezy baby food pouches — often to the exclusion of healthier foods I wanted to feed him. I chose the pouches on my list based on reading the nutrition facts on the back many of them. Anything less than three grams of fiber wasn’t helping my cause. If it had three or more grams of fiber per pouch, it was a keeper.
As a serious fiber hunter, finding greater than three grams of fiber on the nutrition label became my holy quest. When I discovered the Plum Organics pear, spinach, and pea combo had four whole grams, I put it on my subscribe and save by the caseload. Here are a few others that made the grade for my little one.
Tasty baby food pouches to help constipation:
- Plum Organics pear, spinach and pea (4 grams of fiber!)
- Happy Baby spinach, mango pear (3)
- Happy Baby green beans stage one (3)
- Plum Organics sweet peas (3)
- Happy Baby broccoli, pears & peas (3)
- Plum Organics pear and mango (3)
If your little one will eat lots of fruit and/or beans, that’s better than the pouches. Keep it up; you’re winning! My other children love black beans, some kids find their happy bean is refried or chickpeas — basically, all good! Fruit with high water content and pulp is so good for digestion and keeping things moving.
Being a highly controlling person, I went another step further than the cheat sheet with my grocery list (above). I also made a geeked-out meal plan so that nobody would mess up my master plan (Control Freak? Yes, guilty). Of course it only worked for a day or two.
Here’s the meal plan I created (and taped in my cabinet) to prevent constipation:
In a nutshell, I wanted super hearty sprouted grain breads + lots of beans + high(er) fiber baby food pouches + chia-seed laced fruit smoothies and tons of water.
In reality, we followed it for a few days before starting up the Miralax. Maybe my insane structure would work better in your house.
In addition to offering high-fiber foods to help with hurty poop, I want to give one more plug to keep pushing water as a beverage. You drink water, give the kids water. Excessive dairy and refined grains can be constipating (so you can guess what my toddler’s favorite foods are: excessive dairy and refined grains!).
Disclosure: I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, but a concerned mom who googled around to find my sons’ highest-fiber food options and then tried to force my findings on my child. This is my research.