If you’re worried about your little one’s infant bloating or that they may be suffering from constipation, you may be surprised that their diet could be contributing. Everyone reacts differently to the food they eat. While there are standard things that we know, like beans are a source of fiber, the way our intestines react, for example becoming more bloated than usual, can differ between people including infants.
The next time your little one is displaying signs of discomfort or they are suffering from gassiness, consider what they have been eating. Try keeping a food journal to see if there are any triggers of specific foods or food combinations and always remember, as humans we are all different.
Monitoring Their Diet To Reduce Infant Bloating
Maintaining a balanced diet for your little one is important. Completely removing something from your child’s diet such as vegetables or starchy foods is not a good idea unless you have been advised by a nutritionist or medical health professional. Establishing specific foods that are causing the problem of infant bloating in your child is a much better long term solution and it will give you a starting point when talking to your baby’s doctor.
They could be turning their nose up at vegetables for a reason
Sometimes vegetables can create intestinal gas as your baby digests them. These gasses can result from the digestion of the natural sugars found in some vegetables. Fructose is a type of sugar that is naturally found in vegetables. Onions and artichokes, summer squash, sweet green peppers, celery and lettuce are just a few of the many vegetables which contain fructose. Raffinose is another natural sugar which is found in vegetables like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage among others. It is not uncommon for young babies to have trouble digesting these vegetables; broccoli in particular can be hard on their digestion until they are a little older.
Vegetables which contain soluble fiber include things like peas, dried beans, broccoli, eggplant and collard greens. Vegetables that contain soluble fiber can cause gas as they are digested in the large intestine. Vegetables that contain insoluble fiber should pass through without excessive gas. Bear in mind that there are many vegetables which contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Many vegetables will contain both soluble fiber and sugars. They are not mutually exclusive. If you suspect your little one is reacting to vegetables with bloating, gassiness and stomach pain you should record what they are eating and talk to your doctor about your concerns.
Some fruits contain natural sugars, and one of these sugars is sorbitol. This natural product can sometimes cause excessive gas and discomfort in your little one leading to infant bloating. Some of the most commonly noted fruits which cause gas and discomfort – apples, prunes and pears – are also often used as natural methods to promote bowel movement when infant constipation is suspected. Something to think about when considering using prunes to stimulate your baby’s bowel movements.
Fruits also contain soluble fibre which can cause gassiness and bloating as they are digested in the large intestine. For older children, sometimes sweets and sugar free gum are sweetened with sorbitol as it is a ‘natural’ product. This can cause gassiness and discomfort in older children.
Starchy Foods May Be Causing Your Little One Discomfort
Starches are high in carbohydrates, and as they move through the digestive tract gas can build up as the carbohydrates break down. The most common offender of bloating and gassiness is wheat and wheat products including breads, cereals and pasta. Because these are all foods commonly given to children, it’s often easy to overlook them as a reason for digestive discomfort. Corn and potatoes may also be giving your little one gas, but one starch that doesn’t seem to create a great deal of gas while being digested is rice and associated rice products.
If your body is lacking in the enzyme lactase dairy products may cause bloating, gas, abdominal pain and loose stools. Milk and dairy products contain lactose, which is a sugar. If your body lacks the enzyme to break the sugar down, it can cause digestion difficulties.
With growing awareness surrounding the digestion of lactose and the difficulty some people have there are a number of milk and dairy alternatives available. If your little one has lactose intolerance you may need to experiment with milk and other dairy products, not every infant will react to every dairy food in the same way.
Oats and Oatmeal May Be Causing Your Little One’s Gas
Oatmeal and oats are a nutritious breakfast option, but they may also be causing your little one digestive discomfort through infant bloating. Oats have high soluble fibre content and as they move through the digestive tract they can result in excessive gas. If you have recently started feeding your little one oats and they are bloated and fractious they may be experiencing discomfort from the digestion of their oats. Try introducing oats slowly or switching to something more gentle such as rice cereal.
Beans, Beans the Musical Fruit …
Beans are synonymous with gas production. Beans create excessive gas for two reasons. First, they have a high raffinose content — this is the same gas producing sugar found in some vegetables. Beans also contain soluble fiber, which generates gasses as it moves through the intestinal tract. If you are feeding your little one beans consider what else you are feeding them at the same time. Too much fiber can have a negative impact on your child’s tummy and lead to infant bloating.
Fruit Juice Can Contribute To Infant Bloating
While your little one may love to drink fruit juices, an uncomfortable tummy may be the result. Their tummy may have trouble digesting it because there is too much fructose in the drink. While it is used as a natural sweetener, it can cause an excess of intestinal gas as your child tries to digest it causing discomfort and infant bloating through gassiness.