Does your toddler pass loose stool more than 3 and up to 10 times in the daytime or just after eating anything?
He is probably suffering from toddler’s diarrhea. It is persistent diarrhea in children of 6 months to 5 years of age.
It is not a serious condition and resolves itself with the time. In fact, many children suffering from toddlers diarrhea show normal appetite and appropriate growth and weight gain.
In most of the cases, proper diet is enough to stop diarrhea.
Before we discuss toddler diarrhea diet let us discuss its causes and symptoms.
Symptoms of toddlers diarrhea
- Persistent diarrhea
- Stool more than 3 times and up to 10 times a day
- The stool is watery, loose and may contain bits of vegetables
- The stool is usually pale in color
- Often stool smells
- Occasionally mild pain in the abdomen.
- In some children constipation and diarrhea alternates
Causes of toddler’s diarrhea
- The exact cause of toddler’s diarrhea is not known. It is neither due to malabsorption or due to any kind of food allergy or intolerance.
- Studies show that an improper diet without a proper balance of sugars, fiber, fluid may be a cause. The undigested food on reaching the colon irritates the bowel and increases the fluid amount. This extra fluid in the colon is warded off and the stool becomes frequent and runny.
- It is also assumed that in children the contents of the intestine passes more quickly. This decreases the absorption of the fluids.
- Toddler’s diarrhea may also be caused due to excessive intake of sports drink, juices, and other beverages.
- High fructose corn syrup and sorbitol or other sweeteners act as laxative and may contribute to toddlers diarrhea.
Management of toddler’s diarrhea
In most of the cases as the child grows his colon becomes more efficient and the problem is solved. No specific treatment is required in mild cases and just a proper toddler diarrhea diet with certain changes in child’s drinking and eating habits are enough to treat the condition.
How to plan toddler diarrhea diet
Most important points to be remembered while planning a toddler Diarrhea diet are as follows:
- A low-fat diet may be a common cause of toddler’s diarrhea. A preschool child should consume 35 to 40 percent of fat. Give whole milk, yogurts, cheese, olive oil, eggs and other dairy products in your child’s diet. A toddler diet should ideally include 3 to 5 teaspoons of ghee or oil.
- Fiber- Low can worsen the situation and a high fiber diet losses stool. A balanced intake of fiber is very important. Include not more than 2 servings fruits and vegetables each in toddler diarrhea diet. Add whole grains and beans to the diet
- Fruit juices and other fluids- They contain certain sugars that are not digested or absorbed by the colon. They retain water in the colon and may cause watery stool. You may give your child cloudy juices contains fiber
- Avoid giving your child squash that contains lots of sugar and reduces a child’s appetite.
- Give plain water to quench the thirst rather than giving juices and squash.
- Any other dietary changes are not required.
It is always better to once consult a pediatrician. A doctor will have a thorough examination or may consider few tests to rule out the other possible causes of diarrhea in children.