Can Almond Milk Cause Constipation In Toddlers? (2023 Advice)

**Disclaimer** While I am a qualified nutrition professional, I am in no way qualified to give medical advice on serious digestive issues. Please consult your doctor if you have concerns. 

Can Almond Milk Cause Constipation In Toddlers? The amount of milk alternatives out there now is ridiculous – we’ve not just got traditional cows milk – there’s soy milk, cashew milk, rice milk, coconut milk – and what we are here to discuss – almond milk! Oh, and bowel movements – or lack thereof…

Ongoing toddler poop issues need to be solved before they turn into full blown health issues, so it is in your best interest to stay on top of the poo world from the beginning.

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Can Almond Milk Cause Constipation In Toddlers?

Is consumption of almond milk the cause of all your toddler’s blocked up woes? Raw almonds themselves have an excellent nutritional profile and are particularly high in the fibre your toddler’s body requires. Almond milk consumption CAN have a few negative effects, however they only affect a tiny percentage of people. Typically, drinking commercial almond milk might cause bloating, stomach troubles, frequent nausea, and other gut-related disorders. However, homemade almond milk tends to be much better tolerated by sensitive tummies – but who can be bothered with that!

The main cause of any issues is an ingredient called carrageenan that is found in store-bought unsweetened & sweetened almond milk. Carrageenan is what causes these stomach problems. If you’re wondering if almond milk may make you constipated, the answer is no. While store-bought almond milk occasionally has negative effects, it cannot be solely blamed for constipation.

If you’re determined to stick with almond milk, but having constipation issues with your toddler, try another one of the many almond milk brands available on the market – or another milk alternative such as oat milk. If there are no nut allergies or other health concerns, try returning your toddler to traditional cow milk , which can be much better tolerated in some toddler’s tummies.

What Kind Of Milk Is Best For Constipated Toddlers?

Soy milk is the answer (sadly, that stuff is gross hahaha). All the calcium, vitamin D, and other minerals found in cow’s milk are present in fortified soy milk. Making the switch from dairy milk to soy milk can greatly improve quality of life for certain kids, especially those who have lactose intolerance. Although fortified soy milk is a high-quality alternative to cow’s milk, certain soy milk constituents may interfere with calcium absorption. To counteract this impact, include additional calcium-rich foods in your toddler’s diet, such as fortified orange juice or dark leafy greens.

While it’s a real balance between too much almond milk, or too much calcium, or weight loss, or weight gain, or too much sugar, or too much gluten (what else can we add to the list!) – the best choice is whatever works for your toddler and your family life – there may be a bit of trial and error with all of the milk products available out there at the moment. An allergic reaction can pop up unannounced for any kind of milk – check in with the American Academy of Pediatrics (or your country of residence) if you have any concerns about particular milks for your child.

Toddler Poop Consistency: What is Normal

Poo (poo-poo, poop…you get it) is essentially your body discarding a whole bunch of waste that it does not need. All of this waste comes out the other end in (hopefully) a classic brown colour. Your toddler’s ‘perfect’ poo (is not in the bath! haha) is easy to pass, looks like a smooth. Slippery sausage (sorry), and doesn’t have any excess liquid. 

During the toddler years, it is ideal to poop at least every second day and to have good stool consistency. By 18 months of age (early toddlerhood), poops should be soft and formed (especially if they’ve stopped drinking your breast milk or infant formula). The concept of the toilet should definitely be familiar to your toddler by now, and you may even have started toilet training (go you!).

Toddler Poop Consistency: What’s Abnormal

How fun is checking your kid’s poop…you see something strange (a weird colour, consistency) – and in you go! Yuck. Although – give me a poo over a car-seat wrestle any day! All jokes aside, some familiarity with what constitutes normal and abnormal for YOUR toddler can go a long way to reassuring you if something appears strange. 

If you’re worried about consistency or colour, the other point to consider is how well your child is. Happy bouncy playful kids who are living life to the fullest, developing and behaving normally, are very unlikely to have anything serious going on – no matter what their stools look like. Obviously, I am not a doctor, so if you are concerned, please do go and see your GP.

About Toddler Constipation

Let me tell you a story about constipation. When Delilah was a baby (7 or 8 months old), she got so constipated, I had to physically stick my fingers in and pull her poop out. We would both be crying and it was not fun for anybody. Further down the page, I’ve got some tips to avoid this happening in the first place. 

Despite what you might think, being constipated does not mean going a few days without pooping – as long as when your toddler does poop, it comes out looking normal. The main signs of constipation in your toddler are:

  • small, round, hard stool
  • face scrunching
  • extra grunting
  • difficulty while pushing out that hard poop.

While an occasional blockage of toddler poop is no big deal, chronic constipation can be very painful and can affect your child’s eating habits and sleep. Some kids suffering from constipation also develop anal fissures (cracks or tears in the skin near the anus) that bleed and cause poo to have streaks of blood. It’s a great option to just bite the bullet and go straight to the doctor if you are concerned, or it is an ongoing issue.

How to fix Toddler Diarrhoea + Constipation

The most simple of methods to get your toddlers poop consistency back to ‘normal’ is through their diet. It’s the easiest, the cheapest and the most effective – and can be individualised to high-fibre foods that your toddler enjoys. 

If the majority of poos are tending towards digestive problems, then it’s time to act – get your kids more active, drinking water, and eating more fibre. We can soften most kids’ stools into the ‘ideal’ range by adding fruits such as apples, pears, and especially prunes to their diet. Any struggles beyond that warrants a discussion with your doctor.

Here are some suggestions for a constipated toddler:

  • If your child does not like a food, give small portions and praise your child for trying one or two bites.
  • Give your child lots of water and juices.
  • Limit dairy products, such as whole milk if they are constipating.
  • Offer fresh fruits for desserts and snacks.
  • Serve high-fiber foods such as fresh fruits, dried fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Offer 4 ounces a day of prune juice or pear juice until the problem clears up.
  • Encourage your child to drink water to help soften stools.
  • Go easy on high-fat foods as well as those that are high in sugar; they can be binding.
  • Make sure your child is exercising regularly, even if it’s just a quick romp in the backyard or an after-dinner walk up the street. This will help get his digestive system to move things along.
  • If all else fails, ask your pediatrician about giving your toddler a stool softener designed especially for young children. And never give your child any kind of laxative unless your doctor says it’s okay.

Toddler Constipation: Recommended Resources

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