Starting Solids: The Constipation Crisis

20151213_125751My poor son… I feel as though I have to exploit him on this issue but I can’t really skirt around it otherwise plus look at that face! When we started solids in our household, I felt like a rockstar. I made healthy foods and my son devoured them – that’s a win right? Until a few days in, the constipation crisis occurred. I felt awful, confused, defeated plus many other emotions. I thought to my self – If I can’t feed him a well rounded diet, how can he grow the way he should? He can’t survive on prunes and pears alone can he? But for some reason, I felt that’s all he could easily process.

Well, we eventually figured out a rhythm. Yet every once in a while, we still run into times where he eats too many low fibrous foods, but now I can easily fix it with one quick puree. I call it my constipation cure and quite frankly, my son eats this just about every morning if not every other. If we deviate from the schedule, trouble arises. Giving him this puree is a true life saver and I’m so glad I figured this out early on.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are unsure if it’s constipation, ask yourself these questions and if you still aren’t sure, try this puree to see if the symptoms are alleviated:
– Does baby’s poop appear dry, firm or pebbly?
– Crying while appearing to go to the bathroom, sometimes associated with heavy grunting or a red face?
– Is baby extra cranky or irritated?
– Has a hard or swollen abdominal area that can be sensitive to the touch?

If you answered yes to any or all if these, it’s a high possibility your child is constipated. Now there are remedies on the market you may want to avoid such as karo syrup, brown sugar water and juices such as prune or apple. Each of these is loaded with processed sugar and not good for baby to consume.  There are many natural remedies such as eating fibrous foods, belly massage, taking a warm bath and essential oils like DigestZen (make sure to dilute for baby!). The best way for me, since this was such a consistent issue, was to incorporate this puree in my son’s daily diet.

Anti-Constipation Puree

  • 2 pears cored & chopped
  • 6 dried prunes
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • reserved water from steamer (as needed)
  • 1 tsp whole cloves (optional – for bottom of steamer)

To start, prep pears by removing stems and core.

20151213_122302Put water (and optional, whole cloves) into a stack steamer and bring water to a boil – again this is the pot I use for most the baby purees I make as well as for many other dishes in my home. I highly recommend grabbing one as it is a world saver in my household every day!

20151213_123225Once boiling, add chopped pears. Let steam for 5 minutes or until soft. They do NOT need to be overdone, just soft enough to blend easily – that being said, if your pears are overripe, there may not be any need to cook them at all. The longer fruits and vegetables are cooked, the more nutrients are cooked out of them.

20151213_123315When done cooking, toss the dried prunes into the water reserved in the bottom of the steamer and let soften for 8-10 minutes.

20151213_125106Once prunes are soft, add pears, prunes and ground cloves to a blender or food processor and puree. If there were whole cloves in the reserved water, be careful not to get them into the blender – they should be left out. If the mixture is too thick to blend, add reserved water from boiler into blender 1/4 cup at a time to thin the puree to your child’s liking.

20151213_125621When puree is done, I store mine in 4oz jelly jars.

20151213_125713If your child is anything like mine, they will come begging before the puree even hits the fridge!

20151213_130012The puree will keep up to 3 days in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer. This batch will make approximately 12-16 ounces so I will typically be making this weekly in our house.  This puree is so delicious I find myself stealing bites while feeding the babe! Quick note – cloves are high in antioxidants so feeding them in this mixture will help their overall immune system. And another tip – I use washi tape and a permanent marker to write what’s in the puree along with the date for reference.

-Essentially a Mom