our everyday life

Nonbinding Foods for Toddlers

by Maria Magher, studioD

Your tot might not want to eat anything other than cheese and crackers, but those foods can cause painful digestive problems. So-called "binding" foods such as bananas, apples, cheese and white bread can lead to constipation, which can make a toddler going through the tantrum phase even crankier. Offering your toddler nonbinding foods, which typically have a lot of fiber, can ensure healthy bowel movements so that potty time can be pain-free.

Whole Grains

One of the easiest ways to start introducing nonbinding foods into your toddler's diet is to swap out the white breads, crackers and other processed grain foods for whole-grain versions. Choose whole-grain breads, crackers and pasta instead. Your toddler might resist these at first, but if you start small and pair them with other favorite fixings such as peanut butter and jelly for the sandwich or marinara sauce for the pasta you are likely to overcome any objections.


Beans have their reputation for a reason: They're loaded with fiber. They won't just make you toot, they'll make it a whole lot easier to use the bathroom. Toddlers are likely to resist a side of whole beans. However, you can urge your toddler to eat more beans by making them into a nice dip for some vegetables or crackers, such as a hummus or a refried bean dip. Beans are also easy to slip into soups, chili, or a pasta sauce.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are loaded with healthy fiber and plenty of options that your toddler will enjoy. Stay away from binding fruits such as apples and bananas, but feel free to load up on berries, pears, oranges, peaches or apricots. If you can get your toddler to drink prune juice or to eat dried prunes, they are effective at relieve constipation. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes are on the do-not-eat list, but just about all other vegetables are a good choice. Try broccoli, peas, or carrots to get your toddler to eat more vegetables.

Watery Foods

Water intake is another effective way to relieve constipation. In addition to giving your toddler more water, you can also give him more watery foods. Some good choices include watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, or citrus fruits. If your toddler won't eat these plain, you can try blending up a smoothie. Steer clear of yogurt, which can be binding. Make your smoothie with water and a little bit of honey or stevia for sweetener.

About the Author

Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images