The Constipation Solution, Increasing Fiber

Who gives a poop?!

I talk to a lot of physicians about “poop.” It’s true. Most pediatricians I know say they get questions about bowel movements for at least half of children they see. In fact, 3-5% of pediatric outpatient visits are just related to constipation. For pediatric GI specialists, it’s 35% or more of ALL their visits. Although people think of constipation as infrequent bowel movements, it can also describe large bowel movements, holding a lot of stool in your body (e.g. fecal load), or bowl movements that are overly firm or hard.

Constipation is often related to a variety of factors. It can be impacted by foods, fluids, movement, medications, and other health conditions. Some of these are more readily changed than others. When children don't have enough fluids or fiber, potty training can be really challenging. When children are constipated, they are more likely to have poop accidents, resist using the potty for bowel movements, or request a...

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Is Potty Training During a Global Pandemic a Good Idea?

So, at a minimum, you are likely to be spending more time at home over the next few weeks. Great! A perfect time to potty train, right?


There are pros and cons to potty training at any time. This MIGHT be an excellent opportunity to potty train your toddler and adequately follow up. Having the chance to encourage potty skills after the initial learning has taken place is often a real problem for parents. Now parents may have a much better chance to fully support their child to use the potty independently after they’ve started using it. Or, you could be like this mom and panicking because diapers are in short supply.  

However, this might be the worst possible time to potty train. You might be stressed, overwhelmed, and ill-prepared to start. When potty training isn't thoughtfully planned out, it can really go sidewise. Toddlers who don't want to sit on the potty, parents who give up after 3 days- meltdowns, tantrums, or children not learning...

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Guacamole could improve your potty training. Yes, really.

So, what does potty training have to do with guacamole?

Surprisingly, a lot. Avocados have tons of great nutrients, tend to be easy on the sometimes-picky palate of a toddler, and most importantly, they have a whopping 9 grams of fiber. My own toddler enjoyed eating avocados to point, but if garlic, onion, and salt were included, she gobbled it up like cookie monster. I didn’t actually start eating avocados until I was over 40! I've included our hard won "perfected" recipe at the end.  

Here’s a harsh reality: helping kids learn to “pee-pee on the potty” is actually the easy part. I said it, it’s true. 

More and more parents, and certainly more since I started in the field of child development twenty years ago, find that their child struggles when it comes to defecation. Yep, we’re talking poop. They resist pooping in the potty. They hide; they go days without a bowel movement; they poop in their underwear.

Sometimes it’s...

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