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Pediatrics/constipation remedies

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QUESTION: Hello dr,
My 8 months baby girl seems to be pooping everyday but her stool is hard and small balls. Also the color is black.
I have been feeding her
Carrots/prunes and 1tbsp oatmeal- breakfast
Green beans and 3 tbsp oatmeal- lunch
Watermelon juice/papaya for snack
Rice cereal and bottlegourd for dinner.
Water every now and then.
What is the constipating factor here? Is it the prunes turning the color black and too much of prunes constipating?
Please help understanding
Thanks
swetha

ANSWER: Hi, swetha,

I don't know what "bottlegourd" is.  What is it?  Lots of combinations of foods can cause black/dark stools and I never worry too much about this.  Some kids are just have a genetic tendency toward constipation.  I would increase the prunes, maybe double the amount and see if this helps.  
Adding ordinary prune juice, a couple oz a day, may also help.  If she is not uncomfortable with her pooping schedule and consistency of stools, you may consider doing nothing.

Good luck, Dr. Olson

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Bottlegourd is a type of squash vegetable.
May i know how many vegetables and fruits per day should be given and a max of how many tablespoons of cereal a day?.
Thanks for your response
Swetha

Answer
Hi, swetha,

Don't fine tune the feeds.  Just give a variety of fruits and veggies, fresh if possible, grains and other relatively unprocessed food, as much as she wants, and you will do fine.  I never tell Moms how much to give of a certain food.  Feed them until they stop eating and you should be fine.

Good luck, Dr. Olson

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David Olson, MD

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I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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