Babies experience excessive gas from the time of birth and throughout their young lives. The digestive systems in infants and babies takes time to develop, and as it does, some babies experience colic, a painful condition. By the time a baby has reached 10 months, he has usually outgrown colic, although new food can cause gas if the intestinal flora cannot digest the food.
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The legume family includes beans of all kinds and lentils. These vegetables are actually a fruit and contain raffinose, a type of sugar, along with soluble and insoluble fibre. The large intestine breaks down the soluble fibre and in the process creates gas. Introducing infants and babies gradually to legumes helps train their systems to digest the beans. Gradually the 10-month-old can eat more of the highly nutritious legumes with fewer side effects.
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, bok choy and kale fall into the cruciferous classification, vegetables that create gas in humans. Like beans, this family of vegetables contains raffinose and creates gas. The food in the cruciferous category can be an acquired taste, although some babies enjoy mashed cauliflower or broccoli. Caretakers can obtain several digestive enzymes specifically for babies that help them process the raffinose. These enzymes include lactobacillus acidophilus and lactobacillus reuteri, available at pharmacies.
Babies have a natural affinity toward the flavour of sweetened food, but sugar in food causes gas in babies, children and adults. White sugar made from sugar cane or sugar beets has no nutritional value, while brown sugar and molasses contain small amounts of dietary iron. Limiting the amount of cookies, cake, muffins or ice cream that a baby eats is the best way to make sure the child avoids gas from excess sugar.
Starches found in potatoes, bread and pasta create gas. The only starch that does not create gas is rice, often one of the first solid foods that babies eat. As with beans, introducing pasta or potatoes slowly may help the 10-month-old's intestinal flora develop to the point where he can tolerate the natural sugars found in starches.
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