Digesting vegetables

When I examine the feces of my eight-month-old boy, I often see the vegetables such as carrots with its original color even though it had been ground and cooked. I guess they had not been digested and absorbed to his body. Should I stop feeding carrot or seaweed?

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Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

No, you should not stop feeding carrots or seaweed, but what you might what to do is puree them first. It might be that the ground pieces are going through your baby whole because he is not yet capable of chewing the carrots any finer and is swallowing the ground pieces whole. His digestive system is still not totally developed and so the enzymes and bacteria that generally finish off the job in an adult, are not yet doing it fully in a baby. This does not mean he is not getting any nutrition from them. I am sure he is not eliminating ALL of the carrots you have fed him. Certainly his stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes, and gut bacteria are working on lots of the vegetables and he is absorbing the nutrients from their breakdown.

I wouldn't be concerned about what you are finding in his diaper, but until he is a few weeks older, you may want to switch to a finer puree that doesn't require too much mastication. Also remember, it is common for feces to take on the color of the foods being eaten. This does not mean that the nutrients are not being absorbed, it just means that some of the foods natural coloring is just passing through.

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