Loose Stools: What’s Your Kid’s Poo Telling You Part 2

What's Your Kid's Poo Telling You Part 2 Loose Stool

Nobody really wants to talk or think about poo, but as I said in my last post on Constipation, it can tell us a lot about how well our kids are digesting their food and if their body is reactive to foods they’re eating.  In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)  the smell, shape, color and firmness (or lack of) can tell us a lot about the body’s level of balance and health.  In this post I’m going to review what loose stool is, what can cause it and how to treat it naturally.  But before you read further, I have to warn you…

Rated P for Graphic Poo Content

Let’s Talk Poo: Loose Stools – Watch the webinar replay below:

What’s Normal Poo

Normal poo in a baby or child who eats solid food should be formed and eliminated in long pieces.  Size and shape will depend on the age of the child and the quantity of food they’re eating.  Color will vary depending on the child’s diet but is usually brown.  It should be easy to eliminate and when wiping it shouldn’t take much to clean their bottom.  It should have an odor, but not an offensive one.  Your child should have a bowel movement anywhere from 1 to 3 times per day.

What is Loose Stool?

Loose stool is mushy or watery and may contain undigested food particles or white-grey mucous. It is unformed or lacks a solid shape, but is not completely liquid (which would be diarrhea).

What Does it Mean if Your Child Has Loose Stools?

Loose stools are a sign that your child is not digesting their food very well.  The food is passing through the large intestine so rapidly it can’t reabsorb water from the stool so it comes out unformed.  The more important question is why is this happening.  According to TCM, loose stools may be related to other issues such as poor appetite, stomachaches, chronic low immunity, chronic sinus congestion, allergies, physical weakness, fatigue or poor motor skill development.  When your child’s body is not getting optimal nourishment from the food they’re eating other health problems may also occur.

Causes of Loose Stool

  1. Short term loose stools may be due to a meal or food that doesn’t “agree” with your child’s body such as rich, deep-fried, sweet or spicy foods.
  2. Too much dried or fresh fruit can cause loose stool.
  3. Antibiotics can disrupt the normal balance of good bacteria or probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus.  When good bacteria are inadequate it will interfere with proper digestion and can cause loose stools.
  4. Stomach flu can cause inflammation in the gut causing loose stools while the gut is healing.  Help the gut heal quickly by avoiding dairy and adding probiotics.
  5. Food Sensitivities cause a slow immune response mediated by IgG antibodies which cause low-grade, often chronic, symptoms like loose stools, belly aches, sinus congestion, poor immune function, constipation and more.
  6. Food Allergies that cause loose stool are mediated by IgE antibodies which are fast acting. Symptoms occur rapidly after your child consumes the offending food.  IgE antibodies are also the cause of anaphylaxis, like swollen lips, mouth and throat or hives.
  7. Strong Emotions such as anxiety, nervous tension and worry can also cause situational loose stools.

Couldn’t It be Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

IBS is a functional diagnosis based on symptomatology, but it doesn’t delve into the underlying causes of problem.  In my experience, children with IBS typically have food sensitivities that haven’t been addressed, creating chronic low-grade inflammation.  The inflammation in the gut makes it “irritable”.  IBS symptoms may be compounded by anxiety or nerves especially if the child is emotionally sensitive.  Once the food triggers are removed and the gut has a chance to heal symptoms will often disappear.

Natural Ways to Address Loose Stools

Treating loose stools naturally is not always the easy, but solving the root of the problem leads to overall improvement in your child’s health.  I’ve listed a number of suggestions below.  Where you start depends on your child’s specific situation, so trust your gut instincts (just had to throw that in there).

1. Elimination Diet

If you suspect food allergies or sensitivities I would start with an elimination diet.  The most common food sensitivities are to dairy, gluten, corn, soy, nuts and eggs.  Often times kids crave the very foods which are the culprits causing loose stool.   A two or three week elimination diet can help determine what foods are triggering the loose stool.  Prior to the elimination period make sure that you have suitable alternatives, read all labels to make sure you’re not inadvertently giving your child the food you’re testing and be sure to check the ingredients of all foods your child eats at a restaurant.  Eating a very small amount of the food your testing can spoil the test, so make sure your child is 100% off the test food during the trial.  For in-depth guidance in discovering your child’s food sensitivities I would recommend Dealing with Food Allergies: A Practical Guide to Detecting Culprit Foods by Janice V. Joneja, PhD.

6 Common Food Sensitivities

2. Enzymes

Chewable enzymes support the digestive system, helping your child’s body break foods.  It is important to give your child’s body extra digestive support if you suspect there is food sensitivities or allergies.

3. Probiotics

Probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus help promote healthy balance in the gut to promote normal digestion and immune function. You want to look for a high quality probiotic with multiple strains that your child can take daily.

4. Saccharomyces Boulardii

Saccharomyces boulardii is a beneficial yeast that helps to “weed out” harmful yeast like candida.  It is an important part of getting the gut flora back in balance to correct loose stools.

5. Glutamine

Glutamine is an amino acid supplement that supports normal digestion by healing and sealing the gut and reducing gut inflammation.

6. Bone Broth

Bone broth is rich in minerals, protein, gelatin and nutrients.  It is easy to digest and absorb and is great for healing the gut.  Have your child consume 1/2 cup of broth daily in soups or other foods.  Need some ideas on how to get broth into your child’s diet?  Check out the article from Yummy Inspirations on 10 Ways to Get Your Child to Eat Bone Broth.

7. Avoid Raw Foods

Raw foods may be difficult for your child to digest if they’re having chronic loose stools.   Limit raw foods, including fruits, to just a couple servings a day if you notice undigested food in your child’s stool until the problem is resolved.

8. Avoid Excess Fruits

Even though dried and fresh fruits are good for us, too much of a good thing can cause digestive problems.   If you child has loose stools from eating too much fruit, it is a good opportunity to teach your child that what they eat affects their body

9. Custom Chinese Herbal Formulas & Acupuncture Treatment

If your child has loose stools accompanied by poor appetite, stomachaches, chronic low immunity, chronic sinus congestion or allergies, physical weakness, fatigue or poor motor skill development I would highly recommend getting a custom herbal formula and a series of acupuncture treatments prescribed by a pediatric acupuncturist.  Click Here to go to our Pediatric Acupuncture Directory.

Treating loose stools, especially chronic loose stools can take months to heal.  If you suspect your child has food triggers, but are having difficulty determine the problematic foods I suggest contacting a pediatric health practitioner, like an acupuncturist,  who can guide you in the process, order food sensitivity testing and/or a stool analysis to enable accurate identification of the cause of your child’s loose stool.

Red Flag

Seek medical attention for you child if they have severe diarrhea, diarrhea with puss or green mucus, bloody diarrhea, rectal bleeding, severe or worsening abdominal pain, weight loss or signs of severe dehydration.

Concerned About Your Child’s Loose Stools?  Solved the Problem Naturally?  Share Your Story in the Comments Below.


This post has been shared on:

TALU from Wrinkledmommy.com

 Party Wave Wednesday from Holisticsquid.com

Real Food Wednesday from Kellythekitchenkop.com

Sunday School from Butterbeliever.com

Thank Goodness It’s Monday from Nourishingjoy.com






  1. I’ve been waiting or this follow-up post for awhile. The part 1 had so much information to help me understand my daughter’s bowel movements. Loose stool haven’t been a problem as of yet, but I’ll be sure to heed this advice if it does come up.

  2. My 12 years old son is much better now. I have been taking him to Sydney City Acupuncture for his bowel irregularities. I feel it to be an obligation to let you know that acupuncture works well for kids health issues. Thank you so much for having a blog which focus exclusively on kids health issues. thanks.

  3. My daughter has always had loose stools. They seem to be worse now and mucusy too. She’s potty trained but will poo herself most days and its awful to clean. Any suggestions I don’t really know if she has allergies to food as she’s always been like it.

    • Hi Danielle,

      I highly recommended trying some of the strategies in this post to help heal your daughter’s gut which should help make her stools more solid. She may also need an herbal support so I would contact your local pediatric acupuncturist to see if they can help you out.

      ~ Robin

  4. That’s why I make sure that my kids eat foods rich in fiber to avoid constipation.

  5. My 3 year old daughter has only had a few solid bowel movements in her life— her stool is very mushy, stinky and sometimes has undigested food in it. She has recently started complaining about tummy aches. She has been on a gluten-egg-dairy free diet for over 6 months, and she has been to a chiropractor for 3 months; nothing has worked yet. Her paediatrician is “pooh-poohing” (ha!) the idea that anything is wrong and says she will grow out if it (!!!). She was a preemie (5 weeks), had horrible projectile spit-ups as a baby and had pneumonia at 12 months. I need to try some other stategies with her— can I try #2-5 at the same time? Or is it better to try one at a time?

    • Karen,

      I would start with 2 – 5. Bone broth and gelatin are very healing to the digestive system. Let me know if you need a referral to a practitioner in your area. :-)


  6. David Ryan says:

    How about fiber? Fiber is good, right?

  7. Jennifer B Stewart says:

    I am worried about my son who just turned 1 yesterday. He has had very few formed bowel movements and I don’t know what to do. I have been giving him peas for the past couple of days and the peas come out undigested. He was on soy formula until now, but his loose bowels began before the soy. We had him tested for general allergies and he didn’t test positive for any (wheat, dairy, etc.) Could he still be allergic to one or more of the foods you listed? I just don’t know what to do about it. Thanks, Jen

    • Hi Jen,

      While I can speak to your son’s specific case since I haven’t done a full healthy history and evaluation, I can tell you in general what I’ve seen work for cases like your son. When loose stools don’t clear up on their own and the child tests negative for food allergies, then it’s possible it’s a food sensitivity. Food sensitivity reactions are non-specific adverse reactions to food that can cause abdominal pain, headache, nausea, constipation, loose stools, etc.

      Eliminating the most common food triggers for a couple weeks and then reintroducing them can be really helpful in identifying triggers. Triggers should be avoided for 4 – 6 months to allow the gut and the body to heal. Probiotics can be helpful in most cases. Working with a qualified acupuncturist can help you to identify triggers and also strengthen the digestive system.

  8. My son is 2 1/2 – are there children’s dosages available for Saccharomyces Boulardii and Glutamine? Or is an adult dosage fine for young children? Thanks!

    • I have this same question, what brands and doses to you recommend for # 2-5

      • Thats a great question Kate and Jennifer. I cannot give you specific advice as I have not done an exam on your child but I suggest to my patients that kids ages 2 and up use Flora Boost from Ortho Molecular. Which is a loose powder formula. It has a blend 5 BILLION CFU ** of
        Lactobacillus acidophilus,
        Lactobacillus rhamnosis,
        Lactobacillus casei,
        Bifidobacterium longum,
        Strephtococcus thermophilus
        Bifidobacterium bifidum
        Bifidobacterium lactis
        Saccharomyces boulardii: 1BILLION CFU**

        One scoop ONE time a day.

  9. My 3 year old has had loose stool all his life and I just started a gluten free diet and I’m wondering how long does it take to start seeing a difference (that is if gluten is the problem)?

    Thank you

    • Robin Green says:

      It’s great that you are looking for a solution to your child’s loose stool. And this is a hard thing to deal with for so long. Generally, if gluten is a problem, it can take anywhere from two weeks to three months to see a real turnaround. Often you will see positive changes along the way. The trick is to make sure your child’s diet is 100% gluten free to get an accurate idea if gluten is the trigger.

  10. I’m so glad I found this post! Our 15-month-old son has really had loose stools for the past several months always with undigested foods in them. He has become a rather picky eater and won’t touch any meat, cheese or eggs but he loves tofu, hummus, bread, sometimes beans and especially fruit. He is drinking whole cow milk and I still breastfeed. We have considered trying to eliminate what we think may be triggers but with his diet already being so limited we are worried he won’t be getting enough to eat. Do you have any suggestions? Also, what dosages are safe for #2-5 for toddlers under 2? We really would like to try and see if they help!

    • Robin Green says:

      Hi Krista,
      I’m glad you found this post too! It sounds like your son has been having digestive issues for a while now and that can be hard to deal with for both of you. Without seeing your son for a full health evaluation and consultation, I cannot speak to your situation specifically. Generally, in situations like this, I would suggest that you consult a practitioner. You can look on the Pediatric Acupuncture Directory on this site to find one near you. A practitioner can give you specific advice on dosages and diet for your child. It is very important that a child who has a limited diet is receiving all the nutrients needed for healthy growth. You may also like to check out the book Super Nutrition for Babies by Katherine Erlich. I hope that helps.

  11. Very nice article…thank you!

  12. Kate Macadam says:


    Thanks for the really informative article, I’ll definitely be tracking down and trialling some of your recommendations first thing tomorrow. My two year old has anywhere from 3-6 large smelly (And I mean SMELLY!) bowel movements a day and they are always quite loose and messy. He has a varied diet of veggies, meat, whole grains and fruit and is breastfed in varying amounts day to day. We are struggling to potty train him. I have had it suggested that he may have a parasite but he eats well and never complains of pain or discomfit? I would be very interested by your thoughts on his situation…

    • Robin Green says:

      Oh gosh- big, smelly, messy, loose poops and potty training! Not for the faint of heart. I wish I could give you recommendations to clear this up right away, but without seeing your child for a full evaluation, I can’t do that. I will say that in general, I have seen that parasites can cause stinky diarrhea with loose stool and this can happen with or without tummy pain. Some doctors and holistic practitioners are able to do more specialized testing and can find evidence of parasites that conventional labs might miss. You can also check on our Pediatric Acupuncture directory for a practitioner in your area and ask them if they can send out for these tests. Also, in general, dairy intolerance can cause diarrhea and smelly poops. In this case, removing dairy from the child’s diet and also possibly form the mother’s diet may give some answers.

  13. My child has had diarea on and of for six days. He us eating normal and has had a few changes in duet from starting school. He also got sick two weeks ago from a flu shot. Today, he had a umber Brown diarea two times, And it was out side of his diaper. He is three, hasnt shown signs if dehydration, should I take him to the er in the morning? He says his tummy does nit hurt

    • Robin Green says:

      Hi Jess, I’m sorry to hear your little guy got sick after his flu shot and then, two weeks later, was having diarrhea. It’s always hard when your child is not feeling well. I wish I could give you specific advice for your child, but without doing a full health history and consultation, I just can’t do that. Generally, it is important to make sure that a child with diarrhea is well hydrated and is receiving the nutrients that he needs. And generally, probiotics are helpful in situations like these. It’s always a good idea to see your doctor when you are concerned. I hope that helps.

  14. What a great post, thank you so much! My sister-in-love sent me your link to pediatric massage, which I loved. I ended up on this page and for good reason! My 2.5-year old son has almost always had mushy, very stinky stool, several times a day. He often has diaper rash, poor thing.
    I have a wonderful holistic pediatrician, but she has never shown any concern. He is also underweight for his age, only recently got up to about 25 lbs. I would very much like to try the elimination diet, but wondering if you suggest an order? We eat healthfully and he likes a wide range of foods, but is definitely a carb-aholic when it comes down to it. I’m wondering if, as you mention in this post, that because he craves bread/crackers/etc. that is what he is actually sensitive to…
    Anyway, do you suggest eliminating one or more of the 6 most common food sensitivities at a time, and for how long? I did a dairy- and gluten-free elimination diet, but only for two weeks and didn’t notice much difference. Perhaps that wasn’t long enough.

    • Robin Green says:

      Hi Jackie,
      I’m glad you found us! Sounds like your little guy is having a hard time and it’s good to hear that you are wanting to do what you can to help him. Without seeing him and doing a full consultation, I can’t give you any specific recommendations. Generally for a toddler in this kind of a situation, I might suspect food allergies, possibly a parasite, or just poor choices in food. Sometimes kids can get stuck on a cycle of just eating carbs and sugars and it can be hard to get off of that. I recommend the book Super Nutrition for Babies by Katherine Erlich. It is important to make sure that children who are underweight are getting enough nutrition. Probiotics are also great to help with digestion. As far as elimination diets go, a good three months is needed to really see if the suspected food is creating reactions. I often suggest that mom’s start with the food or foods that they suspect the most. Another way to work with it is to have your son tested so that you know which foods (if any) are giving him trouble. And then eliminate those foods. I hope your son’s poops get better soon!

  15. Thank you so much for your response! I so wish I could bring my son to your office for a visit…if only we didn’t live on the opposite side of the country. If you have any recommendations for acupuncturists in the DC/Baltimore/PA area, I’d be most grateful!

    I did just buy the Super Nutrition for Babies book — we do eat a varied, healthy, organic diet full of good fats and protein. We recently just cut out gluten, but it’s only been for the past two weeks. I think I will talk to our pediatrician next about getting him tested for food allergies/sensitivities. Do you know if a blood or stool test is more accurate?

    I hadn’t heard the parasite thing before – that sounds scary. Is that something he should get tested for as well?

    Thanks so much!!

    • Robin Green says:

      Hi Jackie,

      I wish you could bring him in too! I’m sure there are great people, knowledgeable in this field in your area. You can check our directory on the blog to see if there’re any pediatric acupuncturists. If not, you can google for a holistic pediatric health professional.

      I’m glad you got the book and are on track with his diet. that is really important stuff! Cutting out gluten and dairy is often very important, but it can take a while to really see results and you have to be very vigilant with that diet.

      Parasites are actually more common than most people think. They are nothing to be afraid of, but definitely need to be identified and treated as soon as possible if they are present.

      Conventional stool testing is the usual testing that an MD will be able to do. Alternative testing is generally done by different labs, usually through an acupuncturist or a holistic practitioner like a naturopathic doctor or holistic pediatrician. Conventional stool testing will test for parasites, but, in my experience, this kind of testing is not super sensitive and can sometimes miss the parasite if it’s not a common one. Alternative stool testing uses much more sensitive tests for parasites and opportunistic bacteria – these kinds of tests can give you a much better idea of how the gut is functioning as a whole and can also pick up subtler or less common cases. It is my experience that the same is true with blood testing, the conventional tests will generally pick up the more common and obvious cases of allergies to food and environment. The alternative blood tests tend to be more sensitive and can pick up reactions to foods and environment.

  16. I just wanted to share our diarrhea story. I hope it helps other parents dealing with this worrisome and frustrating issue. My 16 month old son had diarrhea on and off (mostly on) for 18 days before we figured out what was wrong. On day 5, his pediatrician told me it was likely a virus that had to run its course. A second pediatrician at a weekend clinic told me the exact same thing on day 10. My son ended up in the hospital for dehydration. It was there that we saw a pediatric gastroenterologist who put the pieces of the puzzle together. Tests for bacteria, certain viruses and parasites/worms all came back negative. He had stomach bloating along with the diarrhea. We already knew my son had a dairy allergy. The gastroenterologist suspected he had an additional allergy or intolerance. We started a very strict elimination diet. First with just rice and banana and a amino-acid based special formula (to make sure he is getting proper nutrition). I puréed white rice and mixed with banana and formula for every meal for 2 days. He had an additional 24 ounces of the formula on its own throughout the day. The diarrhea improved! Then we added potatoes to the diet. So we did rice, bananas, potatoes for 2 days. Then we added sweet potatoes. So every third day we added a new food to his daily diet. But By day 5 of the diet, the diarrhea was completely gone and we saw formed poop! It has been 2 weeks now. He is eating rice, bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, chicken, oatmeal, pears and squash and we are keeping him on the formula for now. That is the order we have added the food. Again, one new food for two days. If it looks good, we move on to a new food on the third day. We are waiting for results of allergy tests. Diarrhea plus a hospital stay was a nightmare. Thank God my baby’s health is restored.

    • Robin Green says:

      Hi Lisa,
      Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry you and your son had to go through that, but I’m so happy you found your way out! Food allergies can be a mystery to many, especially if we are not aware of what to look for and how to work with the situation. In situations like yours, I often also add a really good probiotic to help the child restore proper microflora in the gut, which in turn will speed up the deeper healing of the gut lining. I’m sure your story will help others share in all the goodness of excellent health :)

  17. Hello Karen,
    The symptoms your daughter had last fall are so similar to what we experience with our son- who is almost 2 now. I am curious if you have found any more information or if your daughters health has improved. Any help or insight you have would be greatly appreciated!

  18. Hi,

    My 20 month old had a stomach bug 10 days ago. She had no appetite and then next day had major throw up. Took her to the doc who said she would be fine, it was just a stomach bug, and to expect a little diarrhea for the next couple of days. We changed her diet to be more tummy friendly (rice, lentil curry-bland, crackers). Its been 10 days and her poop is still loose. In fact over the weekend (gave her a little egg and a small piece of chicken) she had loose poop like every couple of hours. But she is otherwise happy and energetic. What do I do? Should i reintroduce fruits and veggies slowly to bring her diet back to balance?

    • Robin Green says:

      Hi Deepika,
      Ongoing loose poops are no fun for anyone! Sorry to hear about these ongoing symptoms. Without seeing your daughter and doing a full consultation, I can’t speak to your specific situation. Generally, when a child has had a stomach bug, it’s a good idea to go to the easy to digest foods right after and it looks like you have done that- however, the specific foods that are easy for you to digest might not be easy for your daughter to digest. I usually suggest starting out with vegetable broth – with the veges well cooked. If you use lentils make sure they’re soaked overnight, rinsed thoroughly and well cooked. Do this for a few days and then gradually add other foods one at a time so that you can see if there is a reaction with any of them. Probiotics and L-glutamine can also help repair an inflamed gut. Bone broth is another food that helps the cells lining the digestive tract to heal.
      It’s also possible that the stomach bug has not completely cleared from her system. In this case, you may need to go in for further testing. There are some tests that are more highly sensitive than those that your regular MD would be familiar with- in this case, it would be good to check in with a pediatric Acupunturist, a Naturopath, or a Holistic MD who is familiar with these tests.
      I hope that helps!

  19. Hi,
    My son is 18 months old and he is on breast feed he does really large smelly poos with food chunks in it seems everything comingg out same as he eats..:( i am not giving him dairy just cheese sometimes .I give him fruits veg, wheat, egg etc but everyrhing seems to be.problematic for his tummy .The worst thing is he gets fever when he does these loose stools.GP says everything is fine and he will get better but he is not getting any better:( plz advice me something that can work for.him. THanks plz reply me

    • Robin Green says:

      Hi Sana,
      I’m happy you found us! Sorry to hear about your son’s difficulty with digestion. I can certainly understand your concern over it. I would need to do a full consultation with a health history on your son in order to give you specific advice and a treatment plan to help him out. With out seeing him, it is hard for me to know exactly what is going on.

      In general, for cases like this, I first look for food allergies such as dairy (this includes cheese), gluten, and other foods. An elimination diet or specific lab tests can help identify these. I often start by having people take all commercial dairy and gluten out of their child’s diet for at least two weeks and see if there is any change in symptoms. I also commonly recommend adding probiotics and bone broth to the child’s diet to help heal the gut. An other avenue to pursue in some cases is parasites. Specific lab tests are needed to identify them.

      I recommend finding a knowledgeable practitioner to help you clear up the issue. You can check Pediatric Acupuncturist directory here on my blog to find an acupuncturist near you. I’m happy you are wanting to clear up this issue for your son, it will help him build a strong and healthy foundation.
      In health,

  20. Tracy Keil says:

    Can you tell me if your daughter has gotten better? I am in a similar situation and mine are preemies too, (12 weeks) and also had pneumonia at a year!!!

    Let me know!

  21. Hi there,

    I am going to try the elimination diet for my 8 year old daughter as she has been sufffering from tummy aches and runny stools most evenings for several weeks now. I am going to try elimination wheat for 2-3 weeks as suggested in the post above.

    I have read all of the other suggestions too which all sound great. I have a question….should I follow the elimination diet first on its own without any of the other ideas to see how well it works, or should I start with enzymes/probiotics as well as the elimination diet?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Many thanks


    • Robin Green says:

      Hi Shana,
      Sorry to hear about your daughters tummy aches and runny stools. I’m happy to see you here and ready to try these suggestions. Though I can’t give any specific medical advice without first seeing your daughter and doing a full consultation with her, in cases like this, I generally tend to give the child the support of having the enzymes and probiotics while doing the elimination diet at the same time. I find that it really helps kids get better faster and that is the goal here! Let us know how it goes for you.
      Take care,

  22. Where can I find the enzymes, probiotics, glutamine, bone broth, and Saccharomyces Boulardii? My two year old has had loose stools 80% of his life, I’m so glad I found this! I just need help finding these items!

    • Robin Green says:

      Hi Alicia, I’m glad you found us too! You can most likely find the enzymes, probiotics, Saccaromyces Boulardi and glutamine in your local health food store. You will need to make the bone broth. You can find directions for that in The Gut and Psychology Diet, a book by Natasha Campbell- McBride. I highly recommend this book for all of the other information you will get from it too.
      Let us know how it goes,

  23. My daughter is almost 3 and has had loose stools since I can remember. They used to be yellow and very smelly but a month ago we removed dairy from her diet. Her stools are still loose but they are now dark green with a normal odor. She also used to throw up during meals which has gone away since we eliminated dairy. I’m not sure why her stools remain loose and wonder if I should try eliminating something else from her diet? Or is there something else I should do to help her?

    • Robin Green says:

      HI Dana,
      I’m so glad you found us and that you are being proactive about your daughter’s health. Without seeing her for a full consultation and history, I can’t give you any specific advice, however, I think it’s great that you have seen such a change in your daughter’s stool! There might be other food allergies or intolerances that your daughter is experiencing. Probiotics are great to help get digestion back in order. You may want to try taking gluten out of her diet for a while to see if that makes a difference. It is also important to be sure that she is getting healthy quantities of high quality proteins, fats fruits and vegetables.
      I hope that helps,

  24. My daughter is almost 2 and does not have formed poo’s. I can only recall a couple of times that she had more solid type poos. I have been concerned but no one else has. She is still in diapers and I wondered if they were just getting smashed. I have the Super Nutrition book and followed it with my daughter. She does not eat gluten, cow dairy. On occasion she gets sheep yogurt and tends to do well with it. She eats eggs VERY rarely because she doesn’t like them and I just introduced sprouted beans from time to time. She drinks only water and breast milk. I also do not eat dairy or gluten to keep it out of my breastmilk.
    I had thought about adding a probiotic but wasn’t sure since she is under 2 and she gets probiotics in my breastmilk.

    • Robin Green says:

      Hi Carrie,
      Good to hear from you. I see that you are concerned about your daughter- with out seeing her in person and doing a full consultation, I can not make any personal and specific recommendations, but in general, being observant and aware of what is going in and what is gong out is a great way to understand and learn how to resolve digestive imbalances! So, good job mama!

      The consistency of a child’s poop changes as they eat more solid foods. At 2 years old should be firmer (certainly more solid than a breast milk poop). It is not only ok but really good to supplement our children who have loose stool with probiotics and that might just do the trick. Also, all though raw and sprouted foods give a lot of health benefits, they are harder for little tummies to digest so it’s better to stick to warm meals and cooked veggies and soups in the case of chronic loose stool.

      You might want to check in with one of our acupuncturists who specialize in pediatrics to help- check our directory here: http://www.kidsloveacupuncture.com/directory/listing.

      Best of health to your daughter and please keep us posted!

  25. My son has always had loose stool. He is almost 3 and is vegan. He has always measured on the higher percentiles (80-90) and is very active.
    Since he is vegan, I can cross the eggs and dairy off the list. We do not consume much corn, and most of our food is homemade so not much HFCS either. Also not a lot of nuts.
    Soy free diet is very easy to try, but I have no idea how to eliminate the gluten. At home its easy, but what can I do with his school?
    Do the supplements mentioned have side affects? If they improve the problem should I be more or less motivated to eliminate a problematic food?
    Thanks for a very helpful post!

    • Robin Green says:

      Hi Jenny,

      Thanks for checking out our post and considering our supplement recommendations. Getting off gluten is not an easy task in today’s world. You can start by making substitutions for particular favorite foods until you find suitable replacements for the gluten in his diet. As far as school goes, once you’re ready to go 100% gluten free make sure you let all the teachers and caregivers about your child’s dietary restrictions. It’s a good idea to bring in gluten-free snacks you can leave with the teacher for unexpected school treats.

      While I can’t give specific advice without seeing your son and doing a full health history and consultation, I can say that generally I’ve noticed children (and also adults) on vegan diets tend to eat more raw and cold foods. According to the principles of Chinese medicine, the digestive system needs warmth to easily break food down and warm foods are easier to digest. My usual suggestion here is to focus on making sure your son is getting plenty of warm cooked foods, especially during winter.
      I hope that is helpful!

  26. Looking for a bit of advice. My daughter at the age 5 months was admitted to hospital with a viral and bacterial infection while there the Dr diagnosed a milk protein allergie. Her symptoms were diarrhea and bad eczema, within weeks the eczema cleared up but still at the age 19months suffers with very loose stools every day, there is often undigested food eg peas and raisins in it. I have tried soya milk and recently (last 6 weeks) tried oat milk but with no improvement in stools. She is ready for potty training only the mess it will make is worrying me.

    • Candace Holmes says:

      Hi Zoe, my little girl was the same way (she’s now 3) have you tried coconut milk? That seems to be the one milk my daughter likes and it dose not give her loose stools! You also have to remember too since she has a milk protein allergy, is there anything else she’s eating that might have milk as an ingredient in it?

  27. Nicky Guttin says:

    Im really glad I found this article, my 18m daughter always has loose bm’s and i didnt think much of it as she doesnt have any aches and pains that she tells us about, and I try to feed her the healthiest diet poss. For breakkie she either has oats or weetbix with water, maybe a lil fruit. Snacks are fruit, crackers, raisins, cheese, biscuits. Lunch and dinner theres always veg, quite often raw, sometimes meat (shes not a fan) some grains eg. Couscous, beans or egg and a yoghurt to finish. I guess im probably giving her too much fibre but i just dont know what else i can give her especially snack wise, thats not supermarket bought full of sugar preservatives etc!

  28. Adrienne says:

    Hi There – I have been reading this article to gain insighti into how to tackle the issue of loose stools that have plagued my 3-year-old son for most of his life. We are beginning an elimination diet today, starting with dairy. He is being tested for allergies next week. My question is in relation to the supplements you recommend in 2-5 above. Do you recommend giving ALL of these while also starting the diet? It seems like a lot of “stuff” to add to his system. I am also concerned about cost, as we are on a tight budget. If we were going to only do 1 or 2 of them which do you think would be most beneficial? I am also curious if you advise against ordering any of it line to then be shipped, because of temperature fluctuation? Let me know….thanks!

    • Rachel VanDusen says:

      While I can’t give you an accurate description of treatment without a comprehensive health history, I can say that these treatments do work well together, but to assure you more I suggest contacting your local pediatric healer. Only in person can a healer determine what course of action would be best for anyone, these are just helpful tips that may facilitate a person’s journey into a healthier, happier life.

  29. Hiya my 3yr6 month old daughter has constant loose Stool’s for as long as I can remember she’s a very picky eater so never took it serious its just lately when I’m trying to potty train her its really horrible to clean up after she never had any discomfort never complained about it only till recently saying her tummy hurts is this a serious case I don’t want to run along to my doctor in case its a waste of time will it pass or should I seek medical care? Thanks

    • Rachel VanDusen says:

      Unfortunately, without doing an examination of your child, it’s hard to tell how extreme her case is. I would suggest looking into my earlier blogs about loose stools, and picky eaters, monitor the symptoms and contact a local healer or health care professional if they increase in severity. An elimination diet may also be helpful to you both! I hope this information helps!

      In health and wellness,


  30. Great post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for the link to getting kids to eat bone broth. I’m a holistic family nutritionist (we did a recent online event together! and getting bone broth into the diets of children is a big challenge my families face. Thanks for the tips! One additional suggestion would be to be sure families are giving their children cod liver oil (Nordic naturals has a great junior’s version) and vitamin D, both of which benefit a healthy gut as well as many other benefits!

    • Lisa Woodard says:

      Is there a specific brand of enzymes that you recommend for kids?
      Thank you!!

      • Rachel VanDusen says:

        The enzymes I usually recommend for children (anyone, really!) are from Klaire Labs- “Vital-zymes, chewable”. I hope this helps you out!


      • Combining the need to find a version that’s flavored well without too much sugar and includes beneficial pancreatic enzymes, I’ve had success with Buddy Bear Digest. It has a small amount of organic cane sugar (<1g) but my son loves it and will happily eat it with his meals! Hope this helps!

  31. so im a little confused… i run a daycare and i have a child who is a little over 1 yr old. shes always had normal bm but recently they have been changing. About a month ago she was having firm bm sometimes a little too firm for what ive known to be normal for that age but she didnt have any complaints going to the bathroom. about 2 weeks age she started having loose bm. color has been changing from a light brown to green some have been yellow seedy looking and some have been a brownish green color stringy and mucus. she hasnt had any sicknesses lately. mom says at home she is having normal bm but every morning she comes in around 830am she has a loose stool. she has also been a bit more cuddly and whiny at certain times during the day.. as the morning goes on it seems to start turning more brown but is still more loose than she normally is. she also seems to be getting rashes each day from her stools. im just at lost on what could be going on. her parents and dr dont have a concern but i do i dont think its normal and i dont get how she is fine at home but as soon as she gets here she has loose stools. She has not been eating anything different at my house than she usually does. and shes on all solid foods. she does love her food so when she wants a small snack i usually give her crackers or gold fish. i also know when she was on an antibiotic for ear infection it cause her to have loose stools however dr recommended to give yogurt and that actually worked to firm them but that was a month if not longer ago. do you have any suggestions on how i can help? ive started documenting with moms permission so im starting to write down what i see.

    • Rachel VanDusen says:

      Hi Anna! Thanks for reaching out and I’m sorry to hear about your difficulties! Unfortunately, most of the generic advice I can give is connected with the article above. I would suggest seeing your local healer/acupuncturist/pediatrician if the symptoms become more concerning. I wish you the best in health and wellness!


  32. Love this! My daughter for about a week!now has had loose stools she is very well potty trained since two she is now five and has had an accident almost everyday! I called Dr and they said try Imodium she still has the loose stools and complains of belly ache from belly button down? I’m calling Dr in am but in the mean time try some of these techniques! Any info is!much appreciated! She’s never had any allergies and a very normal active girl!

  33. My 6 year old son has always had runny poos and will have 2 to 3 bowel movements a day. He sometimes complains of a sore tummy, but not frequently. He is healthy and full of energy is every other way. He only ever eats 2 pieces of fruit a day and I try to keep dried fruit to a minimum. He eats a well balanced varied diet, but we are vegetarian (with the exception of seafood). We eat a lot of legumes and pulses and vegetables. I have thought about taking him to a doctor but other than having loose stools, he seems absolutely fine. What would you recommend? Should I try eliminating certain foods?

    • Rachel VanDusen says:

      Without evaluating your son’s condition in person, there’s really no way for me to give accurate medical advice. I would suggest watching the symptoms and taking him to your local healer or pediatrician if they are concerning you. You may want to try an elimination diet initially, though I can not guarantee that will solve your son’s issues! I wish you both the very best in health and wellness!

  34. Hi my son is 12 years old and all of a sudden he pood himself without even knowing whilst in bed an when he looked it was clear like water just slightly thicker what can this be and do I take him to the doctors

    • Rachel VanDusen says:

      Without evaluating your son’s condition in person, there’s really no way for me to give accurate medical advice. I would suggest watching the symptoms and taking him to your local healer or pediatrician if they are concerning you. I wish you the very best in health and wellness!

  35. Hi , i have a 4 year old boy who also has had loose stool for as long as i can remember, However recently when he goes he says ït explodes out his bum” im not sure what the cause of this is. He is an active child and doesnt complain of tummy aches . Im concerned as i know poo shouldnt explode …lol

    • Rachel VanDusen says:

      That’s quite a description! I can’t give too much advice without evaluating the child. Of course, if there is pain or this ‘explosion’ becomes worrisome, I absolutely suggest you contact a local practitioner for an evaluation. Good luck, and thanks so much for reaching out!

  36. My Four year old son has always had a HealthY bowl system. But two months ago he started with diarrhea which was watery for about two to three weeks. He also complained of stomach Champs-Élysées just before using the toilet and afterwards Got ok. Since Then he has had loose Mushy stools which on some very few days in between have been fully formed but still a little sticky. In between about two weeks ago he also got full fledged stomachflu with vomitting and Nausea that cleared up in about a week. Most children at Childcare Got it too. But he containers to gået Mushy stools and stomach cramps. Doctor recently checked him for bacteria, virus and parasite and have found SAPO virus. While i Think he Got the SAPO virus at the time of Nausea and vomitting could it be that it is the SAPO virus causing problems all this While for two plus Months? He has always been a Small child and Small eater but his appetite seems fine and he is running around and happy and no fever. I Am going a little crazy though!!

    • Rachel VanDusen says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your son’s condition! I would love to give more advice, but without a medical evaluation in person there is not much I can do. I would make sure that he is staying hydrated and see a local clinician if you believe his symptoms are becoming concerning. I wish you both nothing but the best in health and wellness ~Robin

  37. My 8yr old boy used to have pinworms after I treated him with the pinworm medication he never pooped normal it’s been a year now and he uses the restroom sometimes 6 times a day and takes 15-30 min each time. I have taking him to a specialist and he said nothing is wrong he took X-rays and poop samples and said he’s fine. At this point I’m frustrated he’s poop is not normal is really smushy and soft when he wipes he gets it all over he’s bottom please help what can I do.

    • Rachel VanDusen says:

      Without physically evaluating your son, there is a limited amount of advice I can give. I would seek a second opinion, though sometimes food sensitivities and/or allergies can develop over time. It may have no connection to the pinworm medication. I wish you nothing but the best in health and wellness and hope your son’s condition improves!

  38. Thank you so much for this article. My son is a few months over 3 and has been having loose stool for awhile now. Once in awhile he will have a more solid movement, but for the most part it is very lose. He is vegan (since birth – and we nursed for 2.5 years) and is going through a period of time where he does not want veggies. So his diet is mostly beans, nuts, fruit, breads, non-dairy milks, hummus, avocado, potatoes of all kinds, oatmeal, granola, applesauce,and fruit smoothies with flax and chia seeds and spinach. We have been advised by his teachers that his BMs are not normal for his age and to contact his Doctor. We tend more toward holistic medicine so I am very pleased to have found this article. I will share it with the school and with my acupuncturist. Thank you so much.


  1. […] Loose Stools: What's Your Kid's Poo Telling You Part 2 […]

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