ColostomyIleostomy diet (1073)

Key points below

What is a colostomy or ileostomy?colon anatomy

A colostomy / Ileostomy is needed when the intestine is not working and keeps stool from passing.  It is a connection from the intestine to outside the body.  It lets stool pass from the body.  It is often called an ostomy. 

Why is a special diet needed? 

People with an ostomy are at risk for:

Changing what and how your child eats can help limit or stop these problems.

General tips for eating

How can blockage be prevented?

Be careful when eating the following foods. Our bodies do not fully digest these foods. This can lead to blockage. Your child should not eat large amounts of these foods and should chew them well.

Do not avoid all of these foods. Let your child try the foods if they like them or want to eat them. Only by trying them one at at time you learn which foods your child should not eat.

How can foul odor be prevented?

Use caution when giving your child these foods, which can sometimes cause foul odor:

How can gas be prevented?

Having some gas is normal. Eating regularly helps reduce gas. Avoid activities that may cause your child to swallow air such as drinking through a straw, chewing gum or eating too fast. This should help in managing gas. The following foods can sometimes cause more gas:

How can diarrhea be prevented?

These foods may cause loose stools:

Eating these foods can help control diarrhea:

If diarrhea is very severe, your child can be at risk of losing too much body fluid (dehydration). The signs and symptoms of dehydration include:

Drinking plenty of fluids can help prevent dehydration.

Use this chart so that you know how much fluid your child needs each day
Weight in pounds Fluids per day
 10 pounds 30 ounces (3 3/4 cups)
 20 pounds 16 ounces (2 cups)
 30 pounds  40 ounces (5 cups)
 40 pounds  48 ounces (6 cups)
 50 pounds  52 ounces (6 1/2 cups)
 60 pounds 55 ounces (7 cups)
 80 pounds   61 ounces (7 1/2 cups)
 100 pounds  67 ounces (8 1/4 cups)
120 pounds  73 ounces (9 cups)
 140 pounds  79 ounces (10 cups)
 150 pounds  82 ounces (10 1/4 cups)

What about formula feeding?

Having an ostomy should not interfere with formula feeding. By the time your baby leaves the hospital, they should be taking full-strength formula. Follow your doctor’s plan for feeding your baby.


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.