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The Gas Journal

Parents can help their children keep track of their tummy trouble symptoms, even if children cannot tell you or cannot pinpoint the exact symptoms. Clues that gas and bloating are causing upset can include a hard distended belly, gurgling gas bubbles in abdomen, and feeling better once gas passes or bowel movement has occurred. This detective work in journaling can help reveal patterns and uncover offending foods/drinks.  The goal is to identify foods/drinks (or habits/behaviors) that are causing digestive distress, such as gas, bloating and upset stomach.

The journal can also be used by breastfeeding mothers who suspect a possible food allergen may be passed through her breast milk.

Print one page per day of the following log and use it to record important information that you can share with your health care professional.

Here’s how to use this chart:

  1. Keep a couple of pages with you at all times (or keep track on your phone).
  2. After each of your child’s meals, fill in the relevant columns.
  3. When symptoms occur, look back on the day or even the past 3 days for any possible patterns or potential triggers.  A review in the Journal of American Dietetic Association labels a problematic food as one that appears to cause symptoms within three days on at least three separate occasions.
  4. Share this journal and possible problematic foods with your health care professional if you would like further help.  Many find following an elimination diet to be a good next step. Your health care provider should be able to guide you and your child.