Applesauce, Prune, and Milled Flaxseed Muffins

Apple Sauce, Prune and Milled Flaxseed Muffins. These are great for everyone but kids love them. I made these to help my chronically constipated little boy.

Apple Sauce, Prune and Milled Flaxseed Muffins. These are great for everyone but kids love them. I made these to help my chronically constipated little boy.

This recipe was born from my need to help my little boy with his chronic constipation issues. At this point I believe that little Timothy’s issues aren’t diet related but that he is withholding for whatever reason. If anyone out there has similar problems with their child, I invite you to add some advice to the comments on ways you helped (or are helping) your child through this.

Having a child that doesn’t want to poop is very stressful. You know that your child is hurting himself and the longer he goes without going it is just getting worse. Since I have a tendency to over-internalize negative things in my life, I feel that Tim not pooping is my fault. That somehow I have done something to make him want to take power in his life and this is how he is showing me who is the boss of him. I feel that somehow in the potty training process I screwed something up or I was disciplining him too much so he is acting out in this way because he knows I can’t make him poop. There have been many nights when I would lay awake trying to figure out a way I can help him.

The three best things I have done that have worked for us is relax about the issue, give him 2 tsp of Laxaday in his apple juice pretty consistently and give him lots of fruit. By not forcing him I feel that I’m giving him back control but I don’t want him to be in pain when he goes, hence the Laxaday. I always have clementines, grapes, apples and a mix of berries in the fridge for him to snack on. His record is eating 6 clementines in a row and he still didn’t poop for two days after eating all that. He will also eat a half pint of blueberries or raspberries at a time and he drinks lots of water. Fibre and water are not the issues with this kid and he loved these muffins. After he ate these he went pretty easily one day but he always seems to revert to his old bad habits of holding his poop in.

Here is a link to the Canadian Paediatric Society’s article on Managing Functional Constipation in Children. I found this very helpful.

Timothy is devouring his muffins. He ate about 4 the day I made these.

Timothy is devouring his muffins. He ate about 4 the day I made these.

  • reward — KinderEggs (success)
  • making him sit on the toilet (epic failure)
  • letting him watch a movie on the PlayBook (sometimes works)
  • lots of fruits and vegetables (he still holds it)
  • Laxaday also called Miralax (very successful non-stimulant laxative)
  • reverting to Pullups sometimes when he has accidents (out of necessity – otherwise we wouldn’t leave the house)
  • when he shows signs he needs to go we take his pants off (works pretty well, easier for him to run to the toilet)
  • cutting out dairy for 2 weeks (no positive effect and he didn’t get worse when we reintroduced dairy)
  • remaining calm and accepting when he wants to stop trying to go (very successful)

Please add to this list of tips or articles that you have read in the comments. If you have gone through this problem with your kid then sharing what you have learned will surely help other parents. Some readers have also added recipe suggestions for some dietary needs of their children. 

Regarding the recipe, I really like making these in the mini-muffin size. They are so cute and they freeze beautifully. I have some in my freezer right now and to thaw them I just pop them in the microwave for about 10 seconds. I just take them out as needed.


Applesauce, Prune and Milled Flaxseed Muffins

A fibre packed muffin with applesauce, prunes and milled flaxseed that is moist and delicious. The prunes and applesauce are pureed together in the food processor and are the base of these muffins.

15 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

Save Recipe


  • 1 cup packed pitted prunes
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milled flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, flaxseed, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set this aside.
  3. In a food processor, add the prunes and apple sauce and blitz them until the mixture is the texture of sticky applesauce with no big lumps of prune left. You will get about 1 2/3 cup of the puree.
  4. In another medium bowl add the prune and apple sauce puree and mix in the honey, melted butter and brown sugar with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the egg to the wet mixture and stir well to combine.
  6. When all the wet ingredients are well mixed, including the milk, add the flour mixture and stir until the dry ingredients just disappear into the wet mixture. Use as few turns of the spoon as you can. Over mixing will give you tough muffins.
  7. Spoon muffin batter into lined muffin tins. I use a cookie scooper for the mini muffins and a larger ice cream scoop for the regular muffins. Fill the papers to about 3/4 full.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-14 minutes for the mini muffins and 15-18 minutes for the larger muffins. A toothpick will come out clean when inserted to test when they are done.
Recipe Type: Muffin


Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream
Cottage Pie (Shepherd's Pie) with Celeriac, Sweet Potato Mash


  1. says

    I have a kid like this (my youngest). I had/have the same problem and have my entire life. I will have to try this recipe! We recently started giving him probiotics everyday and that seems to be helping.

      • jessica says

        Both my son and daughter have pooping issues. My daughter take an adult doseof miralax once a day and she ggo’s no problem. She even make sure to tell me as soon as I get home from work how many times she went and wether it was a good poop or a hard poop. My son on the other hand know 7 has got to the point where he can poop on his own with out help. But mostof the time won’t. He holds it in or go’s a lil in his underwear which started when he started school but now its when he go’s to his friend house or when my aunt watches him when i am at work. The doctors said it has never been the kid’s diets we feed them a lot of fiber rich foods. His is now some kind of complex what it is I am trying to figure out. So I have gone back to giving him miralax once a day in hopes we can fix it.

        • says

          I’m happy to hear that you have found a way that helps your little ones. It is really a struggle to help them through it. For our little guy, we still have to be quite rigid about ‘poo time’ which is right after dinner. Even if he says that he doesn’t have to go, he has to sit on the toilet and try before he can have dessert. He is five now and I think we will be doing this for a long time to come.

  2. Anonymous says

    My son withheld too. We used to play a game where he sat on the toilet and I guessed if he was “pushing” or not. Of course I knew when he was but i guessed wrong plenty to make him giggle. Eventually success!

    • Christina says

      That is a great idea. We are letting him read with his Leap Frog Tag reader and we will read with him as well so that he stays on the toilet longer. I like the idea of adding a game to it.

    • Christina says

      Absolutely! They are the same thing it just depends on what term the manufacturer uses. Thanks for asking – gives me a chance to clarify.

  3. Jen says

    I found your recipe on Pinterest and am excited to try it. My son is 4 and witholds and its terrible.. I’ll try anything : ) Thanks!

    • Christina says

      I hope it helps. I know this issue is relatively common but it is so stressful and I am also open to trying anything to help my son get over this issue. Best of luck to you, Jen.

  4. Carole says

    Thanks for the recipe! My 2.5 year old daughter has been eating these muffins for breaskfast all week and magic! No more constipation!

    • says

      So glad to hear that! This totally made my day. I know what a challenge it is to have a little one struggle with constipation and, in our case, withholding.

  5. Jennifer says

    I’m going through the same thing with my youngest child, she’s 3 years old and it’s preventing her from becoming potty trained:( one thing I did for her was eliminate cows milk from her diet and now she only gets almond milk. It actually helped for a few weeks…

    • says

      That is so difficult. I eventually went to a paediatrician and she gave me some suggestions of how to help him. They just reaffirmed what I knew needed to be done.
      If you are able, try and see your child’s doctor and make it clear that you don’t believe it is straight up constipation and withholding.
      I hope these muffins help keep her healthy and perhaps keep things moving. Best of luck. I will likely write a follow up post describing how we eventually overcame this. Every child is different but hopefully our experiences could help with some ideas that others can use to incorporate into their own struggles.

  6. Abigail says

    Hello! These look great, thanks for posting. My little girl has been dealing with painful constipation for awhile now. She doesn’t go for days and when she does, it’s hard, so it’s painful and she cries. I hate that she’s in pain and I’m trying to help her in any way I can. I think she would like these, but I was wondering if you would know a good substitute for the honey? Since she JUST turned a year, I am still a little reluctant to give it to her.

    • says

      It is just awful watching the little ones struggle with constipation. I hope these muffins help her. They do freeze well, and the mini-muffins are nice for little hands. I would substitute maple syrup for the honey so that you could still use a natural sugar until you are ready to introduce honey into her diet. The maple will have a lovely flavour as well.
      Best of luck with everything.

      • says

        Hello. We are also in the constipated boat. Is it still a problem for you? I think two of our triggers are egg and gluten. I just made some raw prune balls which was very helpful too. And often kids are not drinking enough. So we make lots of smoothies these days.

        Wil try your muffins today!

        Thanks for posting.

        • says

          Thankfully we have moved past his issue with constipation. We do find that he does not drink enough sometimes so we have to stay on top of him regarding drinking enough water. Also, if he has too much dairy then we see hints of old bad habits crop up. It’s great that you have been able to identify some triggers.

  7. Jacqui says

    We’re having the same issue, but I have a picky eater too. Could I add chocolate chips to the recipe? I think I’d have better luck getting him to try them if chocolate was in the muffin.

    • says

      Such a funny thing about picky eaters – my son doesn’t like bits of things in muffins so chocolate chips wouldn’t work for him. I think it would be fine to add them since it doesn’t have a strong apple flavour and the prune adds some richness to the flavour. I hope making them ‘chocolate muffins’ works for your little one.

    • says

      Hi Adrienne,
      I don’t add miralax to the muffins themselves. I would give my son some mixed with juice. The amount I would give him would vary so I wouldn’t want to suggest an amount. I would talk to your pharmacist or your doctor to find out what they suggest. If I gave him too much he would end up having an accident which was upsetting for everyone. I really understand your desperation. I would lose sleep over this issue and worry about it all day when he had a long stretch without going. I added a small amount (1/4 -1/2 tsp) to his juice once daily for upwards of 6 months until he was going every day. The longest my son withheld was 8 days. I hope everything works out.

  8. Jennifer says

    Making these right now! But am I missing when to add the milk? I’m guessing just with the other wet mixture?

    • says

      Hi Jennifer,
      Sorry that I didn’t see your comment until just now. Yes – add the milk to the other wet ingredients. I will clarify it on the recipe. Thanks for letting me know. I appreciate the feedback. I hope they turned out well for you.

  9. Amber says

    I just made these for my dad who takes pain Meds and needs a little help in the poop department! I substituted 1/2 flour for 1/2 steal cut oats. They were delish!!!!! Now just pray they help him in the bathroom department!

  10. Rachael says

    Thanks so much for the recipe – I’m making them now for my 18mo who has struggled with constipation her whole life. A quick question – is the batter generally quite thick? I might have gone wrong somewhere converting to metric, as mine is very very thick!

    • says

      It is fairly thick but you could always add a little more apple sauce if you want to loosen it up a little. I hope your little one gets through this. It is so challenging for everyone involved.

  11. Lynsey Rost says

    I’m going to try these muffins for my son today! He is three and a very picky eater but loves muffins. We finally began potty training about a month ago (he has a speech delay so he is a late trainer) and he does great for pee but the poop is a WHOLE other ball game. He struggled with constipation as an infant, but has been fine since…until potty training that is! We’ve tried just about everything, from smoothies, to miralax, prune juice, flax oil, and coconut milk with no success. We eventually had to bring him to the dr after 5 days of no poop and he had been in a pain with a belly ache for a few days. Unfortunately we have had to give him three enemas to make him go because he gets so uncomfortable. I’m hoping these muffins will do the trick! Thanks so much 🙂

    • says

      Oh wow. That sounds so challenging. My son had difficultly with speech as well. We found that we had to get him to sit on the toilet and try after every meal but this was after over a year of trying different things. We went with little boy humour and got him to try to ‘toot’ and then when he did we would laugh and laugh. I hope these muffins help keep things moving for the little guy. Best of luck!

  12. Anna says

    Great muffins – thank you. Hopefully they will have some effect on my son, who has the same problem. =/ He ate three yesterday, so hopefully today/tomorrow will be better! Also good to hear from people going through the same issues -it’s seeming endless at the moment…

  13. says

    This recipe looks tasty. I have to admit that I had a problem with constipation for years. All the extra fiber didn’t do me much good. But I do like recipes like this! What finally worked for me was finding out I have a dairy allergy. If I avoid dairy, everything is fine. I can eat a bit of cheese and have congestion and constipation. You could take him off all daiy for a few weeks and see if it helps? I drink almond milk and take calcium supplements.

    • says

      We did try almond milk but it turned out to be more a psychological issue with him. Lots of people do have problems with dairy, so that is certainly something that can be a solution for some people.

  14. Rachel Hills says

    Hi yall! I have a Gluten Free, Dairy Free baby that’s under 1 so I wanted to give this recipe a try without those inflammatory elements and without honey for the bebe so I made some major substitutions and tweaks to be a little bit more infant friendly. They turned out great and I thought I would share that here!

    1 C packed unsweetened/no sugar added organic pitted prunes
    1 C unsweetened apple sauce
    1/4 C pure maple syrup or maple agave
    1 Egg (Could use 1 flax egg for egg allergy)
    1/2 C Coconut Oil melted
    1/2 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
    1 3/4 C GF Oat Flour
    1/2 C Milled Flax Seed
    1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
    1 tsp. Baking Powder
    1 tsp. Baking Soda

    1.Preheat Oven to 350
    2. Mix flour, flax, salt, powder, soda & set aside
    3. Add prunes & Applesauce in food processor until mixture is the texture of sticky applesauce with no big lumps of prunes. Pour in medium mixing bowl.
    4. Add maple, egg, almond milk & coconut oil to puree mixture and stir well.
    5. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients using as few stirs as possible, just until all ingredients are incorporated.
    6. Grease muffin tins with coconut oil and scoop into tins, baking at 350* for 15-18 mins for large muffin tins. 10-14 mins for minis.

    Next time I plan to add 1tsp. Cinnamon and may start experimenting with some added fruits and veggies like blueberries, zuchinni, etc… whatever is in season.

  15. Laura says

    Made these yesterday, & they’re great!!! I was really impressed with the flavor and how moist they are! I froze what we didn’t eat yesterday, & they were still great when I grabbed some from the freezer today! The kids like them, too! Thanks!! 😀

  16. Lil A says

    My daughter started getting constipated when we started solids at 6 months of age. Now she’s 11 months old and holds herself from going for 4-5 days and then it’s just a painful bowel movement.

    Anyway, would you serve this to an 11 month old? She doesn’t have known allergies to any food.
    I know it calls for honey, what would you advise as a substitute for that until she’s old enough for honey?
    Thanks a lot!

    • says

      I would recommend maple syrup as a honey substitute if you want to still use a natural sugar. I would definitely feed these to a little one. I hope she likes them and finds some relief.

  17. Susan says

    My oldest daughter had difficulty in potty training, her BM’s were always very hard and hurt to go. It was a struggle everyday. She would have accidents, they usually happened when she was relaxed. I would often notice her trying to hold it back. When she was 7 yrs old she just stopped going all together. As a mom you notice (with this kind of situation) when your child is going. So after the first 5 days you start the prune juice, and fresh fruit thinking she will go now. Then you go into the next 4 days and try a small dose of laxative. Still no go, I even threatened to take her to the doctor, if she didn’t go. We went into the 1 1/2 weeks and I took her to the doctor. He examined her and found 7 blockages. She was diagnosed with encopresis. I was told that the nurse had actually worked in a ER where a child’s intestines had ruptured. Let me tell you that scared the life out of me. The things we ended up having to do just to clean her out, actually changed her relationship with me. Made her a very angry child, as she wasn’t intellectually able to understand it was for her own good. She then had to take a dose of Citrucel with mineral oil 2x a day for a very extendend period of time. We have also found out that she has a allergy to dairy (which might have been the beginning of all the problems). I am happy to be able to say that she is a heathy and happy 34 yrs old women. We have a very good relationship now. So I suggest to anyone who has a child that is having problems going potty, start giving fiber, lots of water, and fresh friuts. I also found the Nutrigrain fruit bar helped her alot. I have a granddaughter now that is having this problem, and we are all trying to potty train, so I am going to make these muffins and see if it works for her. Thank you for the recipe!

    • says

      When my son was struggling he was often angry with me and the different methods that I used to try and help him. Thankfully he is past this now and I hope these muffins can help your granddaughter.

  18. Christine says

    Trying these for my four year old. Didn’t find a yield amount listed so found out the hard way the recipe makes 24. Took longer to bake than I thought. Texture was fluffy and light. Nice flavor!

  19. Kathy Butler says

    Dear Everyone, if someone already mentioned this, I’m sorry. I didn’t read every comment. This is just about the recipe in general, which is a good one except for one thing. The use of all-purpose flour. My advice is don’t use this flour or any non-whole flour. If you’re gluten sensitive and can’t use whole wheat flour, there are lots of other non-gluten substitutions that will due about as well. The finished products will not differ greatly from the original recipe. You can add stuff like guar gum to help things along, but I’ve found this isn’t necessary. I do add a little baking powder/baking soda, so if that’s a problem don’t. I hopes this helps. My grandpa used to say that “white bread will kill you”, and he followed his own advice and lived to be 92, while still chopping his own winter wood. He had other bad habits that should have killed him–home brew, chewing tobacco, and limburger cheese….but white bread did no! 🙂

  20. Jann Elaine says

    I made this recipe for my usually constipated 18 mo. Unfortunately due to my location I couldn’t find “milled” flaxseeds, so instead I combined whole flaxseeds, applesauce, milk, butter, and prunes in my blender. It worked fairly well and grinding the flaxseeds and combining everything. I also don’t use muffin papers, but I greased my pan well with coconut oil and nothing stuck one bit, they came out easily and cleanup was a dream. Other than these changes I made the recipe exactly. I ended up with much more than 12 muffins, put the additional batter in an ungreased loaf pan and cooked it a bit longer, it came our rather easily also.

    As for the recipe, I quite like the results. I was concerned these wouldn’t be much of a “muffin” and more of a health food Frankenstein. My husband could immediately tell they were “supposed to be healthy” but did enjoy them. Sadly my daughter, the main reason for baking these in the first place, needed coaxing to eat 2/3 of one. 🙁 I’m hoping she will change her mind tomorrow and eat more but otherwise I’m a bit disappointed, but like I said us adults like them it must just be she’s picky.

    • says

      That’s too bad your daughter didn’t really like the muffins. It is also too bad you couldn’t find milled or ground flaxseed but I’m glad you were able to find a way to make it work for you.

Leave a Reply