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My just turned 3 year old has asked me why poo is brown?

(22 Posts)
SunshineOutdoors Tue 19-Aug-14 09:18:13

Please could you explain it to me in terms a three year old could understand? grin thanks

Theas18 Tue 19-Aug-14 09:19:50

Because your tummy mushes the food up and extracts the " goodness" to power up your body. Some of the " magic chemicals" that help iit do that give poo a brown colour.

PlacidApricots Tue 19-Aug-14 09:21:30

Get some paint, like red (tomatoes) yellow (bananas) etc.. name colours as foods and say that when they all end up in your tummy they mix together. So the end result is brown, same as what happens when you mix all the colours together..

I didn't explain that as well as I'd hoped but I am sure you see what I mean grin

SunshineOutdoors Tue 19-Aug-14 09:22:07

Is it because you poo out old blood from inside your body too?

HappyHippyChick Tue 19-Aug-14 09:22:44

It's to do with dead red blood cells, so if you can show them that when blood is 'dead'/old (for example on an old plaster) it turns brown that might help.

Smilesandpiles Tue 19-Aug-14 09:23:01

Dead blood cells and other cells make poo brown too.

(Can't believe I've been able to use that! Science teacher told us this when studying Biology and blood cells)

HappyHippyChick Tue 19-Aug-14 09:23:10

X post!

Smilesandpiles Tue 19-Aug-14 09:23:40

It's why scabs are brown when you've grazed your knee.

SunshineOutdoors Tue 19-Aug-14 09:24:10

Wow I like these explanations! I can use the 'goodness' explanation to encourage healthy foods and now I have a painting and mixing colour activity.

<feels like a teacher>

<starts planning day of poo related educational activities>

Smilesandpiles Tue 19-Aug-14 09:24:10


No, like placid said, brown is what happens when you mix colours. Play doh might help show LO. All play doh in this house ends up brown drives me mad!

Elysianfields Tue 19-Aug-14 09:24:49

Give them lots of sweet corn and they can see not all poo is brown! Sounds gross but my kids were always intrigued!

ScarlettDarling Tue 19-Aug-14 09:25:59

I didn't know that poo was brown because of dead red blood cells......bleurgh!

Elysianfields Tue 19-Aug-14 09:26:31

With an older child you can time how long it takes from eating it to it appearing in poo. Sweet corn that is......

ScarlettDarling Tue 19-Aug-14 09:26:39

I didn't know that poo was brown because of dead red blood cells......bleurgh!

Smilesandpiles Tue 19-Aug-14 09:27:47

Scarlett - IIRC, no part of you is older than 7 or 8 years old!

Cells have to renew all the time, those dead cells aren't absorbed back into the body so they are another waste product.

Sootball Tue 19-Aug-14 09:36:03

Without wishing to lecture I think this is a fantastic lesson to learn early on - how the body uses what you put in it, so eating sweetcorn, blueberries, beetroot will also provoke discussion!

cowbiscuits Tue 19-Aug-14 09:40:01

I had a book when I was small that explained how cells are tiny building blocks that make up our bodies. These cells get old and our body makes new ones, and your body gets rid of the old ones by poking them out. There are lots of types of cells, skin, blood, stomach lining etc, and when the blood cells break down it makes poo brown. Is that simple enough?

The pigment is called bilirubin. I think it sounds Luke a person.

ChilliMum Tue 19-Aug-14 09:41:47

Usborne how the body works. Fabulous diagram of a pear passing through the body and coming out as polo. Lots of interesting facts. It is my 3 year olds favourite book!

SunshineOutdoors Tue 19-Aug-14 19:38:40

Excellent, I shall look up that book, thanks

SunshineOutdoors Tue 19-Aug-14 19:40:23

I like that explanation cowbiscuits

KillmeNow Tue 19-Aug-14 19:43:43

ChilliMum I was quite bemused at how educational the Usborne book could be if it showed the end product as a Polo .

Then I realised it was a typo confused

Thank goodness for that.

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