Ways to Boost Your Kid’s Gut Health
The good bacteria in your child’s gut are very vital in keeping them healthy both physically and mentally and in reducing illnesses and diseases. When you are boosting your kid’s gut health, you are setting them for lifetime wellness- fewer colds, fewer stomach bugs, and many other benefits. Children’s gut microbiome becomes well-established during the early years of their lives. It is therefore vital to support their gut microbiome while they are growing.
Studies show that until the age of four or five, a child’s gut microbiome remains flexible. This age is ideal for building a strong gut microbiome because beyond this age, the microbiome becomes more complex and difficult to alter as it becomes well established.
How to boost your kid’s gut health
There are many ways to boost your kid’s gut health and build a strong microbiome.
- Feed the beneficial bacteria
The beneficial microbes in the gut protect your child against infections, so you have to feed them. They thrive on dietary fibers and complex carbs found on plants. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains are high in fiber. Whole wheat bread, bananas, berries, and brown rice help keep the gut bacteria healthy. Additionally, getting plenty of fiber can also reduce their odds of constipation.
High-fiber foods like vegetables are usually not appealing to kids. So, stick with familiar choices like yogurt top with fruits, and rolled oat. You can also try vegetable sticks dip in hummus or kidney bean with cheese and wholegrain tortillas.
- Add more beneficial bacteria into their diet
Probiotics are good bacteria that protect against infection, boost immunity, and help digest foods. You can add more beneficial bacteria into your kid’s diet by giving them foods that contain live cultures like probiotics found in fermented milk, cheese, and yogurt. Avoid those that are high in salt and sugar and look for products that contain Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus.
Your other option is to give them probiotic supplements, but you have to talk to your child’s doctor first before giving them probiotic supplements.
- Cut back on artificially sweetened and processed foods
Processed and artificially sweetened foods prevent the beneficial bacteria from growing and doing their jobs. They are mostly made up of salt, sugar, preservatives and added chemicals that interfere with the gut bacteria inflames the intestine, and promote diseases.
- Monitor your child’s poop
It also pays off to consider not only what your child eats but what comes out on the other end too. Monitoring your child’s poop can provide you with invaluable insights into what’s happening inside their body. For example, if their stool is hard or runny to pass can be a warning sign that something isn’t right.
- Avoid unnecessary use of antibiotic and other medications
Antibiotics can treat illnesses by killing the bad bacteria in your gut, but they also kill the good ones. This causes a broader impact on your child’s long-term health than you’ve realized.