The gut is the foundation of a healthy digestive system, and gut health in children is crucial for their long-term health. So if your child struggles with digestive pain, nausea, or constipation, then their gut may need some help. And in this blog, we’re going to discuss 12 tips to improve gut health in children. Watch this video for the full details:
1. Being on a healthy diet from the start
It’s easy to develop bad food habits. And if the kids do it early on, it’s so much harder to change them later. While they are young, they learn what foods are considered enjoyable and acceptable, which will determine their gut health as they grow old. So at an early age, let’s start developing some of those positive healthy food habits.
Your infant’s breast milk may have gut-protecting properties that can help prevent or lessen the severity of gut issues in infants. How? Breastfeeding puts the baby in contact with the mom’s normal flora (mom’s normal bacteria) that’s found in the gut. And so if the baby is in contact with the mom’s bacteria, that gets inside the baby. Thus. encouraging normal digestive health.
3. Encourage a variety of gut-healthy foods.
Some foods are better than others in keeping the gut healthy. Foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are gut-healthy. Avoid ones that are high in fats and sugars as too much of these can cause yeast.
4. Promote fermented foods.
Encourage your children to eat some fermented food such as kimchi, sauerkraut, or yogurt because these foods are rich in digestive-healing properties. (See also: Foods that Boost Your Immune System.)
5. Avoid too many processed foods.
Avoid consuming too many foods that are processed or pre-packaged, and fast food meals. Because when foods are overly processed, they no longer have the gut-healing properties that they have in their most natural state. The fats inside the processed foods are designed to help them stay on the shelf longer, not fuel the body. And they’ll make you sick faster.
6. Explore the different tastes and textures with your kids.
Allow your children to explore and learn about different foods as they grow up. This will help them make better food choices when they become adults. Eating a variety of foods ensures that you’ll get a full complement of nutrients, thus ensuring better digestive health.
7. Always provide opportunities for hydration.
But don’t force it. And we all know that kids and the rest of us need more water, but anything that we force onto our kids eventually becomes an opportunity for conflict later. So give them plenty of chances to stay hydrated. That will help their digestive system clean and healthy.
8. Bring on the gut-healthy fats
Healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, and even butter. They’re anti-inflammatory and they build better brains. And they influence better digestion.
9. Favor, gut-friendly carbs.
Gut-friendly carbs like oatmeal and other whole grains. While doing it, we encourage limiting a lot of whole grains. Because there are some that are better than others. For example, whole grains and sprouted grains are significantly healthier than white processed flours.
10. Keep gut infections in check.
Wash your hands often and do the natural things that keep you healthy (like eating vegetables). Try to avoid being vulnerable to infections because the next step is…
11. Limit the use of antibiotics.
Limit the use of antibiotics to only when absolutely necessary, for things like severe or life-threatening illnesses. Because antibiotics kill bacteria in your digestive system. The antibiotics will also kill the positive bacteria, and that leaves the door open for something else to grow in there instead. For example, some flora that’s not as good for your body would lead to poor digestive health. So unless it’s an absolute necessity, then try to limit the antibiotics.
12. Take probiotics.
Probiotics are essential for gut health, depending on the age of your child. There are some good choices out there, but not all are created equal.
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And if you want more information on how to improve the health of your family, join our Facebook group called Messy Parenting for families who realize that raising a family isn’t easy. And if you’re ready to get your hands dirty and improve the health of your family, then jump on and check out that group.