The Importance of Gut Health in Children
As humans we need large numbers of microbes to stay healthy. They protect us against germs, break down food, release energy, and produce vitamins. Microbes are everywhere in our environment and it is impossible to get rid of them.
A healthy microbiome starts with a healthy mother. We are exposed to microorganisms within our mother’s womb, as well as when we travel through the birth canal. For babies born naturally, their bodies are covered in microorganisms and probiotics—their very first protection against harmful organisms.
C-Section vs. Natural Birth
It is known that children born via C-section have a greater risk of developing asthma, leukemia, and immune diseases because they were not exposed to enough of their mother’s microbiota.
If you or your baby is born via C-Section, there are still many ways to boost their immune system. For one, breast feeding. Mothers milk contains special sugars that are meant to feed and support certain groups of microbes that work as decoys for others and helps modulate the immune system.
Promoting Gut Health Through Food
However, not every mother can breast feed. In this case, starting children on foods like yogurt, bone broth, and anti-oxidant filled fruits & veggies is vital to strengthening their gut bacteria from an early age.
Children’s snacks normally consist of cookies, chips, and other sugar-filled baked treats. However, their taste buds are still adapting. For a child who has never tasted sugar, sweet potatoes and carrots are as sweet as frosting to an adult. Rather than get them use to addictive processed sugars and junk foods, allow them to develop a taste and love for healthier options like honey, fruit, and sweet vegetables. The cycle of bad bacteria–>bad cravings–>more bad bacteria is easier to prevent all-together than break.
Healthy Snacks for Kids
Here are some snack ideas to promote gut health for young children—especially if they are born with compromised immune systems:
Fruit Yogurt: Toss in some berries, bananas, or melon into a bowl of yogurt. Not only can you create variety with different fruits, but mashing in some blueberries or strawberries turns the yogurt into fun, bright colours.
Pickles: Like yogurt, these guys are packed with probiotics. Try pickles fermented in salt and water rather than vinegar for a milder taste.
Dark Chocolate: Chocolate more than 70% has great health benefits for our microbes. Not only is it a delicious treat, but our microbes can create anti-inflammatory compounds from it. If dark chocolate alone is too strong, try chocolate-covered bananas.
Fruits like bananas, kiwi, mango, and blueberries promote gut health. In summer, blend or fold them them into kefir or yogurt, pour into ice lolly molds, and stick them in the freezer for probiotic-rich treats.
Coconut Oil not only promotes good bacteria but also helps heal leaky gut. Fry or scramble eggs in coconut oil, or blend some into a smoothie.
How our Nutritionist can help you:
Julian Cheddesingh, our nutritionist and BIE (Bioenergetic Intolerance Elimination) Practitioner is an expert in targeting food sensitivities/allergies, lifestyle choices, and healing foods in order to restore gut health.
If you suspect that your child has leaky gut or a compromised immune system, call us now at 905-997-8337 or email us at email@example.com to book an appointment for your child or book a 15 min consult to find out more about Julian and how she can help.