As more and more research emerges, we begin to realise just how important the gut microbiome is to our overall health and immune system. Poor gut health is linked to food intolerances, autoimmune diseases, and more. And since we all want the best for our children, it’s a great idea to boost your child’s gut health in any way possible.
In this post, we’re going to cover some of the best ways to improve your child’s gut health.
Feed the good bugs
When it comes to gut health, you can think of it this way. In your child’s gut, the bacteria (or bugs) are either working towards their health or against it. The more you feed the baddies, the more they will grow. So it’s best to feed the good bacteria instead. There’s only so much room in your child’s gut, and the more the good bacteria grow, the less space there will be for the bad bacteria.
Fermented foods are a great option for feeding the beneficial bacteria, but they aren’t the only foods you can eat to heal the gut. Opt for whole foods like fruits and veggies over-processed and sugary foods.
Be wise about antibiotics
Antibiotics can cure a wide range of issues, and they are often necessary. But if you can help it, use antibiotics as a last resort for your child. There are issues like strep throat or a serious ear infection that may require antibiotics to help your child feel better. But there are times you can use homeopathic remedies and wait it out before you resort to antibiotics. Always talk to your doctor about your child’s condition before making that call. And remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you can keep your child healthy so they avoid issues that may need antibiotics, that’s the best-case scenario.
Broad-spectrum antibiotics kill all types of bacteria, good and bad, and can create gut imbalances when used often.
Let your kids get dirty
Many things have changed about how we live our lives in modern times, and dirt is a big one. Collectively, we’ve become germaphobes and try to destroy every bit of bacteria in our environments. From hand sanitiser to antibacterial soap, we’re shielding ourselves and our children from all kinds of bacteria. Some may argue that this is a good thing, but we should remember that we’re designed to be exposed to bacteria. In fact, we’re made up of bacteria.
When it comes to sanitising, it’s important to strike a balance. Keep your home clean, especially in food prep areas, but don’t overdo it. Too much sanitising can actually be a bad thing.
And when it comes to kids, avoid strict rules about getting dirty. That’s basically a kid’s job. They’re meant to play in the dirt and gain exposure to bacteria that are found naturally in our environment. This helps the immune system continue to function properly. We fear the bad bugs that could be present, but this could keep them from picking up some of the beneficial bacteria they’ll need to foster long-term health.
Consider probiotic supplements
You’ve undoubtedly heard many purported benefits of probiotics, but there’s also confusion and myths about probiotics that can make our decisions as parents difficult.
The truth is that most kids don’t actually need probiotics if they consume a healthy whole foods diet that’s low in refined starches and sugars. And if they avoid antibiotics and play in the dirt, even better.
But probiotic supplements can act as a safety net to help ensure that bad bacteria don’t overrun your child’s gut microbiome.
If we want our children to be strong and healthy, it makes sense to boost their gut health. But the good news is that the rules for good gut health are the same for strong overall health. Follow these best practices, and you may have some confidence that your child will win the gut health battle.