How to Help Your Child have a Healthy Gut

 

I have written a lot about your gut flora, why it is important and what happens when it goes bad.

For us adults, we have to work on setting our gut right. But for us parents, we have to work on keeping our child’s gut right. The microbiome (all the bacteria and other microbes that share our body with us) can help prevent or help cause: allergies, cancer, obesity, autoimmune diseases, to name just a few. People in undeveloped countries don’t have any of these problems, because their microbiome has never been disturbed.

A vaginal birth is ideal, as the baby gets coated in tons of protective bacteria that lay the groundwork for a healthy microbiome. Breastfeeding aids in this too. But sometimes these two factors are beyond our control.

What else to do to help them keep and cultivate the good bacteria and stave off the bad:

  • Avoid antibiotics unless it’s absolutely necessary (They kill off the good bacteria)
  • Sugar and refined starches to a minimum (They feed the bad bacteria)
  • Plenty of green veggies (feed the good bacteria)
  • Plenty of fresh fruit (feed the good bacteria)
  • Yogurt or other probiotic containing foods
  • No juice
  • Avoid steroid medicines or NSAIDs (aspirin)
    • Use Tylenol instead

What happens in your young child’s life can get his/her microbiome set up or destroyed, having tremendous impact on his/her long term health.