A healthy gut means a happy child. There is nothing worse than seeing your child having tummy issues and not being able to do anything about it.
Did you know that the gut is known as the second brain? There are millions of brain cells in your gut that give your gut the power to think for itself. Also, research has shown that there’s a visceral nerve that carries information from the GUT to the BRAIN!
The brain interprets gut signals as emotions. On top of that, over 95% of your body’s serotonin is found in your gut. Serotonin is said to affect mood, social behavior, appetite, digestion, sleep, and more.
You might notice a lot of similarities between improving your immune system and taking care of your gut health and for good reason.
There’s A LOT of power sitting in your gut. And we want to help you make sure that your child’s gut is as strong as possible.
8 Tummy Tips For Your Kids
- A Good Probiotic:
A good probiotic can restore balance back to your gut bacterias, with improved digestion and immune system support.
You have good bacteria and you have bad bacteria in your body. An imbalance in your gut means you have too many bad bacteria and not enough of the good guys.
This can happen from medication (like antibiotics), illness, poor diet, and more.
Finding a probiotic that is safe for your child can help provide the good bacteria that are much needed in the gut. This combined with the other tips can help your child have good gut health.
2. Avoid Overeating:
We’ve all been guilty of overindulging on a delicious meal. Whether we don’t want to waste food, or we just love the taste too much to stop, overeating can have long-term and short-term effects on our bodies.
A large meal can affect your sleep, your weight, and even your organs.
When you eat a large meal, your stomach expands to adjust, thus pushing up against your other organs, making you feel uncomfortable.
Over time, overeating can lead to weight gain, take a toll on your digestive system, and mess up your sleep cycles.
How can you avoid overeating?
- Eat slowly
- Drink water before, during, after meals
- Preplan meals
- Pay attention to portion sizes
- Load up on fruits and veggies
3. Stay Hydrated:
Water has the ability to transport nutrients in your body, flush out bad toxins and help with waste removal.
Staying hydrated can also improve skin, your immune system, sleep, energy levels, and digestion while promoting a healthy gut.
Children need the same amount of water as adults (about one quart for every 1,000 calories expended). The only exception is infants, who just need breast milk or formula.
Wonder if your child is drinking enough water? They should be urinating every few hours. Buy your child their own water bottle, and offer it in between meals.
When the weather is hot and when your child is engaging in lots of physical activity, be sure to have water ready.
Did you know that regular exercise can adjust the balance of the gut microbiome and influence your health?
A recent study found that those participants who performed graded exercises had a more diverse population of bacteria in the gut.
This means, that exercising to boost cardiorespiratory effectiveness can improve overall health with a better-balanced gut.
Time to get those kids moving every day!
5. Avoid Antibiotics:
This can be a hard one! When your child is sick, you want to do anything to help them feel better, and sometimes that answer is antibiotics.
We aren’t telling you to stop using antibiotics altogether, we just want you to be educated on their effect on your child’s gut bacteria.
Antibiotics given early in life (or being born by cesarean section) can change your child’s gut microbes. This can lead to various health problems in childhood.
The main job of antibiotics is to stop the growth of bacteria. That means if you have a nasty bacteria, you want antibiotics to kill it before it spreads. But antibiotics don’t just kill the bad guys, they kill the good guys as well.
If you go into the doctor with a nasty virus and you are prescribed an antibiotic, make sure to request more information, because an antibiotic is useless against a virus!
For the times you can’t avoid taking an antibiotic, be sure to load up on probiotic-heavy foods and take a good probiotic to help the good bacteria.
6. Play Outside and with Pets:
Did you have parents that told you to rub some dirt on your wound if you came inside crying? It turns out that a little bit of dirt is a good thing.
In America, we are lucky enough to live during a time where hygiene and sanitation are widespread. We have access to antibacterial soap, cleaning wipes and sprays. These are great for protecting us from germs, but might be contributing to an increase in allergies, autoimmune problems, and gut issues.
This study revealed that the use of disinfectants and antibacterial products is preventing proper formation of healthy gut bacteria. Boosting immune function could lead to a reduction in allergy rates, digestive problems, and even improve mood.
So, let your kids get dirty! Send them outside to play in the mud. And if you’re looking for an excuse to get a dog, consider pets another form of probiotics!
Not only are they cute and cuddly, but they can help introduce your child to animal micro-organisms that can help stimulate your child’s immune system. This is especially important during the first 3 months.
7. Eat These Foods:
Looking for some good gut foods for your children? Here’s a quick list.
- Whole Wheat
- Dark Chocolate
- Whole Foods or Plant Foods
Foods that are high in indigestible fiber, probiotics, and polyphenols (all the items listed above) fuel the beneficial bacteria in your gut!
8. Foods to Avoid:
Junk food. That means anything that’s ultra-processed and low in fiber. So, that yummy bag of chips and your favorite fast-food restaurants should be limited!
Also, artificial sweeteners should be avoided as well as soda.
If you know that you or your child are sensitive to certain foods, avoid them. Trust your gut, it’s telling you something for a reason!