There’s no doubt you want your child to live a healthy and vibrant life. That’s why you pay such close attention to what is on their dinner plate, how much exercise they are getting, and what kind of hygiene habits they are developing. As a parent, there are many things you do to help your children build healthy habits that will follow them into adulthood. But how much attention do you pay to what is happening inside their little, growing bodies? To be more specific, how much do you focus on taking care of their gut health?
While all kids need help calming the occasional tummy ache, gut health goes far beyond that. A healthy gut microbiome can help prevent all sorts of intestinal problems that can result in poor uptake of nutrients, discomfort during digestion, stomach aches, lowered immunity, and even mood fluctuations. But what exactly is the gut microbiome? Let us explain.
What is the Gut Microbiome?
There are plenty of microbes within the body. In fact, there are close to 40 trillion bacterial cells in the body, which greatly outnumbers the 30 trillion human cells that make up your body. The majority of these microbes are found in the intestines and on the skin, and each type of microbe has a role to play. The colonies of microbes that live in your intestines are collectively known as the gut microbiome. While the exact composition of everyone’s gut microbiome is unique, a healthy gut microbiome is one where the good bacteria outnumber the harmful bacteria.
The Importance of a Healthy Gut For Children
The value of the gut microbiome is seen from the moment you are born. One of the first bacteria that can be found in the gut microbiome of newborn babies is known as Bifidobacteria, which by itself provides a number of benefits for these little ones. As children begin growing and learning about the world around them, the composition of their gut microbiome begins to change and grow as well. As this happens, helping your children ensure they have a healthy balance of good and harmful bacteria can lead to a variety of benefits. Let’s take a look at a few.
- Efficient nutrient absorption. The gut is responsible for breaking down and absorbing all the nutrients from the food we eat. From things like proteins and fats to essential vitamins and minerals, a healthy gut will ensure that your child gets as many of these beneficial nutrients in their system as possible with every meal.
- Modulation of the immune system. The gut is home to 70% of the human immune system, even in children. On top of that, little ones like to put anything and everything in their mouth, and any pathogens that enter the body through the mouth are sent straight to the gut. Ensuring that your child’s gut is as healthy and strong as possible can help protect them from all the harmful bacteria they are exposed to.
- Support for the brain. The gut and brain are connected by something called the gut-brain axis. Put simply, this connection allows the gut and brain to talk to and directly impact each other. One of the main uses of this connection is for neurotransmitters like serotonin to be sent to the brain. Since these neurotransmitters are produced in the gut, a thriving microbiome can result in improved mental health.
How To Improve Your Child’s Gut Health
With so many amazing benefits, there is no doubt that ensuring your child has a healthy gut is just as important as all the other healthy habits you are helping them build. But how can you help improve your child’s gut microbiome? Let’s explore some ideas together.
1. Support the Good Bacteria with Whole Foods
In a healthy gut, the good bacteria will outnumber the harmful ones, and the best way to support the growth of good bacteria is to nourish them with whole foods. So getting things like fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and legumes into your kid’s diet is one of the best steps you can take to ensure your child’s gut is as healthy as possible. There are many different ways to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet. Some of our favorites including dipping carrots in hummus, adding spinach to your favorite pasta dishes, and making black bean quesadillas with a side of avocado.
2. Help Them Get Plenty of Probiotics
Probiotics help to seed the gut with beneficial bacteria and can be found in a number of foods. One of the most common probiotic-filled foods is yogurt, which many kids already love. However, it’s important to remember that yogurt often is loaded with sugar, which is known to harm the gut, so offer it sparingly and consider choosing other probiotic-filled foods like kefir instead. Kefir is a fermented milk drink that has a thicker consistency than milk but isn’t quite as thick as yogurt. When mixed with fresh fruit, kefir makes a great breakfast option. Fermented foods like pickles and sauerkraut are also known for containing probiotics.
3. Be Wary of Antibiotics
Sometimes, antibiotics are necessary to kill harmful bacteria that have taken hold within the body. However, it’s important to understand that antibiotics will indiscriminately kill bacteria, getting rid of both the good and bad microbes in the gut. That’s why it’s important to try to avoid antibiotic use whenever possible. But if your child does need to be prescribed antibiotics, you can always ask their doctor if you can also give them probiotics to help replenish their gut microbiome.
4. Don’t Forget About Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes, as their name implies, have the ever-important job of helping your body digest the food you eat. Although our body naturally produces these enzymes, sometimes we don’t quite have enough to get the job done, so making sure your child is getting some through their diet or supplementation can help ease discomfort from indigestion and improve overall gut function.
Support Your Child’s Gut Health with the Essentials
Gut health is important for people of all ages, and that includes children. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to help your child keep their gut microbiome healthy. One of the best and most convenient of those things is using a supplement like Essentials Blend. This powder supplement is made of a powerful combination of probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes to help support your child’s gut. Essentials Blend also includes the rare superfood known as organic Wild Microalgae®, which provides a large variety of essential nutrients to help nourish and develop both the body and mind. Plus, since it’s a powder, this powerful supplement is easy to add to your child’s favorite drinks or meals*.
The best part? You can put it to the test risk-free with our 90-day money-back guarantee.
At New Earth we are on a mission to positively impact the health of every body and soul we come in contact with. We specialize in producing third-party certified, organic whole food supplements including a variety of probiotics, and digestive support. Our supplements feature a rare, yet highly, nutritious superfood, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Also known as organic Wild Microalgae®, AFA is a unique type of blue-green algae that is available in many forms including algae tablets, algae pills, and algae powders all designed to help you on your journey to holistic wellness. The best part? We offer a 90-day money-back risk-free guarantee on all of our products. Visit our website to learn more.
*Consult with your child’s pediatrician prior to starting a new nutritional supplement.