As a mother of two young boys I am always conscious about their wellbeing. Here are 5 ways to ensure that your kids have a healthy gut.
1. Play in the dirt
A great way to pick up all that the environment has to offer is getting out amongst it. So turn off the telly and start making some mud pies with your kids. Playing at the beach, jumping in muddy puddles and just being outdoors is not only a great experience for your children, it also means that they are picking up the good guys too, which helps build the beneficial gut flora. Eat vegetables straight out of the garden or eating food with a bit of dirt on your hands can be beneficial. You need to assess what type of dirt your children have on them, if they have been playing at a children’s farm or at a playground where there is likely other bacteria then get them to give those hands a rinse. Studies have shown that children who grow up with animals such as dogs and cats have a more diverse gut microbe also.
2. Say no to processed and sugary foods and up the intake of prebiotics
Reduce their intake of processed and sugary foods and increase their intake of whole foods and foods high in dietary fibre. The fibre in these high fibre foods is not digestible by us and acts as food for the good bacteria in our gut (Prebiotics). If it is snack time, try some vegetable sticks with hummus, a great source of prebiotics, or sneak some fermented vegetables into salads, burgers or with their sausage in bread. Use bone broth as stock or the base in stir frys, stews, soups or even your famous bolognese sauce. And for a treat, using a good quality gelatin, you can make some yummy sugar free jelly using Gutsy Probiotic Drink Sachets, recipe coming next week, or check out our recipe for chia pudding, great for desserts or for after school snacks!
3. Stop being overly clean
Our society has become obsessed with being clean. Many households use disinfectant and antibacterial wipes. However, they can often kill off good bacteria which our bodies aren’t getting exposed to. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be clean, just avoid being sterile. Definitely continue to encourage your children to always wash their hands after using the toilet. So ditch the antibacterial hand sanitizer and opt for natural based soaps and cleaning products rather than harsh chemicals.
Taking a probiotic supplement helps to rebalance your gut bacteria so that there are more of the good guys. Depending on your circumstances you may need to opt for a high potency multi strain formula that can be purchased in capsules or you may just need ongoing support. However, getting your child to take a probiotic regularly can be like pulling teeth. Luckily, Gutsy Probiotic Drink Sachets taste amazing so they won’t even know it is good for them. Lemon Lime is a particular favourite amongst children.
5. Avoid antibiotics
Avoiding antibiotics when you can. There are definitely times when antibiotics are required to kill the bacteria that is causing illness. But be mindful that they may also kill off the good bacteria in the process, as antibiotics don’t differentiate between the good and the bad. The next time your GP tries to prescribe your child antibiotics ask them whether it is really necessary. When it is required, ensure your child takes a good quality multi-strain probiotic to help replace the good bacteria.
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Written by Claire Gray, Mother and Co-Founder at Gutsy Life