As parents, we want to protect our children’s gastrointestinal tracts, so that they can enjoy overall well-being. Researchers are discovering that the two are intrinsically linked – a healthy gut is key to a healthy immune system. Follow these simple steps to fortify the gut health of your children.
Did you know that your gut accounts for 70% of the body’s immune system? If your child’s gut does not have a strong defence system, he or she will be more susceptible to pathogens that can lead to illness.1
Developing a healthy gut starts from the moment your child is born. At birth, children will inherit the gut microbiota of their parents, which will continue to develop over the first 4 to 5 years of their lives, as they are exposed to new foods and environments. Building a strong foundation during this period is crucial as it will impact the rest of their lives.2
To help your child grow healthy gut bacteria, you can try introducing some naturally wholesome, prebiotic-rich foods like oats, bananas, garlic, apples, wheat bran, onions and asparagus into his diet3. You can also give probiotic-rich food like yoghurt to your little one.
For little ones on formula milk, you may consider choosing one like Friso Gold Stage 3 and 4, which contain both probiotics and prebiotic (GOS). Probiotics helps to suppress/fight against harmful bacteria in the digestive system, thereby helping to maintain a healthy digestive system; whereas Prebiotic (GOS) promotes the growth of good Bifidus bacteria to help maintain a healthy digestive system.
Exposing your child to so-called “dirty” environments can also help them foster a stronger and healthier gut. Playing in the garden with soil is a good example, as soil and plants comprise trillions of microorganisms4. Studies have also found that children who grow up with pet dogs are less likely to develop asthma.5
Following these simple tips outlined above can reap a lifetime of health benefits for your child, including fewer occurrences of upset stomachs and allergies. Having a healthy gut has also been associated with a decreased risk of developing chronic diseases later in life.6 In the long run, you’ll be preparing your child’s body for a lifetime of wellness.