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How to Improve Your Child’s Gut Health

July 25, 2018
Gut health

Gut health is an important factor which can determine how we feel, how strong our immune system is and our energy levels.  If our gut is upset and inflamed, that inflammation can spread to the rest of our body and make tension worse.

Therefore, we need to be eating a wholesome diet to give our gut health the best chance to make us feel great.  Avoiding sugar including any soft drinks/juices and processed foods is the best way to heal our gut.  Some people also have specific intolerances to gluten, dairy or fructose so it is important to get tested to ensure the best diet for you.

For kids, the gut’s main role is to regulate digestion (and keep things moving!), as well as to give them the immunity they need to fight off any bugs that they get exposed to.

An unhappy gut in a child can lead to stomach aches and issues with absorption of vitamins and minerals.   Other symptoms such as issues with sleeping, constipation, bloating or lethargy can often be caused by gut issues.

3 simple ways to improve your child’s gut health:

1. Reduce Processed Foods

Processed foods, and food containing excessive sugar can be causing your child’s gut health to be compromised.

Making your own healthy homemade snacks and treats can make a big difference.  You can also ensure that your child has an adequate intake of fibre, by adding things like pears and apples (with peel on), potato and sweet potato (skin on), legumes (like our Hearty Health Hommus) and berries.

And don’t forget to keep their water intake up as this helps flush their system.

2. Avoid overuse of antibiotics

When your child is ill it’s natural to visit the doctor and see if they might need medication.  But overuse of antibiotics can kill your child’s good gut flora.

Speak to your doctor about your child’s symptoms and ask if antibiotics are necessary.  There may be other options available if you ask.

3. Add some of these gut friendly foods to children’s meals:

  • natural or Greek yoghurt goes well with nearly everything and the probiotics in yoghurt make it the best option for increasing gut flora
  • pickles or sauerkraut on homemade burgers is delicious – introduce this slowly to your kids to help them develop their palate
  • homemade stock in your Bolognese and soups
  • salmon with green leafy vegetables
  • blueberries as a snack on their own or in a muffin
  • chia seeds and/or walnuts in a muffin or porridge is filling and ticks all the boxes for optimum health
  • beetroot dip is a popular snack that Hearty Health make for children in child care. Delicious with fresh celery and carrot sticks
  • sweet potato used as a mash with Shepherd’s Pie or wedges would be a bit hit with the kids
  • turmeric and ginger in a mild curry would warm up tummy’s as well as giving a big immune boost

Hearty Health specialise in creating fresh seasonal ready-made meals for children which are made by professional chefs.  For more information, contact Hearty Health here.

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