Whether you’re anxiously waiting for the arrival of your bundle of joy, or you are already wrapping your newborn baby safely in your arms, you may be having a lot of concerns on how to safeguard your precious one. Safeguarding their health and securing that build a strong immune system are generally some of your top priorities as a parent.
You’ve been doing everything right so far and suddenly this word pops out of thin air. Everyone’s talking about it. You search high and low for the best kind, which foods have it and how it can benefit your child. It’s the world-famous PROBIOTICS and it’s right under the biggest spotlight.
Even in the world of bacteria, there’s good and bad. Essentially probiotics are ‘healthy germs/ bacteria’. These good microorganisms keep the gastrointestinal tract in check. There are two popular strains of the bacteria: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and they’re both commonly found in supplements as well as many food items.
What probiotics do is, it stops bad pathogens in your stomach from attaching to your gut by acting as a barrier and outnumbering them. In this sense, probiotics are believed to support in boosting immune system, reduce inflammation and help with diarrhoea. Probiotics also make up for all the imbalance of good and bad bacteria and protect against secondary infections. There is much research that is still being done on probiotics and much of the information is non-conclusive. However, there are many benefits that have been proven to improve health.
Probiotics can be introduced to your child in the womb itself. An American Family Physician Review found that when given to pregnant and breastfeeding women, probiotics help stall the development of allergies and eczema in infants.
Another study found in JAMA Pediatrics discourses that when infants are given probiotics in the first three months of their lives, there are chances of preventing colic, acid reflux and constipation. This will help avoid lots of sleepless nights and endless crying.
Probiotics have also shown to be effective against the adverse effects of antibiotics and make up for all the damage that they do.
So now dear parent, you’re slowly becoming a pro at probiotics. The good news is that it just gets easier from here on. Let’s see what foods contain probiotics that your child will enjoy.
Some foods will have naturally occurring probiotics while others gain it through the process of fermentation. Always ensure to buy foods that contain live cultures or strains- just read the packaging.
Here are foods you can get on-the-go at your local store:
• Yoghurt- with live cultures (can also be made at home)
• Cottage cheese- with live cultures
• Gouda, swiss, parmesan and cheddar cheeses
• Sourdough Bread
• Peas- either frozen or fresh
Now, here’s a more unconventional route- fermented foods. These can easily be made at home and you can check this link for some recipes:
• Fermented Pickles
• Fermented Mild Salsa
• Fermented Dill Pickle Green Beans
• Fermented Ketchup
• Fermented Ranch
• Fermented Sauerkraut
When dealing with fermented foods, ensure that it’s kept properly in a dry place. There are some signs to watch out for toout to know that the fermentation has taken place, like little bubbles in the jar. And be ready with basics like sea salt, filtered water and mason jars. There’s a big chance that kids may not immediately take to these foods. But eventually, they’ll grow to love it.
And of course, before starting anything that you’re unsure about always check with your paediatrician.
This is a list of some of the most common challenges that probiotic foods may help kids with:
• Constipation (however, many kids are sensitive to dairy and it can worsen constipation, even if it includes probiotics)
• Acid reflux
• A frequently upset stomach
• Extreme fatigue
• Anxiety and chronic worrying
• Poor attention
• Poor memory
• Poor behaviour (frequent tantrums)
• Frequent illness/poor immune system
Along with food, a variety of supplements are also a great source of probiotics for kids. It comes in many forms to suit the needs of your little one. Choose from a wide variety of probiotics goodies from NaturesWisdom, who cares for your child just like a parent. Its products are all about adding value and promising the best of health. We’ve picked out some items that will be great for your kids.
Here are some factors to consider before buying probiotics:
Ingredients – Each probiotic for kids includes different probiotic strains and ingredients, so do some research for your child’s safety. Some contain dairy, gluten and other common allergens, while others contain sugar and are made with artificial . A sugar-free probiotic supplement is an ideal option.
Paediatrician recommendations – Always talk to your paediatrician about the best probiotic for your kids. Keep in mind your child’s diet, allergens and any digestive or immune system changes.
Number of CFUs – Probiotics are measured in colony-forming units (CFUs), or the number of bacteria bodies. According to the American Family Physician, kids should take 5 to 10 billion CFUs per day for a healthy immune and digestive system, and any good probiotic should have at least 1 billion CFUs per serving.
Wow, that was a lot of information. But that’s how important probiotics are and it’s all summarised here. In a world where things are constantly evolving, your child needs a sense of balance. A balanced and immune digestive system begins with probiotics. When a child's digestive tract is properly functioning, it can better absorb and utilize the nutrients needed for growth, development, and strong immune function. What are you waiting for? Nourish your children with the pros of probiotics today!