Your baby’s gut can be prone to infection and illness at birth. But, the Good News is that you can start to strengthen your baby’s gut for the future! Explore these easy tips to build a healthy gut for your baby today!
Your Baby is Arriving!
Consider a natural delivery as your baby gets exposed to the colonies of healthy bacteria present in the birth canal and vaginal fluids, during birth.
These friendly bacteria make their way into the baby’s gut to lay the foundations of a healthy gut microbiota!
Weaning and Prebiotics
This is a major transition period for the development of your baby’s gut, as well as his gut microbiota. As new food and textures are introduced into his diet, new types of bacteria will also be introduced, changing the whole balance in his gut13.
Be sure to feed your baby a balanced diet rich in dietary fibres such as fruits and vegetables (banana, asparagus, peas), wholegrain breads and cereals. These foods are not only packed with nutrients and vitamins, but also contain prebiotics, which act as food for good bacteria in the gut to grow and thrive! Your baby’s gut now has a healthy gut microbiota with plenty of good bacteria to support his overall well-being!
13 Vandenplas Y, De Greef E, Devreker T, Veereman-Wauters G, Hauser B. Probiotics and prebiotics in infants and children. Curr Infect Dis Rep. Jun 2013;15(3);251-6 . doi: 10.1007/s11908-013-0334-4
Explore new places!
Take your baby out to the park. More time spent at different places allows your little one to be exposed to different types of bacteria and strengthen his natural defences. A more diverse gut microbiota helps to build a healthier, stronger gut!
Drinking a lot of water can help your baby fight off heat and feel energized. It also helps food to pass through the digestive system more easily and aids with more regular bowel movements.
It is suggested that toddlers 1-6 years old should drink 4 to 7 glasses of fluids throughout the day14. If it is a hot day or your child is actively playing, he will need extra water. If your child does not like plain water, it is possible to flavour it with a splash of juice or slices of fruit.
14 Health Promotion Board. Water is the best choice, so sip to be cool! Retrieved from http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/health-article/7446
Regular exercise helps keep food moving through your baby’s digestive system and facilitate his bowel movements. It is recommended that children should engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on five or more days a week15.
Make exercise fun and workout as a family, from simple post-dinner walk to weekly sports night, to encourage your little one to get fit!
15 Health Promotion Board. (2012). Birth to eighteen years: Dietary tips for your child's wellbeing. Retrieved from http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/health-article/6086
Stress may cause changes in bowel patterns. Teaching children to manage stressful situations such as breathing exercises, meditation or playing games as a distraction can be useful.
Starve out Bad Gut Bacteria
You are what you eat. Most people do not realise but they continue to eat toxic foods such as high levels of sugar and saturated fat, and live in a way that kills friendly bacteria and encourages bad bacteria to grow, hence breaking down the integrity of their gut lining. Help build your baby’s healthy gut and reduce his junk food intake!