Gastro Health in Children: Promoting Digestive Wellness from an Early Age

A healthy gastrointestinal tract helps your kid to grow well. But sometimes, the system needs a little love and care. This blog will help you learn how to treat certain digestive problems and set your child up for a lifetime of good digestive health.  

Babies tend to spit up after feeding. However, those who spit up frequently and develop symptoms such as irritability, poor weight gain, or a prolonged cough may get gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD). GERD causes the stomach’s content, such as acid and food, to back up to the esophagus. This often causes your infant to vomit, leading to poor weight gain and oesophagus erosion. Stomach gas medicine, like antacids, may help relieve symptoms. Antacids are the best medicine for gastric problems in both adults and children. However, gastric medicine isn’t recommended for long-term use as they cause complications and adverse effects like diarrhoea and constipation.

Consult a paediatrician to learn about other medicine for gas problems. Whether you are concerned about constipation, tummy aches, stomach gas problems or any other gastro disorders or want to enhance your kid’s digestive health, the tips below can help.  

1. Feed the good bacteria

The human intestines are home to more than trillions of bacteria. These bacteria may help protect against infection, help digest food and improve immunity. A fibre-rich diet of grains, fruits, and vegetables helps keep gut bacteria healthy. Especially fibre in whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat bread, berries, and bananas boosts gut health. Getting adequate fibre from food can also help reduce the risk of digestive problems, including constipation and gastric problems.  

2. Add more good bacteria to improve gut health

Fermented foods containing active bacteria, like yoghurt, can add more bugs to your child’s stomach. Certain non-dairy fermented foods like sauerkraut, non-dairy yoghurt, and kimchi also help to add more beneficial bacteria to the mix.

3. Avoid processed foods 

A diet of fast food, fried potato chips, and processed meat can contribute to constipation or stomach gas problems and may prevent beneficial gut bacteria from growing. Research shows that soft drinks and artificial sweeteners can also mess up the good bugs in the gastrointestinal tract.

4. Say no to non-essential antibiotics

Antibiotic drugs can be effective at treating strep throat, but they can destroy good bacteria, too. Therefore, it is important to use these medications only when needed and not for viral infections. Ensure you follow a paediatrician’s advice when considering whether your kid requires antibiotic treatment.

5. See a healthcare specialist

Fix an appointment with your child’s paediatrician if he has a gas problem, tummy aches, vomiting, diarrhoea, or any other stomach problems that concern you for over a few days. A second opinion helps you provide important information regarding your child’s health.

Child experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort

Promoting child’s digestive health

If anyone in the world can give as much attention to your child’s digestive health as parents do, it is the nutritionists who help parents deal with their kid’s stomach problems. If you are wondering how to promote digestive wellness in kids, visit a nutritionist. 

Another simple way to build a healthy digestive system is the intake of below: 

  • High fibre diet
  • Plenty of fluids
  • Regular exercise

1. High fibre foods

So, let’s start with fibre. Healthcare specialists recommend that kids receive about 14 grams of fibre for every 1000 calories. This usually means that little munchkins aged 1 to 3 should get about 19 grams of fibre daily, and children aged 4 to 8 should consume around 25 grams daily. Most nutritionists advise eating high-fibre food containing at least 3 to 5 grams per serving. Some high-fibre foods include apples, beans, high-fibre cereal, baked potatoes, berries, and yoghurt. 

Certain foods are associated with the risk of digestive health issues. These include rice cereal, refined white foods (white rice, sugar, and white bread), cheese, and dairy products.

Some children are very sensitive to excessive dairy intake; therefore, limiting them to help with bowel regulation is best.

2. Plenty of fluids

Sometimes, we get so focused on fibre intake for digestive health issues that most of us forget about the other component our child needs to consume, like an adequate amount of fluids. You are doing more bad than good when you consume an adequate amount of fibre and not having enough water. 

You must ensure your little one gets adequate water, milk, and juices during the day. Especially if you stay in a warm climate, or your child’s kids are physically active, or getting more outdoor exercises, there will be excessive sweating, so be sure to provide your kid with plenty of fluids.

3. Regular exercise 

Exercise is good for your overall health, including your lungs, heart, and immune system. So, it makes sense that exercise would also be extremely beneficial for your digestive health. The bottom line is that healthy digestive health requires plenty of physical activity.

Also Read: Finding Relief: Understanding Acid Reducers and Managing Digestive Health