Anti-inflammatory baby food:
Food to help your baby’s digestion system
As your baby’s digestive system matures, your baby will start to experience different signs of readiness. When you and your pediatrician have decided your baby is ready for solid foods, you’ll notice your baby’s digestion go through several changes. In the transition from breastmilk to solid foods, one of the first things most parents notice is that your baby’s poop will change. Yes, never before did you think you would talk so much about poop right?
When your baby is on a liquid diet of breastmilk, your baby’s gut is prepared and able to easily absorb breastmilk. When you start introducing solid foods to your baby’s diet, his/her poop will start to reflect how easily food is passing through your baby’s digestive system. One of the reasons why pediatricians recommend slowly starting to introduce solid foods one at a time is so you can start to understand how your baby reacts to each food. Pay attention to your baby’s poop, it will show how easily your baby is digesting each food and help you pay attention to any possible allergic reactions.
Also, don’t forget if you are still breastfeeding, everything you eat gets passed to your baby. If your baby is constipated or has diarrhea, consult with your pediatrician to look at what you are eating that may be unintentionally causing your baby’s constipation.
There are two kinds of digestive issues that will trigger slight inflammation in your baby:
If your baby has diarrhea, you want to find binding foods to help your baby’s poop bind together. Some examples of these foods are bananas and rice which can be mixed with applesauce to help your baby regain consistency to his/her digestion. Remember to also maintain a high level of water for your baby so he doesn’t get dehydrated.
If your baby is constipated, you want to find loosening foods to help soften your baby’s poop and help him pass through his body. Foods that are high in fiber are helpful and a lot of liquid to help move the food through your baby’s digestive system.
Some of the following foods can help ease your baby’s digestion:
- Applesauce: easy to digest, apples have been studies for their anti-inflammatory benefits and because they can help improve your gut microbiome. Applesauce may help alleviate symptoms of diarrhea and constipation because of their fiber. Apples contain phytochemicals called flavonoids. The polyphenols in apples actually form a protective layer on the stomach lining, helping to sooth your babies upset stomach.
Apples also are rich in dietary fiber and pectin, which is essential for smooth bowl movements. This makes it a great choice for babies whose digestive systems are maturing and need foods that are easy to digest. Feeding your baby applesauce can help with diarrhea and constipation.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a nutritious, fiber filled meal for your baby that can also help with your baby’s digestion and anti-inflammatory. Oatmeal is easy to digest for your baby’s digestive system and is high in dietary fiber. This dietary fiber helps facilitate easy bowl movement for your baby. Furthermore, oats are also rich in iron, magnesium and zinc – all important for your baby’s digestive system.
You can mix the oatmeal with breastmilk or formula in a thin consistency when your baby is starting solids, gradually increasing the consistency as your baby becomes accustomed to thicker textures. Amara’s oats n berries flavor has oatmeal, apple and blueberries that are high in fiber to help relieve constipation.
- Bananas: Most of you will be surprised to see banana on the list as it has a bad reputation but bananas are recommended to treat inflammatory bowel disease in the anti-inflammatory diet (Nutrition Journal, January 2014). They are also great sources of fiber which help bind your baby’s bowel movements if he/she has diarrhea. As any fruit, bananas have natural sugars so make sure you balance vegetables in your baby’s diet as well.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used to regulate blood sugar but did you know that it also helps lower inflammation? Cinnamon has an anti-inflammatory component that can help you and your baby combat systemic inflammation. In small quantities, a little bit of cinnamon can help decrease the inflammation in your baby. You can either sprinkle a pinch of organic cinnamon in your baby’s food or if you are breastfeeding, use it in your own food and it will be passed through the breastmilk to your baby.
- Water: Not really a “food” but just as important for your baby’s digestion so we wanted to make sure to mention it. Water will help flush your baby’s system and help him push out or rehydrate what he’s lost. Make sure you keep your baby hydrated.
Always remember, it’s important to speak to your pediatrician first about when to start solids with your baby. Each baby is different but the importance of breastmilk and/or formula in those first months shapes your baby’s healthy diet and digestion for years to come. Always consult with your pediatrician when your baby is showing signs of diarrhea or constipation.
If your baby is showing signs of constipation or inflammation, we have an anti-inflammatory variety pack of baby food that may help your baby ease her digestion. Mix it fresh with breastmilk, formula or water for an easy transition to solid foods.