Top 5 Things you can Do for your Baby’s Microbiome and Gut Health
Studies show that your body’s gut microbiome is established in the first 2 ½ years – and will change little after this age. That means that you have 2 years, (2!), to help your baby develop healthy gut bacterium, one of the key foundations for healthy food habits later on. Today we’re diving into the top 5 things you can do to improve your baby’s gut:
- FOOD: You’ve heard it before, “we are what we eat” but one of the things that directly impacts your baby’s gut and microbiome is giving your baby a diet of healthy, wholesome foods. Avoid heavily processed baby foods and try to eat organic when possible. Homemade baby food is always the best- but when homemade baby food is more of a dream than a reality – you can count on Amara baby food to make homemade, possible.
- Avoid sugars and artificial sweeteners:Studies show that the consumption of sugars and artificial sweeteners alter the composition and function of intestinal microbiota and can drive the development of glucose intolerance. Pay attention to the labels in baby food, avoid fruit juices, added sugar and concentrates.
Eat fruits and veggies high in fiber:Fiber promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, like Bifidobacteria. This “good” bacteria helps to prevent inflammation and help baby’s overall gut health. Studies actually show that eating fruits and vegetables prevent the growth of some disease-causing bacteria in your gut. Some of the vegetables and fruits are:
- Whole Grains
Fruits and veggies are the best sources of nutrition for your baby. You can try out Amara’s Anti-inflammatory Variety Pack to help foster healthy gut microbiome for your baby.
- Mother’s diet:Before, science believed babies were born with a “virgin gut” – but now research shows that a baby actually begins to develop his gut bacteria and microbiome in utero from his mother’s digestive system. When you’re pregnant, try to eat a variety of whole fruits and vegetables, organic if you can. Fiber rich food also help produce acetate and butyrate, these help maintain the gut barrier and will be passed on to your baby through pregnancy, delivery or breastmilk. Try to avoid processed foods and additives as well. You’re helping baby develop a set of healthy gut bacteria for later in life!
- Breastfeed –before we mention this – let’s just be clear FED IS BEST. If you can’t or don’t want to breastfeed – that is A-OK. If you’ve decided to breastfeed - there are studies though that show that breastfeeding actually helps your baby’s microbiome and gut health.
Your baby’s microbiome is developed in those first two years and the microbiota composition is different from one stage to the next (breastfeeding/formula stage, introducing solids stage and table foods stage). A Swedish study of infants and their mothers showed that breastfeeding helped baby develop a healthy microbiome. The TEDDY study examined over 11,000 stool samples of infants during various stages of life and concluded that breastmilk helps babies develop good gut bacteria that are so important later in life. Interestingly enough – so does vaginal birth (versus C section).
We don’t have control over all the factors that can influence our baby’s gut and help them deliver healthy habits – but there is one thing we do have control over that science shows leads to a healthy gut and microbiome for our babies—the food we give them. Early childhood nutrition plays a key role in the development of health habits; digestive functions and food preferences later on in life.
The foods we give to our babies in the first two years are critical to help them develop healthy gut bacteria. So let’s teach our babies the taste, texture and nutrients of fresh.
We started Amara because homemade is more of a dream than a reality for most. I mean – who remembers the last time you drank your coffee, hot? Let alone had time to cook a full homemade meal. Amara baby food brings you all the tastes, textures and nutrients of fresh, homemade meals – with the convenience of a pouch. Shop our blends plant based proteins, baby cereals and veggie forward blends here.