Your Gut & Probiotics – Looking after Your Children

FLAVOUR FILLED FREE FROM FOODS!

With the festive season well and truly under way I’ll explain how creating scrumptious food is still possible, even without grains, dairy or masses of sugar.

Can you believe that christmas has gone and the over indulging in this time frame between christmas and new year day is crazy. I’m starting to think about holiday food; snacks to have on hand for when friends and family drop by, food for kids to take to parties where everyone else is eating junk food, special treats that will make my family feel like they are not ‘missing out’.

And of course, a scrumptious christmas dinner that will keep everyone happy and still cater for our ‘weird’ diet.

You see, although we have been ‘whole foodies’ for years, eating a healthy, allergy friendly diet to cope with food intolerances is sometimes important.

At one stage I was on a GAPS diet to work on healing the gut and to reduce the symptoms of anxiety from severe OCD.

So I only ate whole foods, grain free, dairy free, starch free and very low sugar which kinds of freaks people out sometimes when your try to explain. “What do you eat then, cardboard?” Nope. Far from it.

So how do you create delicious food without dairy. The truth is that there are so many substitutes that you can use and still produce delicious sauces, drinks and desserts. Here is my short list:

Milk and Cream Substitutes – Use coconut or almond milk for baking; cashew milk and coconut are great in cuppas; and coconut or cashew ice creams or creams are great with fruit salad and desserts. These are all easy to make at home.

Butter Substitutes – I drizzle olive oil on toast and sprinkle with salt, or top with avocado or nut butter; cold pressed macadamia or coconut oil can be used in baking instead of butter; and for making pastries I used a combination of additive free lard and coconut oil.

Cheese Substitutes – Use macadamia cheese, basically process for a few seconds raw macadamia, lemon juice, savory yeast flakes (optional), onion powder and sea salt to get a crumbly cheese, great on salads, risotto, pizza and pasta. And you can make the most delicious ‘cheese’ sauce from either cauliflower or cashews.

I know that I will not be the only family that will be facing christmas on a restricted diet this year, and I’m sure some of you are feeling a little bit overwhelmed. So I’m looking forward to sharing some special recipes with you.

For more allergy friendly recipes please a favorite site of mine which is; Jo Whitton at www.quirkycooking.com.au to assist you with your diet needs.

GAPS (Gut and psychology syndrome) is a temporary diet, free from grains, sugar and starch and rich in foods with probiotics, healthy fats and amino acids, designed to heal the gut lining, re-balance intestinal flora and help with nutrient absorption.

Because the health of the brain depends on the health of the gut; once the gut lining is healed, improvements in chronic health problems including behavioral and mental issues may occur.

7 Signs Your Child May Need Probiotics

The health of the gut micro-flaura during the early years of life has widespread and long lasting consequences for babies and children’s well-being, but is easily compromised.

You’re probably aware that your intestinal tract is home to a large population of friendly bacteria, collectively referred to as your micro-flora.

But did you know that the well being of these beneficial bugs is even more important for kids than it is for adults. From the moment you are born and throughout childhood, your micro-flora are intimately involved in the development of your digestive and immune systems.

As a result, any form of imbalance that affects the ecology of the micro-flora during the formative early years of life can affect both short and long term health.

They were born via C-section

In newborns, the initial colonisation and subsequent development of the microflora is largely transferred from the mother, predominately as the baby moves through the birth canal.

Caesarean births are a godsend when required for the health of mother or child, but unfortunately prevent that initial transfer of the beneficial bacteria from occurring.

As a result, the guts of babies born via C-section contain lower proportions of the three beneficial Bifidobacterium species that normally form the foundations of the micro-flora (Bifidobaterium breve, B. infantis and B. longum) and relatively greater quantities of species with the potential to cause disease. In some studies, these micro-flora differences can still be detected at up to seven years of age.

To help promote the initial ioculation of the gut with beneficial bacteria, a specially formulated probiotic supplement containing B.breve, B.infantis and B. longum can be given to the infant and consumed by the breastfeeding mother.

Mum wasn’t in the best of health during pregnancy

Since much of a newborn’s micro-flora is maternal in its origin, any factors affecting mums microbial ecology may also be transferred to her child.

These issues appear to be particularly relevant for the children of women who experienced eczema, weight issues or blood sugar problems prior to or during pregnancy.

In such circumstances, the use of a probiotic supplement during pregnancy may help to support mum’s micro-flora, and consequently promote the establishment of healthy micro-flora in the infant, who may also benefit from direct supplementation after birth.

Early introduction of formula or solids

One of the reasons that breast milk is the preferred source of nutrition for babies is that it continues to introduce friendly flora into the baby’s intestinal tract after childbirth.

It’s also a rich source of oligosaccharides, a type of sugar known as a probiotic because it acts as a source of fuel for the Bifidobacterium species in the gut, enabling them to mature and develop.

The synergistic combination of probiotics and prebiotics in mothers’ milk helps furnish breast fed babies with optimal gut health, which further enhances their ability to properly metabolize the milk that forms their primary source of nutrition.

As the baby grows and develops, so does the micro-flora, which evolves over time to facilitate the digestion and assimilation of food sources other than breast milk.

The early introduction of formula or solids to supplement or replace breast milk is sometimes essential to help a child thrive and/or support mum’s well being. However, the early introduction of foods other than breast milk may also reduce the predominance of the beneficial Bifidobacterium species in the baby’s gut.

Luckily, research suggests that with supplementation of both probiotics and prebiotics, the gut micro-flora comes to resemble that of breastfed infants.

Exposure to antibiotics

The use of antibiotics is sometimes unavoidable, but in addition to helping to fight infection, they may also diminish the resilience and diversity of children’s micro-flora.

For mum’s who need to take antibiotics during the late stages of pregnancy or while breastfeeding, taking an antibiotic resistant probiotic supplement may help restore the micro-flora and facilitate its healthy transfer to the baby.

Similarly, babies and children who require antibiotic may benefit from the use of an antibiotic resistant probiotic supplement specially formulated for paediatric using during and after antibiotic treatment.

There’s a family history of allergies

Children who have a parent or sibling affected by allergies such as eczema, hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and asthma are 2-3 times more likely to develop allergies themselves than children without a family history or allergy.

Taking probiotic supplements may help reduce susceptible children’s likelihood of allergies by aiding the maturation of the immune system and reducing the risk of allergic reaction.

The World Allergy Organization recommends the use of probiotic suppliments during pregnancy, breastfeeding and infancy when there’s a history of allergy in the immediate family.

They keep catching colds

More than 70 percent of the body’s immune cells are found in the gut, where they strengthen resistance against disease and help fight off disease causing organisms.

Among other consequences for the immune system, if the bowel micro-flora is compromised, a child may have increased susceptibility to infections such as colds and flu.

Taking a children’s probiotic formula may help reduce kids’ and babies’ risk of experiencing upper respiratory tract infections such as colds, and decrease the risk of recurrence after an initial infection.

They’re constipated or experiencing tummy troubles

The bowel microflora help to maintain healthy functioning of the digestive system, so probiotic supplements may be beneficial for babies and children experiencing digestive difficulties such as colic, bloating, flatulence and gas.

They also help to improve bowel movements, and promote the normal transit of your stool through the gastrointestinal tract, so may help relieve constipation in the affected newborns, babies and children.

 

When choosing a probiotic supplement, look for a product with the following characteristics:

  • Specially developed for children and infants, from newborns and upwards
  • Also suitable for pregnant women and breast feeding mothers to optimise bacterial colonisation in their babies
  • Contains all three of the Bifidobacterium species that make up 90 percent of the microbiota of healthy, breat fed, newborn babies: Bifidobacterium breve, B.infantis and B. longum
  • Contains only clinically tested strains of the relevant species, each with a demonstrated ability to colonise the intestinal tracts of babies and children
  • Suitable for use during and after antibiotic therapy
  • Includes prebiotics such as inulin and pre-gelatinised rice starch to enchance the growth and establishment of the probiotic bacteria
  • Powdered formula, easily mixed with food or drinks for fuss free dosing
  • Dairy free formula, with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives
  • Product is refrigerated, optimizing the survival of the probiotic organisms during storage and use
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