5 Ways to Boost Your Kid's Gut Health
If you want to set him up for a lifetime of good health, it’s essential to bolster the bacteria in his belly. As a microbiologist and a mom, I’ve got five science-based strategies for doing just that. I spend my weekdays studying the human microbiome (a fancy word for the trillions of bacteria that inhabit the human gastrointestinal tract) and examining how dietary choices, antibiotic use, and other factors affect it. Weighing in at a whopping 3 to 5 pounds per person, these bacteria help control the immune system, determining things such as whether your child has an allergic reaction to a peanut and how effectively she fights off a cold virus. In addition, the microbiome is involved in regulating metabolism and weight gain, and may be wired to the brain—meaning that it could influence mood and potentially protect your child from mental-health disorders such as autism or depression. Needless to say, these findings have impacted the way my husband (who, like me, works as a microbiologist at Stanford University) and I are raising our daughters, Claire, 10, and Camille, 7. We’ve also written about it in our book, The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-Term Health.
Keywords - Parenting