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How to feed your baby´s gut microbiome

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

Do you know what has the biggest impact on a healthy gut microbiota?

No, it’s not some fancy probiotic or supplement- its what we eat! It’s the FOOD we consume every day.

The same is true for babies.

The introduction of solid foods marks a big change in the community of microbes that live in a baby’s gut. Until now, your baby has only needed microbes that are able to digest milk, but slowly as different foods are added to the diet, the microbes need to be replaced by other species.

If there’s one thing you should remember its that microbiota DIVERSITY is good. We want lots of different types of good microbe species in our gut. It’s similar to any other ecosystem, such as the ocean or a jungle: a high biodiversity is a sign of a thriving and healthy ecosystem.

...a high biodiversity is a sign of a thriving and healthy ecosystem.

Research is showing quite clearly that our typical Western lifestyles do not promote diversity. Over the last decades the food we eat has become more processed, higher in fat and sugar and refined grains. People living in rural communities in Africa or South America eat very differently. They have high intakes of high fiber foods such as vegetables, grains and legumes. At the same time they have a much more diverse gut microbiota and less of the common illnesses we see today

Is it a coincidence? I don't think so. And neither does science.

Here’s some tips to support your baby’s healthy gut microbiome:

  • Let your child eat a variety of foods to increase microbial diversity

  • The first 3 years of life are the most important window of opportunity to establish a diverse microbiota

  • Try not to feed your baby just the same type of rice cereal. Offer your child a variety of grains and use a lot of whole grains

  • Start offering vegetables early on. Try to include a variety. If your baby refuses, don't give up. Keep trying. Repeated exposure is key

  • Don't forget legumes. Lentils, peas and chickpeas are wonderful sources of fiber, that will feed the important microbes. Not only that, they’re also full of protein.

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