Background information: Why a Dysfunctional Gastrointestinal System May be the Cause of Your Symptoms
Infants and Toddlers present additional challenges when addressing gastrointestinal dysfunction. Firstly, they often do not have the skills or development to communicate that they are having gastrointestinal dysfunction. A baby may spit up frequently or be “gassy”, but often there are no clues that any gastrointestinal dysfunction is going on whatsoever. Often, the diagnosis is purely based on laboratory findings.
Secondly, infants and toddlers do not tolerate supplements in the same way that adults to. Thus, it is critical to use real, whole, natural superfoods as the mainstay of treatment.
Avoid – Be sure to avoid things that are (1) directly toxic, (2) pro-inflammatory, (3) poorly digestible, and (4) exacerbate the underlying microbiome imbalance
Grains and other poorly digestible carbohydrates
Antibiotics whenever possible
General dietary considerations – Babies require a HIGH-FAT diet. To support their rapidly growing brains and nervous system, babies are meant to drink milk, egg yolks, and animal meat, only then followed by increasingly digestible vegetables and fruits.
High fat/protein diet
Introduce foods at the right time
High quality (organic, free-range, no antibiotics or hormones, etc)
Probiotic Supplement – Infant and toddler probiotic supplements are available and designed for the unique flora that typically inhabits a child. They are important adjuncts to dietary therapy.
Natural Probiotic/Digestive Support – Focus on “superfoods” that are naturally provide extra digestive enzymes and/or friendly bacteria.
While at first, eating traditional foods is intimidating and requires some learning, the challenge of repairing your child’s gastrointestinal tract is of the upmost importance. The childhood conditions that plague our modern society, such as asthma, allergies, ADHD, and autism, are often at their core a dysfunction of the gastrointestinal system and the immune system, the two of which are intricately connected. Your child will be eternally grateful.