Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Keeping Kids Gut Healthy #BioGaiaProbiotics

When our kids are infants, we moms talk about poop a lot. Usually it's to complain about the number of diapers we're dealing with, the smell, the mess, and often we just can't help but share the hilarious story of little Mary's latest diaper explosion. But there are a lot of questions and comparisons as well. We worry over frequency, consistency, colour, and watch our little dears for signs of discomfort. As the kids get older, we talk about their bowel movements a lot less, probably because we no longer have to deal with them so intimately, but also because our older kids can use their words to tell us about any health issues and we no longer have to rely on diaper evidence to clue us in.

I've been wondering about Boo's gut health for a while now, although I don't often compare notes with my mom friends any more. He spends an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom (even when he doesn't bring the tablet in with him), and complains when I try to rush him out that he feels like he isn't done yet, although nothing is happening. I try to keep him hydrated, and he certainly eats a lot of fruits and vegetables. He loves cheese and milk, so I wonder if there's too much of that in his diet. Basically I have a lot of questions, and am looking for some answers, to help him "go" more easily.



So, I attended a free educational event a couple of weeks back, hosted by naturopath Bryce Wylde and nutritionist Julie Daniluk. “BioGaia®: The Pros of Probiotics for Children” focused on the benefits of daily probiotic supplements for children, as well as the importance of overall healthy eating. We learned so much about gut health and supporting a strong immune system in our infants and kids, and I was truly surprised by some of the research findings on probiotics that the presenters shared.
Gorgeous, fresh ingredients for a healthy Shepherd's Pie
First things first though - what exactly are probiotics? Simply put, they are naturally occurring, health-promoting, good bacteria that live in our bodies, working to maintain and restore balance in the gut (or intestines). It follows then that they are intimately involved in our digestive health, so when I got an invite to this event it seemed so timely for us. But 80% of our immune system is based in our gut, and research has shown that probiotics are involved in other areas as well, including neurological and mood disorders, stress, and more.  Some research has even shown that probiotics can help combat food intolerances and allergies, either eradicating or lessening the symptoms felt. And probiotics even impact ADHD and depression.

Some other interesting tidbits from the session:

  • infants born by C-section miss their first exposure to probiotics through the bacteria present in the vaginal canal, and are more pre-disposed to ADHD, psoriasis, and other immune issues
  • probiotics are beneficial in treating colic in babies
  • apples are a great source of pre-biotics (fibres which feed probiotics) and can help regulate estrogen levels (peri-menopause gal's ears perked right up!)
  • Omega 3 lubricates the bowel and so it can help with constipation
  • ground flax seed is also great for fighting constipation
  • probiotics can help with stress response and even work to end night terrors in children

Nutritionist Julie Daniluk
Wow. Basically probiotics are key to keeping our systems in balance and our immune systems healthy. And when we are eating well and living well, things tend to go well. But things can push us out of balance, like a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics are a critical treatment for many illnesses, and both presenters supported their use of course, but they do kill off probiotics in our gut. Did you know it can take 12-24 months for our bodies to recover our probiotic levels after just one round of antibiotics? In those cases it is really beneficial to take a probiotic supplement, like BioGaia.

BioGaia® is a natural product that works by boosting the number of good bacteria in your child’s digestive tract. BioGaia® Probiotic Sugar-Free Chewable Tablets have been shown by clinical study to reduce colic in children by 70%. Furthermore, infants taking BioGaia® Probiotic Drops cried less after just 1 week. We received samples of both formats, and Boo has been taking the tablets each morning.

So, have we noticed any differences after taking BioGaia for a couple of weeks? Boo is still not a fan of discussing his bathroom time, but I have noticed that when I get to the point I feel he should be done, and I call out to him, his response has changed. Now he's at the wiping stage when I intervene, not the still trying stage. I think that's great progress!!

I can't do justice to all the great information and tips we got at the event. It was live-broadcast and recorded though, so if you missed it, or want to re-watch, the video is available online at BioGaia.ca. I also encourage you to check out Julie's website for delicious and healthy recipes at JulieDaniluk.com.

You can keep connected with BioGaia® Canada at:


Disclosure: This post is brought to you by BioGaia Canada. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own. 

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