By Sybille Kraft Bellamy

The human digestive tract contains about 500 types of stomachprobiotic bacteria.

These “good” or “friendly” bacteria help support the growth and repopulation of the healthy gut flora in the lower gastro intestinal tract. They protect against “bad” or pathogenic bacteria and help the gut immune system to develop. Healthy bacteria also produce essential vitamins, which have an important nutritional value.

To keep our children’s gut flora healthy and populated with probiotic bacteria, it is essential to give them a diet rich in prebiotic food. Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients, which feed the probiotic bacteria that live in our digestive tract.

It is key to vary food choices and offer a variety of gut boosting prebiotic ingredients to keep our children healthy. The more prebiotic food you offer the more probiotic strains bacteria they will have.

Studies show how children loose bacteria strains from the time they are born to the time they start eating solid food.
Too much sugar and not enough fibers in their diet weaken the gut flora, by lowering the diversity of the probiotic bacteria.

To improve your child’s flora you can supplement their diet with a probiotic – one of my favorites is from the Theralac Company. It is highly recommended to alternate probiotic supplements and strains to obtain a more diverse flora. Make sure you check their quality and potency. They should be shelf stable, bile resistant and a good description of the strains should be provided.
The other easy way to keep the probiotics well balanced is through diet. Yogurts are excellent for those who can tolerate dairy. Goat and sheep yogurt have extra form of probiotics, lactobacillus, acidophilus, bifidus, bulgaricus, thermophillus. Make sure they are free of sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. Cultured butter and sour cream are great too.
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Microalgae are another option. They are easy to include in your meals. Spirulina chorella, for instance, can be mixed with food. It has very little taste and cannot be detected. Organic Miso is also wonderful to prepare broth, soup and to cook with vegetables or meat.

A good choice of fruit, vegetables, whole cereals and legumes will provide the probiotic with the necessary energy to remain balanced. Insoluble fermentable fibers are not digested; they support the growth of the flora, enhance the immune system function and help calcium absorption.

Children receiving the LGIT must follow a well- controlled diet. The low amount of carbohydrates allowed must include a rich ratio of fibers.

I hope this information will support you and your child in having a successful year at school!