As a parent, you prioritize your kids' optimum growth and healthy development. You try your best to provide your kids with proper nutrition by giving them healthy meals and snacks, as well as the right milk. However, digestive discomforts and issues can get in the way of proper nutrition.
There might be a lot of tummy questions in your head right now. Why is a healthy gut important in the overall development of your children? How does choosing the right milk improve kids' digestion? What can you do to keep your children's digestive systems healthy?
These tummy questions and more are in the Raising IQ and EQ Ready Kids podcast of Smart Parenting PH. Get to know more about kids' digestive health discomforts and how to gently deal with them, with ease!
Kids Digestive Health Issues 101 with a Pediatric Gastroenterologist
All parents advocate for their children's growth and development, and proper nutrition is the key. You always go the extra mile to prepare the right food and a balanced meal to make sure your kids get what they need. But digestive discomforts and issues often get in the way.
According to Dr. Angelica Mae Hilario, a pediatric gastroenterologist specializing in diet, and nutrition, digestive health concerns are common in children. Studies show that 50% of healthy Filipino children are prone to experience recurrent abdominal pain1. Dr. Hilario explained that digestive health concerns among children are often caused by (1) a sensitive tummy, (2) diet and lifestyle, and (3) lactose intolerance.
She emphasized the importance of paying attention to the digestive discomforts of children as these may affect learning abilities, mood, and development. This includes taking care of your kids' gut health to support their overall being. Keeping a child's gut healthy is important because it has many functions such as aiding digestion and the immune system, waste removal, and absorption of nutrients.2
Investing in your children's good gut health in their early years will also set them up for good health later in their lives. Learn more about kids' digestive and gut health by listening to our 2-Part podcast at Spotify: http://bit.ly/3Tc1DJA and Apple: http://bit.ly/3UztR27, in partnership with Smart Parenting PH.
How to Deal with Kids’ Digestive Health Issues
Various studies show that digestion issues differ depending on age:
1. Fussiness, colic, and diarrhea are common in kids aged one to three.2-3
2. Allergies, crying, gassiness / bloated feeling, and lactose malabsorption are the digestive discomforts experience by children three and above.2-3
In Episode 2, Part 2, Dr. Hilario shared tips on how to make a kid's gut healthy.
1. Avoid overeating or eating too fast - Overeating or eating too fast can lead to indigestion.
2. Avoid processed food - Diet drinks and artificial sweeteners can cause constipation and offset good bacteria population
3. Exercise - Releases endorphins to relieve stress that affects the gut, and can promote the evacuation of stool and gas.
4. Eat more fibrous food - Fiber promotes healthy digestive function. It helps regulate bowel movement and remove waste from your child's body.
5. Hydrate - Key in balancing the beneficial bacteria in the gut, as well as stomach acid levels to help break down, digest, and absorb nutrients. Together with fiber, it helps in stool evacuation.
6. Choose the right milk for your child, milk that is easy to digest and gentle on the tummy. Enfagrow Gentlease 3+ is big on the brain and easy on digestion*. It is made of PHP (Partially Hydrolyzed Proteins) which are proteins that are smaller than regular cow's milk; thus, making it easier for a kid's sensitive tummy to digest. It also contains 35mg/serving of DHA that help support brain development.
*with proper nutrition and stimulation
1. Sio-Aguilar J. MD et.al. Lactose Malabsorption Among Healthy Filipino Children. The Philippine Journal of Pediatrics, Vol 51. No 4 October-December 2002.
2. Importance of Good Gut Health in Children, available at https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/parenting/parenting-styles. Accessed on 09 January 2022.
3. IMF Patient Pathway March 2022 (consumer research, sample size of 670 moms with children under S1-S4 and includes 90 users of GI PHF formula)
4. Quantitative online digestive concerns survey. Moms with babies from 0-12 months. Intuit Research Agency. July 2019. Scope: MX, PH, TH, US, CN. N=200 per market