6 Tips To Keep My Boys’ Gut Health Balanced
I’m Kate, a boy mom and former kindergarten teacher turned Head of Community and Education at Begin Health, a toddler and kids’ nutrition health company. With a Masters Degree in Inclusive Early Childhood and teaching for five years prior, I love sharing weekly activities for parents in our mom community to try with their kids without having to go out to buy new things! In addition to that, I am also into making healthier meals at home to keep these boys in my house strong and healthy along with truck races across our kitchen floor and chasing garbage trucks weekly. That’s just what a mom to boys does right? My workouts many days include running down streets for myself while chasing trucks for my boys’ imaginations. We call it a win win over here 🙂
Balancing Working From Home & Having Mom Self Care
Balancing working from home, having a baby and toddler home from preschool this year due to the pandemic, and having a husband working from home keeps our house just a little busy and well-lived in. Let’s not forget about our goldendoodle who has as much energy as a toddler 🙂 I’m all for activities, ideas, routines, meals, anything to keep our days easier and healthier.
If you’re at all like me, you can’t do it all. You want your kids to be healthy, but you can get overwhelmed with where to start. You need to dedicate time each day for yourself, but sometimes it just doesn’t end up like that. Eating all organic is very expensive, worrying about processed foods can be stressful, getting enough outside time and less tv time is a balancing act, and so on. We are imperfectly doing some things better some days than others, and that is okay!
How I’m Keeping a Pulse on My Kids’ Health
To make things short and sweet, I want to be healthy myself while also having healthy children. It’s hard to do it all, so I simply do not. However, I have found one simple way to learn if my kids are “healthy” and it is through bowel movements. I know, what a fun topic to talk about 🙂 Think of their little gut microbiome as the command center of their growing little body. It’s where 70% of our immune system lives, is linked to our cognitive development, and is a vital part of our digestive system which helps kids’ bodies working properly. In addition to running around our neighborhood and adding a fruit to snack time, I check their health through their bowel movements.
Through all the craziness this year has already brought, this simple check makes a world of difference since it can be an indicator of what is going on with the rest of their body. An easy way to know if your kid’s gut is operating well is to tell through the texture and consistency of their bowel movements. Do they have regular stools? Are they soft or does it hurt to go? These are easy ways to know if their insides are well working without putting more stress on parents since it’s easy to tell. A great way for our bodies as well, but we can talk about that another day 🙂
Some ideas I have learned to help both my boys’ gut health running (along with mine!)
- Adding a daily prebiotic to their diet that feeds the good bacteria already there (I use the same one they do.)
- Finding a fun water bottle for them, so they drink more water throughout the day
- Offering a fruit or veggie with their snack for added fiber to keep things moving
- Avoiding foods that are in bags and prepackaged when possible and just not buying them as often (Work your way to the packaged aisles at the store after stocking your cart with whole foods.)
- Switching to whole grains for bread, pasta, and crackers.
- Playing outside as much as possible and getting a good dose of sun (Vitamin D is so good for our mentality!)
As a busy mom that has slowly learned all about gut health through finding what I am so passionate about, please reach out to introduce yourself on Instagram at @begin.health or through email email@example.com because we love meeting new moms! We all need to keep our heads high, so let’s connect over our kids and laugh a little!
Kate Burton is the Head of Community and Education at Begin Health. Begin Health is a kids’ nutrition health company first focused on the gut microbiome and the maker of Begin Growing up Prebiotics, a prebiotic that uniquely incorporates a prebiotic found in breast milk for digestive and immune health. Kate is a boy mom to a toddler and baby and holds a Masters Degree in Inclusive Early Childhood from James Madison University.