Foods that positively impact gut health
- Yogurt contains prebiotics and probiotics which promote good bacteria growth in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Water keeps you hydrated, aids in digestion by helping move foods along and helps prevent constipation
- Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber. Apples, beans or fruits with skin aid in healthy digestion, and berries and tomatoes contain antioxidants. Parents can most effectively get their kids to eat fruits and vegetables by modeling behavior and being creative.
- Paired snacks like carrots and ranch or apples and peanut butter help kids feel full and energized from fat and protein.
- Low-fat cheeses are a good source of calcium if a child cannot tolerate milk. Cheese is naturally lower in lactose.
Foods that negatively impact gut health
- Foods containing dyes, like candy and bright colored snacks, tend to be unhealthy by nature. They usually contain a high amount of sugar and refined carbohydrates, which is not a good source of fiber.
- Sodium is stressful on the kidneys and can cause dehydration. It is hidden in processed foods like chips.
- Sauces like gravy, cheese dip and soy sauce have hidden sodium and unhealthy fat.
- Fried foods extract the nutritional value and don’t provide as many nutrients as their raw or baked counterparts, like a baked potato with skin versus french fries.
- Sugary drinks should be limited or avoided altogether. Sports drinks also contain sugar and are only meant for athletes after working out. Even with juice, it is better to eat an apple then to drink apple juice.
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