This post was written in partnership with Evivo. All opinions are my own.
We are well and truly into the holiday season now, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve been overindulging in all sorts of holiday treats! Who can resist those delicious baked goods this time of year, eh? But I must admit that every year around this time, I start thinking ahead toward the new year, when I know I’m going to have a ton of regrets about all the excess calories I’ve taken in. For me, it’s especially difficult because I suffer from chronic IBS, which means when I eat badly, I suffer. My kids unfortunately take after me in that regard, and so we are extra vigilant when it comes to gut health.
You may have heard talk about the importance of digestive health in magazines and on TV. Recent advances have meant that we have a much better understanding of how our gut can play a huge role in our overall wellness. Keeping our digestion working well is so important – and not just for grown ups! Kids are especially in need of guidance on good nutrition, as what we teach them now will inform their health for the rest of their lives! Even babies can benefit from setting nutritional goals. Read on to find out exactly what you can do to help your entire family work toward better immunity, better health and an overall better life.
Babies and Supplements
When it comes to babies, we know that all a baby needs to survive their first year is milk. Though most parents begin weaning at around the six month mark, the truth is that a baby would do just fine on breastmilk or formula alone. In more recent years, pediatricians have been advising mothers to supplement with Vitamin D drops, a suggestion borne of the fact that most infants do not get enough sunlight, and there has been a rise in cases of rickets. The idea of supplementing babies may have seemed crazy a few years ago, but now it’s advice regularly given to new moms.
With the focus on gut health, there have been amazing advances for ensuring every new baby gets a great start in life – specifically, I am talking about probiotics. This has been a huge buzzword for health-conscious people for the last decade or so, and it is a huge boon for those who suffer from digestive discomfort. One of the main reasons we suffer from gut issues is that over the last century there has been a huge surge in antibiotic use, as well as record numbers of C-sections. Babies born of C-section are missing out on the good bacteria that would normally be transferred to them during vaginal birth.
There is a very specific bacteria that all babies used to be born with. That bacteria is B. infantis, the key good bacteria that digests special nutrients in breast milk and protects baby’s gut. Now, 90% of babies are born without this bacteria, which allows the bad bacteria to thrive – particularly those linked to a higher risk of autoimmune and metabolic issues.
Evivo is a clinically proven probiotic specifically made for babies. Simply mix it with a few mL of breast milk, and feed it to your baby once a day. They can take it from day one, and it can help boost immunity and guard against colic, eczema, allergies, diabetes, and obesity! After all, it’s not enough for our babies just to survive. We want them to thrive! Supplementing with Evivo will help give them the best start in life.
Picky Eaters and High Fiber Veggies
As parents, we know that what we feed our children is important. But we so often end up serving them meals based on convenience and avoiding meltdowns rather than foods that really benefit them. Like most young kids, my sons would live on chicken nuggets and mac & cheese if I let them. But ensuring your children have regular servings of high fiber fruits and vegetables will help keep their digestive tract running smoothly and boost their vitamin intake, helping them stay healthier.
But what do you do when your kids are the pickiest of eaters? Children are naturally skeptical when introduced to new foods, and never is this more apparent than when they are given healthy vegetables. Sweeter veggies like carrots or sweet potatoes can make it easier, but what about when you want them to try spinach or kale? The yuck factor is high due to the bitter taste of most greens, but you can easily get creative in sneaking them into healthy snacks.
One great way to do it is to have a few smoothie recipes on hand. Toss your spinach into the blender with a couple of bananas, some peanut butter, a bit of yogurt and some ice, and you’ve got a tasty snack that your kids will love. We call them “milkshakes” just to make them that much more appetizing, and the kids never even realize they are enjoying something so healthy.
Moms and Empty Snacking
This time of year, with holidays and parties all around us, it is easy to indulge our sweet tooth or eat more than we would normally. It can be somewhat forgiven when we realize that pretty much everyone is doing it. But a lot of parents find that their empty snacking habits are infiltrating their everyday lives.
So often I will eat far more than I realize during meal time because I’m unconsciously tasting as I go. While I prepare family meals, I may eat bits of the ingredients as I add them. I then taste test each stage of the meal as it’s cooked. Once dinner is served, I will usually give myself a much larger serving than I give the kids, and I think nothing of finishing my whole plate. Then, as everyone finishes up and leaves the table, I may even look around at half-eaten plates of food and start finishing what my children left behind. All of this may or may not be followed by a rich dessert I’ve made or bought, and once again I’ll eat what my children don’t finish. With late night snacks and other daily opportunities for treats, it’s no wonder I’m constantly bloated and irritable!
As parents, we need to set a good example to our kids by watching our food intake and choosing healthier options when snacking. Between corn chips and air-popped popcorn, there’s a huge calorie and nutritional difference. We sometimes pair a healthy option – such as apple slices – with an unhealthy option – such as caramel dip! We think we’re being healthy by eating fruit, but all of our hard work is negated by the sugar we’re ingesting.
Once again, keeping high fiber and low fat snacks on hand is important for adults to keep healthy. Giving our bellies what they need instead of what our brain is craving is so helpful in keeping us on track in meeting our nutritional goals.
There are so many ways to be healthy, and with only a few simple changes, you can find your quality of life improving exponentially. Start your babies out on the right track by supplementing with Evivo probiotics. Give your older kids high-quality high fiber fruits and veggies. And make sure you’re leading by example, making good food choices that your children can see.
Special thank you to Evivo, who were kind enough to send me some of their product to try! I can’t tell you what a difference it’s made in my baby. Wilder was having daily diaper blowouts, and we changed diaper brands and sizes half a dozen times before we realized it wasn’t the problem. The problem was his gut! Literally the day after we started using Evivo, he stopped having blowouts, and his diaper changes became much more manageable! I am so happy to have discovered this product!
If you are looking for some great ideas on healthy family meals, check out some of the below recipes.