If you have a baby, your plate is definitely full. But there are some things to keep in mind that can affect the future health of your child.
Donna Gates, an expert in digestive health, diet and nutrition and the international best-selling author of The Body Ecology Diet: Recovering Your Health and Rebuilding Your Immunity, has a few bits of advice.
Breast Milk Is Key
Gates says it is important that mothers feed infants breast milk as the sugars in the breast milk are prebiotic in that they are feeding the beneficial microbes that the baby has growing in his or her stomach.
“They’re also sugars and real mucous-y, as they should be, but they’re coating the lining of the intestines to protect from viruses and pathogens getting into the baby and killing the baby,” she says. “Those milk and sugars are good and milk is the first food.”
And Veggies, Too
In addition to milk, Gates says the next food a baby should have is plant-based food. Vegetables should be softly cooked and mushed up or blended into a smoothie.
“Really, at the beginning of life, babies don’t just have to have breast milk,” she says. “They do need plant foods next and that’s growing a healthy microbiome right from the beginning of life.”
Feed Fermented Coconut Water
“We like to give them the juice of the fermented coconut water from the very beginning of life to put good bacteria in their gut, or the juice of unfermented vegetables, diluted, early on to put good bacteria in the babies’ gut,” she says. “If people did that, we wouldn’t accumulate all that awful stuff in the intestines that is why we age. What is aging? Well we have cells that are not nourished well anymore and they’re toxic, so a lot of that toxicity is coming from the gut and the fact that we aren’t being nourished is because the gut’s not working properly. If you start life, you’re very fortunate, or your baby is very fortunate to be able to start off and eat these right foods and fermented foods from the very beginning of his life and protect his gut, because it is the center of all health. I’m always excited for parents to know this for our children.”