Kids and Fermented Foods
Introducing kids to probiotics is such an amazing thing you can do for their health! In our culture the art of fermented food and beverages is so rare but in other cultures it is thriving. Some of the greatest things in life are fermented... think wine, cheese, chocolate and coffee! But in order to get beneficial bacteria into our systems we need to be having a greater variety of probiotic rich foods every day... no that doesn't mean more wine and chocolate haha! The best thing to do is have a little bit of fermented vegetables with each meal, a glass of probiotic rich kefir (or a milk kefir smoothie), and to use condiments that have been preserved by inoculating them with good bacteria.
I know it sounds strange but humans have been doing this for thousands of years before supermarkets and factories ever existed. It's perfectly safe to make your own probiotics and much much cheaper than buying them in store. Plus you get greater numbers and more variety. I love this topic so much that I have created a video series showing how to make fermented foods. I wanted to provide my Little Mashies customers with this because it is so essential to good health and I think it's one of the most important elements of food being medicine.
Now.. to probiotics and kids! When a baby is born it is inoculated with the mothers beneficial bacteria as it travels down the birth canal. The human body is so smart that it sends extra good bacteria to those parts in the days leading up to the birth! After birth everything that comes into contact with bub helps provide the foundation of their micro-biome. It is a fantastic idea to have skin on skin contact, to breastfeed and to expose your little one to the natural environment outside so they can get a large variety of good buggies on them!
When introducing solids many people suggest adding a couple of drops of sauerkraut juice is one of the best things you can do for a baby to establish their good probiotic flora colonies. With my daughter (and myself) I started very slowly, using just a teaspoon at a time of probiotic rich food until our bodies could adjust to it. I suggest this is a good way to do it with your family too. Start slow and build up over the years.
The recipes in my DIY Probiotics book aim to give you a basic understanding of some of the things you can make that contain naturally occurring probiotics. It's very easy to purchase kefir grains, they are sold now in most health food stores and if you ask on Facebook generally someone in your network or community will have some that they can spare.
Please be aware with water kefir it is made with sugar but the probiotics consume almost all the sugar. It can have up to 3% alcohol content if you ferment it too long and with fruit. Milk Kefir probiotics feed off Lactose in milk. You can make it with other milks (nut milk, coconut milk etc) but you will need to put the kefir grains back into animal milk (cow, goat, buffalo, sheep etc) every few cycles so that they can feed.