Toddler tummy

Dietary fibres known as ‘prebiotics’ can help with toddler tummy comfort. Susie Burrell, Paediatric Dietitian, deciphers prebiotics and how they can help with your toddler’s digestion.

Tummy comfort for toddlers

Tummy comfort for toddlers is a topic on many mums’ minds. Wind and infrequent or difficult-to-pass stools can cause ongoing issues for mums and toddlers.

In recent years there has been interest in the role of a type of dietary fibres known as ‘prebiotics’ in promoting tummy comfort. Here we explain them and how they can help with your toddler’s digestion.

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are a group of fibres found primarily in fruits, vegetables, grains and beans that help to promote the growth of ‘good bacteria’ in the digestive tract. They are also found in wheat bran, legumes (lentils, chick peas, kidney beans), rye-based crackers and breads and bananas.

A good intake of fruits, vegetables and legumes is important to ensure your toddler is naturally getting a good intake of prebiotics.

Maintaining a balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract is crucial as it helps to support immune function and nutrient absorption.

How do prebiotics work?

When we consume prebiotics, these special fibres remain partially undigested and feed the good bacteria found naturally in the digestive tract. This encourages further growth of these good bacteria which is important for your toddler’s digestive system.

Prebiotics also help to soften poo, allowing it to move through the digestive system more easily. This means more frequent, more easily passed, poo. That’s good news for toddlers, and their families!

Options to help increase your toddler’s intake of prebiotics

Try these easy menu suggestions to increase prebiotics in your toddler’s diet:

  • High fibre cereals for breakfast
  • A banana for morning or afternoon tea
  • High fibre bread for sandwiches and toast
  • Adding lentils to soups or mince dishes

These will all naturally boost your toddler’s intake of prebiotics.

Susie Burrell, Paediatric Dietitian
B.Nutr & Diet (Hons), BSc (psych)(Hons)


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