Years ago our two sons were dealing with a variety of sensory issues that manifested themselves as Asperger Syndrome, speech issues, and behavioral problems. Then we were blessed to meet Diane Craft at a homeschool conference. As my husband and I sat through Diane’s presentations, we were amazed at how perfectly she connected all these seemingly unrelated issues we had been seeing in our children to a simple explanation; an overpopulation of bad bacteria and yeast in their guts. More importantly, she provided a simple diet plan she had used with other families to heal these same types of issues.
Within two months of our boys being on the diet, people were asking us what happened to our oldest, who had been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome just a few years prior. He was calm! And our younger son’s speech suddenly improved. We realized we needed to maintain a healthy gut to keep these issues from returning.
Maintaining a healthy gut takes a three-pronged approach: feeding the good bacteria in your gut; avoiding foods that destroy the good bacteria; and eliminating foods that aid destructive bacteria. Fortunately, God has supplied mankind with all the food our bodies need to feed healthy bacteria. Eating foods rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and good fats—while avoiding overly processed foods filled with sugars and simple carbohydrates that lack natural forms of vitamins and minerals—is the key to maintaining a healthy gut that optimizes your child’s ability to learn and successfully confront everyday issues.
Here are 30 foods to improve your children’s gut health. Enter the recipe names in the search bars of the respective websites to see the full recipes.
(1) Chocolate Avocado Smoothie: Avocados are filled with easy-to-absorb vitamins and minerals, and are high in enzymes that carry toxins out of the body, and particularly the digestive system. DoctorOz.com
(2) Chocolate Pecan Granola: Pecans promote colon health because of their high fiber content and anti-inflammatory properties. WithAllYourLife.com
(3) Cinnamon Coconut Flour Coffee Cake: Not only does cinnamon help to naturally control blood sugar levels, but it also attacks bad yeast in the gut, reduces irritable bowel syndrome, and increases attentiveness, memory, and cognitive development. TheCoconutMama.com
(4) Cheese & Spinach Omelet: Spinach is loaded with vitamins and fiber and is especially efficient at oxidizing free radicals in the colon. MarthaStewart.com
(5) Blueberry, Banana & Flax Smoothie: Flax is the richest plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help tremendously with memory functions and brain cell formation. WholeFoodsMarket.com
(6) Oven Popover Eggs are high in choline, an essential component the brain needs to create strong signals and build cell membranes. WithAllYourLife.com
(7) Coconut Flour Carrot Muffins: Coconut flour is helpful for maintaining healthy gut bacteria because of its natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, and for aiding in cell growth and repair throughout the body. WellFedHomestead.com
(8) Apple Pannekoeken: Apples have been proven to raise neurotransmitter levels in the brain, which helps with memory, mood stabilization, and stress control. Cooks.com
(9) Banana Oat Muffins: Bananas increase the body’s serotonin levels, improving mood. They soothe the digestive tract and help to boost good bacteria in the gut. CookieandKate.com
(10) Baked Oatmeal: Oats not only boost energy levels, but also are effective in helping with digestion because of their unique blend of soluble and insoluble fibers.YourHomeBasedMom.com
(11) Roasted Lentils: Lentils help with digestion regulation, make the body feel full longer, and feed healthy gut bacteria. EdiblePerspective.com
(12) Chocolate Peanut Butter Sugar Plums: Chocolate contains a flavonoid that increases cellular signals in the brain. When eaten with prebiotic food, it increases how effectively the body feeds its good gut bacteria. WithAllYourLife.com
(13) Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix: Pumpkin seeds are high in omega-3s and in zinc, a mineral in which many children with learning issues are deficient. CinnamonSpiceandEverythingNice.com
(14) Coconut Oil Chia Bars: Chia seeds have a unique blend of omega-3s, fiber, and protein that help to detoxify the gut and decrease inflammation in the digestive tract. WithAllYourLife.com
(15) Yogurt Berry Popsicles: Berries tend to have few natural sugars, making them perfect for adding color to kids snacks without the worry of chemicals or artificial sugars. CleanEatingMag.com
(16) Hummus Dip with Carrot Sticks: Recent research has shown that many children with learning issues have diminished eyesight. Carrots, with their high levels of Vitamin A, are great for your child’s eye health. AltonBrown.com
(17) Kale Chips: The benefits of kale are that it contains phytonutrients which boost memory, improve brain performance, and stabilize behavioral functions. SteamyKitchen.com
(18) “Cheesy” Popcorn Topped with Brewers Yeast: Brewers/nutritional yeast has a cheesy taste that kids love. It contains high levels of vitamins that increase brain vitality and stabilize mood levels. GimmeSomeOven.com
(19) Yogurt and Fruit Parfaits: Yogurt sold with “live and active cultures” helps to increase the amount of good bacteria in the gut. FoodNetwork.com
(20) Grain-Free Pumpkin Cookies: Pumpkin is a great food that aids in a healthy immune system so kids have fewer sick days and more days to learn. TheHealthyHomeEconomist.com
Lunch or Dinner:
(21) Smoked Salmon Frittata Bites: Salmon increases a child’s ability to focus. Research has proven that children who eat salmon on a regular basis show a decrease in ADHD symptoms. cupcakesandcashmere.com
(22) Chicken Bone Broth Soup with Zucchini Noodles: Bone broth, made over a 12- to 24-hour period, is touted as the most healing food for the body. In relation to gut health, bone broth has been proven to heal and seal gut lining that has been damaged by long-term abuse of consuming processed foods. Inspiralized.com and WithAllYourLife.com for the bone broth recipe.
(23) BLT Lettuce Wrap: Tomatoes reduce stress, improve eyesight, and aid in brain cell regeneration. BreakingMuscle.com
(24) Sweet Potato Turkey Meatballs: Sweet Potatoes reduce brain fog caused by inflammation in the brain. Food.com
(25) Cold Fermented Thai Peanut Butter Noodles: Peanuts contain many minerals essential to generating new cells in growing children. Plus, the added benefit of fermented peanut butter is having a probiotic-packed food children love. WithAllYourLife.com
(26) Chickpea Pepperoni Soup: Chickpeas are considered a gut healing food as they not only help with digestion but also work to balance our pH level and bacteria in the gut. WithAllYourLife.com
(27) Sprouted Chicken Quesadilla: Sprouted grains are easy to digest and offer more readily available minerals like zinc and magnesium, in which children who experience learning issues often are deficient. OMamas.com
(28) Creamy Healing Broccoli Soup: Broccoli contains many phytonutrients which help to naturally detoxify the body and gut without the use of a harsh diet. MegUnprocessed.com
(29) Fresh Bean Sprout Spring Rolls: Bean sprouts are high in fiber and rich in minerals which improve brain development in children. WhiteonRiceCouple.com
(30) Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chili Beans: Pinto beans naturally detoxify the gut from sulfates most commonly found in processed meats, creating a healthier gut in which good bacteria thrives. SproutedKitchen.com