Helping Your Child’s Gut Bounce Back After Antibiotics

Last updated on November 28th, 2023 at 02:38 pm

If you’ve ever had to deal with the aftermath of your child taking antibiotics, you know how concerning it can be if they’re having stomach issues. Antibiotics can be necessary to fight bacterial infections, but they can also disrupt the delicate balance of gut bacteria, leading to digestive issues. As a holistic health coach specializing in children, I understand the importance of nurturing their overall well-being, especially when it comes to their gut health. 

Child enjoying outdoor activities

While my little one hasn’t needed antibiotics just yet, I’ve had to take them a few times over the years. When I do, I make sure to focus on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods to support my gut health and help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in my gut. Here are five holistic ways to help balance your child’s gut after they’ve taken antibiotics, with a focus on whole foods and natural remedies.

Five Common Signs that a Child’s Gut Might Need Healing

Digestive Issues: Persistent digestive problems such as frequent bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, or abdominal discomfort can be indicators of an imbalanced gut. These symptoms suggest that the gut microbiome may be disrupted and in need of support.

Food Sensitivities: If a child experiences recurrent food sensitivities or allergies, it could be a sign of an inflamed gut lining. An imbalanced gut can lead to increased permeability, commonly known as “leaky gut,” allowing undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream and trigger immune responses.

Weakened Immune System: A compromised gut health can weaken the immune system, making a child more susceptible to frequent infections, illnesses, and slow recovery. Recurring colds, respiratory issues, or infections may indicate that the immune system needs support through gut balancing.

Skin Issues: The gut-skin connection is well-documented, and skin conditions like eczema, rashes, acne, or dryness can be signs of an underlying gut imbalance. Inflammation within the gut can manifest as skin issues, emphasizing the importance of healing the gut for improved skin health.

Behavioral and Mood Disturbances: Surprisingly, an imbalanced gut can also impact a child’s behavior and mood. Studies have suggested a connection between gut health and conditions like anxiety, depression, irritability, or difficulty focusing. Addressing gut health may contribute to better emotional well-being.

It’s important to note that these signs can be indicative of various underlying issues, and a healthcare professional should be consulted for a proper diagnosis. However, paying attention to these signs can help you recognize the potential need for gut support in your little one.

Five Ways to Strengthen Your Child’s Gut

Probiotics and Fermented Foods

One of the most effective ways to restore healthy gut bacteria after a round of antibiotics is to add probiotics and fermented foods to your child’s diet. Probiotics are live bacteria that can help populate the gut with beneficial microbes, while fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and yogurt can provide a natural source of probiotics. 

Nourishing ginger bone broth soup

Bone Broth

Bone broth is a nutrient-dense food that can help heal the gut lining and reduce inflammation. It contains collagen, gelatin, and amino acids that are important for gut health. You can make bone broth at home by simmering bones from grass-fed animals for several hours, or you can buy bone broth from a health food store or online.

Fiber-Rich Foods

Fiber is important for digestive health because it feeds the good bacteria in the gut. Adding fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your child’s diet can help promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation. Some good sources of fiber include apples, bananas, berries, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, oats, quinoa, and brown rice.

Avoiding Processed Foods and Sugar

Processed foods and sugar can contribute to inflammation and disrupt the balance of gut bacteria, so it’s best to try to limit your child’s intake of these foods. Instead, focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These foods can help support your child’s immune system and overall health.

Fresh garlic, a natural remedies for gut healing

Prebiotic Foods

Prebiotics are a type of fiber that feed the good bacteria in the gut. Some good sources of prebiotics include onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, bananas, and oats. Adding these foods to your child’s diet can help promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and support overall digestive health.

In addition to these foods,  make sure to keep your little one well-hydrated and let them get plenty of rest. It’s important to give their bodies the time and resources needed to recover fully after taking antibiotics.

Healing a child’s gut after taking antibiotics is important for their overall health and well-being. By adding probiotics and fermented foods, bone broth, fiber-rich foods, prebiotic foods, and avoiding processed foods and sugar, you can help restore the balance of gut bacteria and support healthy digestion. 

Remember, everyone’s body is different, so it’s important to listen to your child’s body and do what works best for them. By focusing on whole, nutrient-dense foods and giving their body the care and attention it needs, you can support their gut health and overall well-being after taking antibiotics.

As always, it’s important to talk to your child’s healthcare provider before making any changes to their diet or health routine.

Images courtesy of Unsplash

Sources

Appleton, J. (2018, August). The gut-brain axis: Influence of microbiota on Mood and Mental Health. Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6469458/ 

De Pessemier, B., Grine, L., Debaere, M., Maes, A., Paetzold, B., & Callewaert, C. (2021). Gut–skin axis: Current knowledge of the Interrelationship between microbial dysbiosis and skin conditions. Microorganisms9(2), 353. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020353 

Ou, Y. (n.d.). The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis: The Development of the Gut Microbiota and Mental Health over the First 14 Years of Life. https://doi.org/10.18174/584630 

Rapin, J. R., & Wiernsperger, N. (2010). Possible links between intestinal Permeablity and food processing: A potential therapeutic niche for glutamine. Clinics65(6), 635–643. https://doi.org/10.1590/s1807-59322010000600012 

Sudo, N. (2015). Brain–Gut Axis and gut microbiota: Possible role of gut microbiota in childhood mental health and diseases. Journal of Pediatric Biochemistry05(02), 077–080. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0035-1564579 

Wei, L., Singh, R., Ro, S., & Ghoshal, U. C. (2021). Gut microbiota dysbiosis in functional gastrointestinal disorders: Underpinning the symptoms and pathophysiology. JGH Open5(9), 976–987. https://doi.org/10.1002/jgh3.12528 

Zheng, D., Liwinski, T., & Elinav, E. (2020). Interaction between microbiota and immunity in health and disease. Cell Research30(6), 492–506. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41422-020-0332-7 


Order supplements through my Fullscript store.

Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.

Disclosure: If you make a purchase through one of my links, I may earn an affiliate commission. It’s at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting this blog.

Welcome! It is so great to have you here. As a Certified Health Coach and Nutrition Consultant, my mission is to support you in achieving a healthy pregnancy. Whether you are ready to prepare your body for pregnancy, aiming for a smooth and healthy nine months, or seeking support in your postpartum recovery. I also help parents and their young children embrace nutritious eating and a healthy lifestyle. I provide practical advice and support to help you meet your goals: from getting your body ready for pregnancy, to enjoying a healthy pregnancy journey, and nurturing your children’s well-being. As a mom myself, I’ve gone through it and I understand your aspirations and the hurdles you might face. Let’s partner together to create a healthy journey into parenthood.