There is scientific research stating that dietary fiber in the adult diet is beneficial for people’s gut health, but what about babies? Can dietary fiber have any positive effect on a child’s bowel health? As a matter of fact, yes.
It is even advised to add dietary fiber to baby formula for diarrhea treatment and prevention of other stomach disorders.
This might surprise you but diarrhea is one of the most dangerous bowel problems in babies, and scientists and doctors have been searching for some effective methods of prevention and treatment of diarrhea in infants and toddlers. Dietary fiber in organic baby formula is one of the solutions.
The Significance of Dietary Fiber in Organic Baby Formula
1. Organic Baby Formula
Baby food products are labeled “organic” in the European Union when at least 95% of the agricultural ingredients are organic, and the other 5% follow additional strict conditions set by the EU.
Organic formulas are produced from ingredients that come from organic farming, they are free of dangerous chemical fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, herbicides, pesticides, and GMOs.
To make sure all the conditions of organic or biodynamic farming and environmentally friendly production are met, baby formulas are tested and certified by serious organizations, such as the Demeter Association (the first organic farming association that has comprehensive international regulations for producing and processing organic foods) and Bioland (a federation of over 6200 companies dedicated to ecological farming in Germany), they can have the German organic seal or AB France Organic label.
Organic infant and toddler formulas – such as Hipp organic formula, löwenzahn organics infant formula, lebenswert bio infant formula, holle A2 formula, etc – are considered good nutrition for babies because their composition is very close to breast milk, they’re produced from high-quality organic ingredients, they have lower chances of causing obesity in children (because they’re free of sucrose, corn syrup, and additional sugar), and they are enriched with useful fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and prebiotics, etc.
When you’re giving organic formula milk or snacks to your little one, you can be certain of the quality of such baby food and rest assured that your baby gets all the needed nutrition for proper development.
2. Newborns have Sterile Intestinal Tract
Newborns appear in this world with a sterile intestinal tract because exposure to bacteria before birth is dangerous for a fetus. So, when a child is born, his/her microbiome is yet to be created.
Part of the microbes we all have in our bodies (good and bad) a baby receives from the mother with breast milk and part he/she gets from the environment and other people around.
Breastfeeding is essential for infants, as with human milk, they receive not only nutrition but also good microorganisms needed to digest food, form the immune system, and normalize other processes in our bodies.
After the birth of a baby, the process of colonization of his/her body with good and bad microbes starts. It lasts for years – a child only gets a stable and complex microflora by 3-5 years old.
While this microbiome, a community of microorganisms living in the baby’s body, isn’t yet fully formed, various health issues, including digestion problems, occur.
Such issues as diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, etc are common for children younger than 1 year. To cope with them, pediatricians and nutritionists often prescribe special baby formulas created specifically for infants and toddlers who have the mentioned digestion problems.
3. Dietary Fibers in Baby Formula
Except for probiotics and prebiotics found in most baby formulas, manufacturers started to also add dietary fibers that have shown effectiveness against some bowel problems.
This ingredient is still new and under research, however, the positive influence of adding fiber to infant formula and baby food is already proven.
For example, there is research that states that fermentable fiber can reduce the incidence of diarrhea in case of salmonella infection.
By the way, salmonellosis is a common and very dangerous disease for babies. As the babies’ immune and digestive systems are still forming, they often suffer from food poisoning and similar conditions.
The research shows that dietary fibers are fermented in a body into short-chain fatty acids that are good for the digestive tract, increase intestinal function, and promote resistance against pathogens.
Such an ingredient of formula milk, such as chicory root fiber has been under research for the last 20 years. And its prebiotic effect is clinically proven. You can find this ingredient in baby formulas listed as chicory root fiber, inulin, or oligofructose.
Organic baby formulas provide infants and toddlers with healthy and rich nutrition required for the proper development of all body systems.
One of the challenges that appear before the parents of newborns and infants is the variety of digestive problems in babies.
For years, doctors and scientists have been looking for an effective way of preventing and treating such bowel issues as diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, colic, etc.
To help babies cope with these problems, baby formula manufacturers added dietary fiber to formula milk for prebiotic effects. The research shows that fiber can be beneficial for a child’s gut health just as much as for an adult’s.