Poop! What a messy topic to talk about. From colour to consistency, here’s what you need to look out for in a healthy poop.
Poop, stool colour and consistency are not a usual topic of conversation… until you become a parent, that is. All of a sudden, you find yourself studying dirty diapers and googling ‘is green poop normal?’
Why? Because our child’s gut health isn’t typically prioritised in our parenting journey compared to other aspects of their physical health and development. However, believe it or not, maintaining a healthy gut from a young age helps children grow up happy and healthy.
Don’t just take our word for it. Hear it from Friso, a trusted nutrition formula milk brand with over 150 years of Dutch dairy expertise, that has been advocating for good gut health in young children.
A healthy gut from the start
We absorb almost all of our nutrients through the gut, so children get most nutrition out of the food they eat when their guts are healthy. As a result, it is important to maintain good gut health from a young age. This is in fact the focus of this year’s World Digestive Health Day, ‘A Healthy Gut from the Start’.
Good Poop Matters, Baby!
Friso has been advocating the importance of good poop, because poop is a physical indicator that us parents can use to easily tell if our child has good digestive health. In 2020, Friso Good Poop Matters, Baby! was launched by Friso to raise awareness on the importance of good gut health in young children through a variety of educational and lifestyle initiatives.
In line with this year’s World Digestive Health Day theme, Friso continued to drive home this message by sponsoring a fun, interactive and educational event called The Great Digestion Adventure.
The Great Digestion Adventure is organised by homegrown experiential events company, Flash Concepts, and is the largest brand activation since the launch of Friso Good Poop Matters, Baby!
This year, to help our little ones learn more about their digestive system, Friso recruited troopers (kids) to join Trooper Pooper to be part of the adventure. At the event, families got to learn about the functions of key organs involved in the process of digestion, and how absorption of nutrients is vital in ensuring a healthy, functional body.
How your little troopers can achieve good gut health
Dr Petrina Wong, a Consultant Paediatrician at the Petrina Wong Clinic for Children Respiratory and Sleep, says that the gut is a complex system to understand and the first step to having a healthy gut microbiome starts with understanding how it works. As a member of the Friso Good Poop Advisory Panel, she emphasised that the quality of a child’s bowel movements, as reflected in the consistency and type of stool, holds vital clues about their gut health.
If you missed out on all the fun at The Great Digestion Adventure, here are some tips from Dr Wong to improve your gut.
Besides a healthy, nutritious diet, other crucial factors that contribute to maintaining good digestive health are:
Hydration: Adequate water intake plays a significant role in promoting healthy digestion and regular bowel movements. It keeps stools soft and facilitates smooth passage through the digestive tract.
Restful Sleep: The importance of a good night’s sleep cannot be underestimated. Sufficient sleep supports the gut’s microbiome, vital in digestive, metabolic, and immune functions.
Physical Activity: Staying active promotes food movement through the gastrointestinal tract. The more we move, the more our intestines move, ensuring efficient digestion.
The consequences of poor gut health
Dr Wong added that poor gut health can have short and long-term consequences on a child’s well-being, impacting their appetite, energy levels, and growth. She elaborated, “Another potential impact is on a child’s mental health, as gut troubles may increase the risk of mood disturbances such as anxiety and depression.”
To prevent this, families can embrace this holistic approach that encompasses nutrition, hydration, restful sleep, physical activity, and a touch of parental intuition, we can lay a strong foundation for our children’s growth and development.
This post is in partnership with Friso.