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Cute Toddler Boy

Understanding the Importance of Toddlers’ Gut Health

Escrito por: Christian Kent Aguillon



Tiempo de lectura 7 min

In the journey of early childhood development, there is a profound and often underestimated aspect that plays a big role in shaping a child's overall well-being – our toddlers’ gut health. The digestive system , particularly in toddlers , serves as a foundation for numerous aspects of growth and development, influencing not only physical health but also cognitive and immune functions.

Our resident pediatrician shared a story about a 15-month old toddler named Emma. About two months ago, Emma began experiencing frequent stomachaches, bloating, and occasional irregular bowel movements. Her parents noticed she was becoming increasingly fussy and had difficulty sleeping.

After consulting with our trusted pediatrician, they discovered Emma had an imbalance of gut bacteria . The pediatrician recommended dietary changes, including the introduction of prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods and a great milk formula that’s safe for all toddlers around Emma’s age to help restore balance and improve her gut health.

As parents and caregivers, understanding the significance of toddler gut health becomes paramount in providing the best possible start for our little ones.

In this blog, we’ll learn some facts and a simple breakdown of tips on keeping their gut healthy during the critical early years of a child's life and explore how it sets the stage for a lifetime of well-being.

Why Toddlers Gut Health Matters

From the moment they're born, your little one’s little bellies also start to build up, welcoming a whole bunch of tiny organisms that set up this thing called the microbiome. And guess what, nearly all of them—like 99%—hang out in their stomach!

These tiny bacteria in our gut, known as microflora aka your little one’s “tummy helpers", aren't just hanging out; they're actually helping their immune system get stronger and making their gut defense team even better. However, if the balance of these little guys in your toddler’s belly goes haywire, it could throw off this super important partnership between their guts and immune system. So, keeping toddlers’ gut health and their diet in check is super important for us.

Babies are born with a sterile gut, and their intestinal bacteria begin to develop right after birth. Gut health is influenced by diet, exposure to germs, and antibiotic use. By the age of three, a child's gut microbiome is similar to an adult's and remains relatively stable for life eventually.

Dad and toddler eating snacks

Foods to Promote Gut Health for Kids

Navigating our toddlers’ gut health can often feel like solving a complex puzzle, especially when it comes to enhancing their immune system via gut health. Here are some digestible, actionable tips.

Prebiotics Are Your Friends

Think of these as star nutrients for your kid's gut. Foods like garlic, onions, bananas, and oats are not just nutritious; they're prebiotic powerhouses. They feed the good bacteria and help keep your child's digestive system happy. Apart from straight-up giving them prebiotic and probiotic drinks, sneak prebiotics into meals, like a banana in the morning oatmeal, and you're off to a great start!

Prebiotic foods

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and miso are like sending in reinforcements for your toddlers’ gut health. They're packed with good bacteria that help balance their tiny gutties. And if your kiddo is a bit picky, probiotic supplements might just be the answer.

Oh, and if your child tends to steer clear of milk because of lactose intolerance, they might still get along just fine with yogurt. The friendly bacteria in it are kind of like little helpers, breaking down the lactose so it's easier to digest.

berries on yogurt

High-fiber Foods

Got a picky eater? No worries! Boost fiber intake with kid-friendly options: crunchy carrots with hummus, steamed edamame, black bean quesadillas with creamy avocado in whole-grain tortillas, fresh fruits like apples with skin or slices of juicy oranges, and add in whole-grain crackers with almond butter. All of these tips are to ensure you sneak in ample fiber into their meals and snacks!

Hummus with Carrots


Even the best diets can sometimes lack certain nutrients, making supplements a valuable addition to support your child's immune system. Key nutrients to consider include prebiotics, Vitamin B, protein which bolster the immune system, and organically sourced ingredients which are very safe for digestion and nutrient absorption; and Calcium, essential for maintaining the inner lining of a healthy digestive system. These supplements ensure your child’s gut and overall health remain strong and resilient.


Processed foods and artificial flavors: It’s a no-no

Reduce consumption of processed and artificially sweetened foods. Watch what your toddlers drink. Look for a milk that has no artificial ingredients, no added sugar and empty calories. A diet abundant in chips, fast food, packaged cookies, and processed meats can lead to constipation and hinder the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Research indicates that diet drinks and artificial sweeteners can also disrupt the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Opened Assorted Canned Food

The Right Milk for Your Toddlers’ Gut Health

Many parents, like Emma’s, reported poor gut health symptoms due to their genetics, their diet, or their milk. Without any gluten, major allergen, and artificial sweeteners, TruHeight Toddler Advanced Formula+ contains ingredients beneficial for toddlers' gut health that are formulated to be suitable for sensitive tummies of toddlers:

Prebiotics: Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that serve as food for beneficial bacteria in the gut, improving gut barrier function.

Calcium: Essential for maintaining the health of the gut lining, promoting a strong digestive system.

Iron: Crucial for oxygen transport and energy metabolism, which supports overall gut function.

Zinc: Vital for immune function and maintaining the integrity of the gut lining, reducing the risk of gastrointestinal infections.

Vitamin B6: Supports enzyme functions involved in protein metabolism, aiding digestion.

Folate: Important for cell division and growth, supporting the overall health of the gut lining.

Additionally, the Advanced Formula+ includes organic grass-fed whole milk powder, olive oil, inulin, and citrus pectin, which contribute to a balanced digestive system and easy digestion, making it suitable for toddlers with sensitive stomachs. TruHeight Toddler’s milk formula is very much appreciated by toddlers and their parents with its rich chocolatey taste.

Signs of a healthy gut in toddlers

Young Father with a Toddler Boy Cooking

Ensuring your toddler has a healthy gut is crucial for their overall well-being. Toddlers’ gut health, or gut health in general, impacts not just digestion, but also energy levels, immune function, and mood. Here are signs that your toddler’s gut is in great shape, helping you understand what to look for to ensure they are thriving both physically and emotionally.

1. Regular Bowel Movements

A good toddlers’ gut health results in predictable, well-formed stools that are easy to pass. This means your toddler isn’t experiencing constipation, diarrhea, or irregular bowel movements, all of which can indicate digestive issues.

2. Good Appetite

A healthy gut supports a balanced appetite, allowing your toddler to eat a variety of foods without significant aversions. This includes a willingness to try new foods and eat appropriate portions for their age.

3. Balanced Energy Levels

Toddlers with healthy guts typically exhibit consistent energy levels throughout the day. They are active, engaged in play, and able to participate in various activities without extreme fatigue or hyperactivity.

4. Healthy Weight Gain

Steady and appropriate weight gain according to pediatric growth charts is a good indicator of gut health. This shows that your toddler’s digestive system is effectively absorbing and utilizing nutrients from their food.

5. Strong Immune System

A significant portion of the immune system is located in the gut. A healthy gut helps in developing a robust immune response, resulting in fewer infections and quicker recovery from illnesses.

6. Happy Mood

The gut-brain axis means that gut health can influence mood and behavior. Toddlers with a healthy gut tend to be generally content, less fussy, and less prone to unexplained irritability or emotional outbursts.


Ensuring toddlers’ gut health is crucial for their overall wellbeing and development. The digestive system plays a vital role in absorbing nutrients, supporting the immune system, and even influencing mood.

Recent research shows that children’s gut health could have a significant impact on their growing bodies and minds. Pediatricians emphasize that gut health affects everything—from mental health, contributing to anxiety and depression, to the risk of heart disease. It even seems to influence brain function and focus. As parents and caregivers, we hold the key to fostering a healthy gut environment for our little ones. A balanced diet and an advanced milk formula that are rich in fiber, prebiotics, and nutrients supports healthy gut flora and a diverse gut. This leads to greater overall wellbeing and curiosity about the world around them!


Why is gut health important for little children?

Gut health is crucial for little children because it significantly impacts their overall well-being. A healthy gut microbiome allows children to fully absorb nutrients from the food they eat, supporting their growth and development. Additionally, a balanced gut strengthens the immune system, making children more resilient to infections and illnesses.

What are the warning signs of an unhealthy gut in toddlers?

An unhealthy gut can manifest through various signs and symptoms. Frequent discomfort, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn may signal gut imbalances in toddlers. Persistent abdominal pain, gas, and other digestive issues like nausea are not normal for babies and may indicate compromised gut health. Additionally, gut health influences metabolism and weight management, so unintentional weight fluctuations could be a sign.

What should I feed my toddler to improve their gut health?

Include fiber-rich foods like whole grains (such as whole wheat bread and brown rice), bananas, and berries, which are excellent sources of fiber. Aim for up to 25 grams of fiber daily for kids to reduce the risk of constipation. Additionally, add beneficial bacteria through fermented foods like yogurt and aged cheese, which contain live, active bacteria cultures that contribute to a healthy gut.

Limit processed and artificially sweetened foods, as a diet high in chips, fast food, and processed meats can contribute to constipation and hinder beneficial gut bacteria. Instead, give your toddler a tummy-friendly milk formula that is proven to promote gut health and overall nutrition for growing toddlers.