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Three Gut-Friendly Fall Themed Smoothies for Kids from a Registered Dietitian

As a Registered Dietitian, I am constantly looking for creative, delicious, and of course nutritious ways to improve your kid’s nutrition. Fall is a season filled with not only vibrant colors, but delicious seasonal produce such as pumpkin and apples. This is the perfect time to take advantage and blend them into gut-friendly, fall smoothies for your little ones. Studies show that plant-based foods rich in vitamins and minerals such as pumpkins can play a crucial role in boosting immunity, as they promote beneficial bacteria in the human body [1].

These smoothies are not only packed with the nutrients but also feature a secret ingredient that promotes digestive health in kids: prebiotics. And the best part? They won't even know they're there. We’re sharing today three different fall, gut-friendly smoothie recipes that will be your secret to keeping your kiddos’ gut microbiome happy and nourished.

Daily Prebiotics for Kids Health

Daily consumption of prebiotics play a significant role in regulating bowel movements in kids and providing constipation relief to boost overall health. For parents, this means fewer tummy troubles and a healthier kiddo. Check out these reviews of Growing Up Prebiotics from our Begin Health parents:

We add a packet to our daughter’s sippy cup each morning and she has been passing stools every day (or every other day) without issue. She finally seems to be on track and we are so relieved to know she is no longer in pain. -McKenzie P.
My daughter has been struggling with constipation ever since she started solids. Nothing really helped long term, except for Begin Health. It mixes up so well in pretty much anything, doesn’t make her gassy and somehow helps the poop to just slide out easily. We take it daily and she goes every other day or so with no problems which is a huge improvement for us. -Natalia

Growing Up Prebiotics is a gentle and natural way to help your little one get their daily recommended fiber intake, with 3 grams of prebiotic fiber per serving. It’s tasteless and textureless, which makes it a great addition to fall smoothies for even the pickiest eaters. Studies have shown that daily, consistent intake of a prebiotic with chicory root fiber can help with softer and more frequent stools within six weeks.

Fall Gut-Friendly Smoothie Recipes

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
(Serves 2 - you can always freeze any leftover smoothies into an ice cube tray for a sweet treat later!)

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 ripe frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup greek vanilla yogurt (or dairy-free yogurt of choice)
  • 1/2 cup milk or dairy-free milk of your choice
  • 1 tbsp almond butter (or sunflower seed butter for a nut-free version)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 scoops of Growing Up Prebiotics

Directions: Combine the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Research shows that pumpkin plays an important role in human health by acting as medicinal food because it has the potential to act as an anti-diabetic, antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-carcinogenic and antiinflammatory agent. Plants with yellow to orange color contain high amounts of beta carotene which is a good source of vitamin A. Consumption of beta carotene containing foods on a regular basis may help prevent skin and eye disorders in humans. Pumpkin is also a gut-friendly food that contains soluble fiber, which can help loosen stool to help with constipation relief [1].

Cinnamon Apple Smoothie
(Serves 2)

  • 2 cups unsweetened apple sauce
  • ½ cup apple juice - no sugar added
  • ½ cup yogurt or dairy-free yogurt of choice (plain or vanilla)
  • ½ cup ice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 scoops of Growing Up Prebiotics

Directions: Combine the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Apples are a rich source of polyphenols and fiber. Specifically, apples contain pectin, a type of soluble fiber that supports gut health by acting as a prebiotic fiber to feed good gut bacteria by increasing bacteria such as bifidobacteria and clostridia. Studies find that diet choices, particularly consuming foods with pectin can help modify the human gut microbiota composition in a health-promoting way [3].

Super Sweet Potato Smoothie
(Serves 2)

  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato, cooked
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup milk or dairy-free milk of choice
  • ½ cup yogurt or dairy-free of choice (plain or vanilla)
  • 1 tbsp almond butter, optional (can sub sunflower seed butter for a nut-free option)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg and cinnamon
  • 2 scoops of Growing Up Prebiotics

Directions: Combine the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Sweet potatoes contain two types of fiber - both soluble and insoluble to help promote stool regularity. A study evaluating the impact of orange sweet potato consumption in kids under five years of age found that it reduced incidences of diarrhea, showing promising digestive health benefits [4].

Summary: Fall smoothies can be made gut-friendly for kiddos with nutritious and seasonal ingredients like pumpkin, apples, and sweet potatoes. Healthy options like these fall smoothies can taste like a delicious treat but are secretly packed with beneficial vitamins and gut-boosting prebiotic fiber for a happy gut. A happy gut = a healthy kiddo!

Resources

[1] Hussain, A., Kausar, T., Sehar, S., Sarwar, A., Quddoos, M. Y., Aslam, J., Liaqat, A., Siddique, T., An, Q. U., Kauser, S., Rehman, A., & Nisar, R. (2023). A review on biochemical constituents of pumpkin and their role as pharma foods; a key strategy to improve health in post COVID 19 period. Food Production, Processing and Nutrition, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s43014-023-00138-z

[2] Closa-Monasterolo, R., Ferré, N., Castillejo-DeVillasante, G., Luque, V., Gispert-Llauradó, M., Zaragoza-Jordana, M., Theis, S., & Escribano, J. (2016). The use of inulin-type fructans improves stool consistency in constipated children. A randomised clinical trial: pilot study. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 68(5), 587–594. https://doi.org/10.1080/09637486.2016.1263605

[3] Koutsos, A., Tuohy, K., & Lovegrove, J. A. (2015). Apples and Cardiovascular Health—Is the gut microbiota a core consideration? Nutrients, 7(6), 3959–3998. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7063959

[4] Jones, K., & De Brauw, A. (2015). Using agriculture to improve child health: Promoting orange sweet potatoes reduces diarrhea. World Development, 74, 15–24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2015.04.007

May Zhu, RDN

May Zhu, RDN

May is the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and nutrition expert at Begin Health.



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