Whether your child gobbles up Greek yogurt or slurps down smoothies doesn’t matter much. Just make sure the yogurt has added strains of “live active cultures,” aka probiotics, the living organisms created during the fermentation process that can take up residence in the GI tract and strengthen your kid’s immune system.
Fermented foods, like fermented pickles, sauerkraut, and beets, also contain probiotics. However, shelf-stable varieties often aren’t produced through fermentation or are pasteurized, which kills the healthy bacteria. Hit up the refrigerator section of your grocery store instead.
The friendly bacteria in your child’s large intestine thrive on fermentable fiber (also known as prebiotic fiber), which can be found in unprocessed oats and barley.
When you boil and chill pasta, it increases the amount of resistant starch, a type of fiber that your body has difficulty digesting, so more of it makes its way to the good bacteria in your gut. Potatoes, lentils, chickpeas, and less-ripe bananas offer other ways to serve up this carb.