Keeping your children healthy is a labor of love. It entails being extra careful about what ingredients and nutrients (and their benefits) go into your family’s food.
If you often find yourself poring over ingredient lists of products to better understand exactly how they’re helping your family, you’re not alone. After all, we all want to nurture our children’s gifts and set them up for success in any way we can. If you’re an eagle-eyed parent, you may have seen oligofructose on the labels of everyday foods like yogurt, cereal, and milk. But what exactly is oligofructose?
1. Oligofructose is a fiber
Oligofructose’s name may be a mouthful, but its source is as simple as it gets: nature. It’s a fiber naturally found in foods like onions, fruits, leeks, garlic, and barley.
Diet experts recommend that kids above 3 years old should get 19-25 grams of fiber every day (depending on their age). However, most don’t eat that much fiber. That’s why it’s important to actively look for ways to add more fiber in your child’s diet. Examples would be eating cereals, yogurt, cookies, and nutritional dairy products.
2. But oligofructose isn’t like any other fiber — it’s also prebiotic
When you hear the word “bacteria,” your mind might automatically think of nasty microorganisms that could potentially harm you and your family. But not all bacteria are bad. In fact, some bacteria are vital to our overall well-being, and feeding your children food that help this “good” bacteria flourish is one way to help nurture their development.
This is where prebiotics come in. Prebiotics are the nutrients that help the “good” bacteria thrive in your gut. Prebiotics go through the small intestine undigested, and are fermented once they reach the large intestine. This fermentation feeds the probiotic bacteria that keep our gut healthy.
3. Oligofructose may help absorb calcium
Research has revealed that inulin and oligofructose help improve calcium absorption and bone mineral density, helping promote your child's physical development. In one study, researchers found that oligofructose supplements increase calcium retention by as much as 15%!
4. It may help decrease digestive problems in young children
Multiple studies involving toddlers found that oligofructose may have helped reduce the number of gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, belly aches, vomiting, flatulence, and regurgitation. Researchers also noted a decrease in fevers related to diarrhea episodes, resulting in less absences from daycare due to illness and decrease in antibiotics use. Oligofructose has also been linked to boosting the development of antibodies in toddlers getting the measles vaccine.
5. Oligofructose may improve your child’s growth, mental, and emotional development
If the points above still haven’t sold you on oligofructose, this probably will: oligofructose could make your child happier with a healthy gut/tummy. Based on The Effect of Fiber and Prebiotics study, children who consumes more fiber and prebiotics tends to have less gut or tummy problems, which makes them cry less in a day.
Oligofructose plays a vital role in your family’s overall health. The good news is, finding ways to incorporate more oligofructose in your child’s diet can be as simple as choosing the right growing-up formula milk for children aged 3+ — like the new PROMIL® FOUR.
PROMIL® FOUR is a powdered Milk Drink for children over 3 years old. It is not suitable for use as a breast milk substitute.