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Can children drink homemade kefir?
A few of my friends and colleagues have children who were born with allergies and poor immune systems. Although I don’t have children of my own, I wondered whether homemade kefir could be beneficial for babies and children as it is for adults.
As I am not a doctor or nutritionist, this post is not intended to be medical health advice but solely as information and a guide to discuss with your family doctor or specialist.
Kefir protects against harmful bacteria
Kefir is high in nutrients, a potent source of probiotics, a rich source of calcium, protein and B vitamins which all boost the immune system. Also, kefir contains the probiotic Lactobacillus kefiri and the carbohydrate kefiran. Both protect against harmful bacteria.
People with over-sensitive immune systems are often more prone to allergies that are caused by inflammatory responses against certain foods or substances. Maybe we can avoid this by improving the immune system from the start – from infancy.
Kefir can help children grow stronger and ward off the harmful bacteria and viruses they can be exposed to at kindergarten, school or the outdoors. Because kefir has a high amount of beneficial probiotic cultures, it can help children with many health issues. It can lead to fewer bouts of flu, colds and stomach infections and reduce the need for antibiotics and other medicines. All problems that could cause many negative side effects.
If children need to take antibiotics, kefir will protect their intestinal flora and help them fend off illnesses better. In this way, kefir probiotics are an important part of nutrition during childhood and adolescence. They contribute to developing a strong and healthy immune system.
KEFIR – A natural source of vitamins!
Kefir is rich in vitamins B1, B12, D and K, which are all important for healthy physical growth and brain development. Besides, kefir is a refreshing and tasty drink which you can flavour with fresh fruits, honey and granola to make an irresistible beverage that your child will enjoy!
A child’s nervous system, proper brain function and mental performance depend highly on daily vitamin B intake. So you can get all the vitamins you need through kefir drinks.
Vitamin B12 for better brain activity
Because Vitamin B12 is generally stored in small quantities in our body, we need to constantly replace it through foods that contain. And kefir is one of the healthiest and most tasty among these. Vitamin B12 is essential for a child’s normal brain activity and it helps produce acetylcholine which is necessary for memory and learning. When we consume Vitamin B12 through kefir it also helps in the production of red blood cells which carry oxygen throughout the body, and prevent children from being weak, tired or undernourished.
Thiamine improves memory
Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, helps in the development of acetylcholine and it improves a child’s memory. On the other hand, Vitamin B1 deficiency can show up as decreased appetite, fatigue and weakness. Vitamin B1 nourishes the nervous system, helps release energy from carbohydrates and promotes growth and good muscle tone.
Kefir provides an excellent supply of thiamine. This is especially important for children who perhaps eat too many sweets, since excessive sugar consumption could deplete Vitamin B1 storage in the body.
For lots of vitamins D(rink) K(efir)!
Vitamin D is necessary for bone growth and development in children, as it helps to absorb calcium. A child suffering from a Vitamin D deficiency could be at a higher risk for stunted growth, weak bones and fractures.
The presence of Vitamin K in children’s blood is important to ensure proper blood clotting. Vitamin K helps produce blood-clotting proteins that control both coagulation and anticoagulation. A lack of Vitamin K can make small cuts bleed for a long time and cause small injuries to turn into large bruises.
Kefir contains many beneficial bacteria and yeasts that provide lactase. This is a digestive enzyme that breaks down lactose during the fermentation process and predigests milk. Therefore this means that children who are lactose intolerant can safely drink kefir even on an empty stomach.
Finding the right balanced diet for you and your kids is important. Kefir and other fermented foods can only enrich it, so don’t hesitate to include it on your daily menu.
The article was written by blogger, Vedrana Orlović from Kefirolicious.
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It is recommended though not to give children kefir made of cow’s milk in their first year. Goat’s milk is fine!
Yes, thanks for mentioning this. We are planing a post in the near future about kefir and pregnancy and babies.
My son has ‘milkshake’ for breakfast every day: – kefir milk, homemade yoghurt, raspberry juice from our home grown fruit. I mix it together with a rotary hand whisk, it turns out pink and frothy and he loves it. He says that he hates kefir milk, its disgusting!
Hi! thanks for sharing! Well, sometimes parents just need to hide some healthy ingredients in there:)
How much kefir milk can my 4 year old grand daughter drink per day? Her pediatrician recommended that she shift to a non lactose milk due to diarrhea for 2 weeks now. I make homemade milk kefir from goat’s milk everyday. I am hoping for a quick response to this query. Thank you very for your reply.
Hi there, we should be extra careful when starting to include live foods into our children’s diets. Maybe try slowly with smaller portions or try seeking advice from a nutritional experts if you want detailed plan.
my 2 year old with lots of food allergies. Dairy (incl goats milk )/edd/peanuts/treenuts/soy/sesame/prawns. we carry 2 epipens. id like to start introducing kefir and fermented food. is there an alternatives to milk kefir?
your suggestion will be much appreciated.
Hi there, thanks for your question.
Water kefir is definitely an alternative, but make sure you discuss this with your doctor.
All the best! Kefirko team
water Kefir. I have introduced water kefir mixed with fresh fruit juices.
Can anyone enlighten me as wat would b minimum age to start water kefir?