Important notice to customers — product packaging changesLearn More

NEW FOOD PACKAGING IN STORE NOW

From August 2018, customers will notice our rebranded food packaging start to appear on shelf in all major stockists.

  • CURRENT Packaging
  • new Packaging

We are excited to announce our new packaging will start to appear on shelf from August 2018. This transition to new packaging will occur over a number of months. During this time there will be a mix of current and new packaging on shelf.

There are no major changes to these products, in some instances there is a small name change or slight recipe improvement, see below for the full details.

Products purchased via the website will be delivered to customers in our old packaging until the end of October. From November, products ordered from the website will be delivered in the new packaging.

Please note, our Infant Formula packaging will not be rebranded until later in 2019.

For any questions, connect with our team of accredited practising Dietitians on +61 3 6332 9200

Product name changes

  • Cereal Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Baby Rice
  • NEW Packaging Organic Rice with Prebiotic (GOS) Note: Our Baby Rice recipe has been upgraded to now include GOS Prebiotic
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Vanilla Rice Custard
  • NEW Packaging Organic Milk & Vanilla Baby Rice
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Porridge
  • NEW Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Baby Porridge
  • Ready To Serve Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Banana, Pear & Mango
  • New Packaging Organic Banana, Pear, Apple & Mango
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Mango, Blueberry & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Blueberry, Mango & Apple
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Peach & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Grape, Apple & Peach
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Pumpkin & Tomato Risotto
  • New Packaging Organic Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Tomato
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Broccoli, Beef & Brown Rice
  • New Packaging Organic Beef & Vegetables
  • Note: We have also upgraded some of our RTS recipes to remove added sugars and to remove some of the more complex ingredients that are not required for young children such as Tamari.
  • RUSKS NAME CHANGES
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Milk Rusks Toothiepegs
  • New Packaging Organic Milk Rusks
Home/Nutrition & Recipes/Articles/Important Nutrients Your Baby Needs: Probiotics, Prebiotics and Fibre

Important Nutrients Your Baby Needs: Probiotics, Prebiotics and Fibre

Of all the new dietary trends – the use of probiotics and prebiotics to help promote optimal gut health continue to grow in popularity. This is due to the continuing growth of new research linking their use to a number of health benefits. This article discusses the sources of pre and probiotics and how they may impact on your baby’s health.

1: What are probiotics?

Gut bacteria which we term “probiotics”, are microorganisms naturally found in the human digestive tract which make up part of the gut microbiota. Our gut microbiota, which can weigh up to 2kg, contains tens of trillions of microorganisms, including at least 1000 different species of known bacteria. An infant’s gut microbiota is established after birth. There are a number of environmental and genetic factors that will influence the amount and type of bacteria in our gut from birth and these include:

  • Type of birth (Vaginal vs Caesarean);
  • Type of feed (Breastmilk vs Infant Formula)
  • Antibiotic exposure (mother and baby)
  • Genetics
  • Solid foods – commencement and type
  • Hygiene
  • Pets and siblings

These different environmental and genetic factors are thought to impact on the lifelong health of an individual therefore it is important that infants are given the greatest opportunity to establish a healthy gut microbiota in the first few years of life which include:

  • Breastfeeding where possible
  • Consideration for antibiotic use as antibiotics can negatively impact the development of a healthy gut microbiome
  • Commencement of solids at around 6 months with continued breastfeeding – offering a variety of foods

2: What are the health benefits of probiotics?

Probiotics can be found naturally in food or can supplemented. Foods that contain natural probiotic bacteria include:

  • Breastmilk
  • Yoghurt
  • Tempeh
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Some infant formula products

Many of these foods are unpalatable to the infants and often difficult to include in the daily diet. Whilst supplementation is not necessary, particularly if a child is exclusively breastfed, there is no harm in introducing a supplement to your child’s diet, in order to help promote good gut health.

But what do the bacteria do?

It takes around three years to establish your gut microbiota and there is enormous variation from person to person. Gut bacteria feed off the food we ingest (prebiotics explained below) and in return, the bacteria will:

  • Break down foods
  • Supply the gut with energy
  • Make vitamin e.g. Vitamin K
  • Breaks down toxins
  • Defends the body against harmful microorganisms
  • Provides signals for the development of a healthy immune system
  • Influences the gut brain communication for optimal gut and brain function e.g. digestion and mood

Research has shown that an imbalance of the gut microbiota (with more bad bacteria and less good bacteria) may be associated with:

  • Asthma and allergy
  • Increased infections
  • Obesity and some chronic disease
  • Infantile colic and gastrointestinal disorders
  • Altered behaviour e.g. Attention Deficit Disorder

3: What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are a type of fibre. The true definition of a prebiotic is a food that can pass through the gastrointestinal tract (stomach, small intestines and large intestines) undigested. This food should then be able to influence the growth and activity of the good bacteria in the large intestine allowing them to do perform all the great jobs that they do to help us maintain good health.

As a result, the combination of pro and prebiotics in the gut is known as a symbiotic relationship. This means, that probiotics require prebiotics to function and in so doing, prebiotics assist probiotics in their many functions all to help:

  • Digestive health
  • Immune health
  • Mental health

4: What foods contain prebiotics?

There are several foods that are rich in natural prebiotics that can be consumed from a varied diet, particularly as an infant commences solids. It is important to note however that a baby will be exposed to natural prebiotics from birth if they are breastfed. Breastmilk contains a number of prebiotics called Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) helping to shape an infant’s gut microbiome by influencing the selection of beneficial bacteria. There are a number of formula products on the market that also include added prebiotics to the formulation that may be an option for women who are unable to or choose not to breastfeed.

Some infant formula and toddler milks and cereals contain added prebiotics that have been shown to help also shown to improve stool consistency and frequency.

Food groupsFoods
VegetablesJerusalem artichokes, chicory, garlic, onion, leek, shallots, spring onion, asparagus, beetroot, fennel bulb, green peas, snow peas, sweetcorn, savoy cabbage, chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, baked beans, soybeans
FruitCustard apples, nectarines, white peaches, persimmon, tamarillo, watermelon, rambutan, grapefruit, pomegranate. Dried fruit (e.g. dates, figs)
Breads and CerealsBarley, rye bread, rye crackers, pasta, gnocchi, couscous, wheat bran, wheat bread, oats
Nuts and seedsCashews, pistachio nuts

Source: Monash University

5: What is the difference between prebiotics and fibre?

Prebiotics are a type of fibre that remain undigested until they reach the large intestine and are digested by bacteria. Not all fibre in foods are prebiotics. Prebiotics will specifically help to promote the growth and function of good gut bacteria. There are three classes of general fibre in the diet and these should all be included in your baby’s diet to support good digestive health:

  • Soluble fibre: oats, psyllium, legumes
  • Insoluble fibre: fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds
  • Resistant starch: cooked and cooled potato, rice and pasta, banana

Summary

Prebiotics are generally defined as a type of fibre that remains undigested until it reaches the large intestine. Its role is to feed the beneficial bacteria in our gut. These bacteria are call probiotics and make up the microbiota. They have a number of beneficial functions including digestive health. Good health starts from the time a baby is born. Breastmilk provides the prefect combination of pre and probiotics to aide in building a healthy gut microbiome. For those women who cannot breastfeed, there are a number of formula products that contain pre and probiotics to support gut health.

Breastfeeding is best

The World Health Organisation recommends that breastfeeding is best for your baby such that breastfeeding will provide the best start to life nutritionally and will also bring other benefits to a mother and her baby. Having a balanced diet when breastfeeding is also important. Infant Formulas should only be used after you’ve sought advice from a doctor or health practitioner. A decision not to breastfeed can be difficult to reverse and introducing partial bottle feeding may reduce the supply of breast milk. It is also wise to consider the cost of infant formula. If you use infant formula, all preparation and feeding instructions must be followed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This is important for your baby’s health.

Disclaimer: The content of this document is solely for educational purposes and should not be substituted for medical advice. You are solely responsible for forming your own opinions and conclusions on such matters and for making your own independent assessment of the information. Please consult your doctor if you are concerned about your baby’s health.

About the author

Marisa Nastasi is an Accredited Practising Dietitian for Bellamy’s Organic. She specialises in children's nutrition and has recently completed further studies in paediatric dietetics. She has worked in the industry for 8 years and has developed a strong working knowledge on how good quality diets can benefit the health of children so that they can develop to their full potential.

Important Notice to Parents and Guardians

  • The World Health Organisation recommends that breastfeeding is best for your baby.
  • Having a balanced diet when breastfeeding is also important. Infant Formulas should only be used after you’ve sought advice from a doctor or health practitioner.
  • A decision not to breastfeed can be difficult to reverse and introducing partial bottle feeding may reduce the supply of breast milk. It is also wise to consider the cost of infant formula.
  • If you use infant formula, all preparation and feeding instructions must be followed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This is important for your baby’s health.