The Digestive Tract
You go to great lengths to make sure your child is well-nourished, but have you thought about what happens to the food once it’s inside the body? There is an incredible journey that takes place, whereby the food your child eats is turned into fuel. This process takes place in the digestive tract, which is made up of different parts of the body. Each part has its own function and they all work together to break down food and liquid and turn it into the nutrients your child needs. It’s in knowing these medical facts for kids that we can fully grasp how best to keep our children healthy.
What Happens During The Digestive Process?
The process of digestion begins before your child even takes the first bite. Saliva is produced in response to the smell of a meal. That saliva will help to break down the food, especially the carbohydrates, to make it easier to chew and swallow. The teeth cut, tear and chew into small pieces that can be easily swallowed.
Food travels from the mouth down the oesophagus and into the stomach. There, gastric acid breaks it down even more.
From the stomach, the broken down food is sent to the small intestines where it gets further digested by various enzymes. It then gets absorbed and routed to the relevant organs for metabolism. Whatever is leftover gets propelled to the large intestine where some metabolism still takes place (vitamin K is formed here). Microflora uses up some of the undigested food particles as water gets reabsorbed and stools are formed.
The liver, pancreas, bile glands and salivary glands are all digestive organs that help with digestive absorption and metabolic processes. They ensure that the food we eat gets turned into fuel and building blocks for the body.
A properly functioning digestive tract is needed to keep your child healthy. If one part of the process isn’t working, the body may not be able to absorb the nutrients it needs. Adding lots of fresh fruit and vegetables to your child’s diet is one way to aid digestion. Probiotic-rich food and supplements are full of good bacteria that are essential to a healthy digestive tract and so should also be added to your child’s diet