Episode 319 | May 23, 2023

Gut Health for Children with Kristin Van Wey – Parenting Series Part 2

A Personal Note From Orion

Welcome, dear listeners, to Part 2 of the Stellar Life parenting series with my guest Kristin Van Wey. Kristin shares her extraordinary wisdom and experience to give insights into how pivotal gut health is to building holistic health and strong immune systems in our children.  

Kristin discusses the connection between our children’s bodies, immune systems, overall well-being, and gut health. I wholeheartedly agree with her statements. By nurturing our children’s gut health and allowing them to explore their environment, we empower them to fulfill their purpose. 

If you’re a parent, I highly recommend that you listen to this episode as Kristin equips us with practical and extremely beneficial tips. If you’re a first-time mother, just embarking on this magnificent journey, or if you are simply looking for proven health tips, this episode offers guidance to instill body confidence in both you and your kids. 

Remember, dear friends, constipation can negatively impact adults and children alike. So without further ado, let’s dive into the show!



In This Episode

  • [02:34] – Orion welcomes Kristin to the show as they discuss how we can give our babies a headstart by prioritizing their gut health.
  • [03:26] – How can we tell the health of an entire system by the type and frequency of our bowel movements?
  • [06:54] – Orion and Kristin explain the importance of the child’s environment, including how the birth canal and the nursing process can affect a baby’s immune system.
  • [13:34] – What must parents do to make their kids feel safe?
  • [15:50] – Kristin mentions the elimination channels of our body. She also recommends some gentle and natural supplements that are like food.
  • [17:40] – What kind of first foods can we give a baby that can break down?
  • [23:03] – Kristin emphasizes the need to allow the children to grow at the rate they need, which teaches them to trust their bodies.
  • [28:18] – Kristin explains the process of digestion and the importance of being loving and conscious towards your child.

Jump to Links and Resources

About Today’s Show

Hey, Kristin. Welcome to Stellar Life podcast. Thank you so much for being here. We, meaning me and my family, all love you.

You’re so welcome. I always love our conversations. I am so excited about today’s topic.

Today’s topic is important because it is the basis for our immune system and kids’ health. We will talk about gut health, why it’s so important, and how to deal with constipation.

And how can we tell the health of an entire system by the type and frequency of our families?

When did you learn about gut health?

It has been a lifelong journey for me, who has always had immune system issues. First, I had to learn about the importance of the context of pooping (which nobody likes to talk about) and its relationship to my health.

As kids, if we have undigested proteins in our systems, we can develop a leaky gut when we reach adulthood. Click To Tweet

As a mother of seven, I also had this experience with every one of my children. We’re changing diapers and dealing with constipation or diarrhea for most of our motherhood. It was just something that I’ve learned over the course of the last 35 years.

What do you do with the difficult bowel movements?

Constipation is one of the largest health problems in the United States and the world. We have them with babies and children who want to take that very seriously because that imprints the immune support and health for the rest of the child’s life. 

I know that is making a big claim, but most of the naturopathic or holistic health practitioners I’ve ever met or learned from say that 98% of the health can be managed or tracked by the state of the bowels.

At times, reverse engineering is the only way to diagnose which part of the body faces challenges.

The crazy thing is hunters track their animals by their scat. They can tell the health of an animal by the animal’s poop. Humans are the same. If somebody is having a hard time having regular bowel movements, then there are many things you can do.

What is a healthy bowel? Habit moves healthy bowel movements. If you eat two times a day, eliminating twice a day is normal. If you eat three meals a day, having three bowel movements would be normal.

You guys can do a Google search and look up what a healthy bowel movement looks like. It doesn’t look like little rabbit pellets. It’s not sticky, hard, or tar-like. You want big whole bowel movements that are easy to come out. If there’s a strain, then something’s going on.

Anytime we start intervening with practices outside of the body’s normal response on purpose, we must make up for that in our health practices.

There are a lot of different things that you could look at, but first and foremost would be hydration. Not drinking soda, frappes, or something like that. Straight-up pure water ensures you get enough water so you’re not thirsty throughout the day.

A lot of people say to drink half your body weight in ounces. Just listen to your body and make sure you’re hydrated. When we’re raising our children, they keep us running all day long. It’s hard to keep track of their bowel movements. Unless you’re changing diapers, tracking bowel movements is easier.

Changing diapers is easier because you can see how frequently your child is eliminating, and you can also see the texture and height. I’ve worked with many moms whose children feel so painful to have bowel movements that they cry so much.

Mine is experiencing that. I had to go through a C-section. When the baby goes through the birthing canal, it gets all the good bacteria from the mom. I guess C-section babies have more problems with their guts, right?

That can be true. We’ll talk more about nature’s head start, the womb, but the body was designed to care for itself. Anytime you start intervening with practices outside of the body’s normal response on purpose, sometimes we have emergency C-sections, and that’s what needs to happen, but we then have to make up for that in our health practices.

The birth canal is filled with the mother’s bacteria. Bacteria can determine the mother’s health, and bacteria are really important. The birth canal and nursing a baby have everything to do with the types of bacteria and the strength one needs, and that’s the start.

We have so many hormonal disruptors. Hormones are chemical messengers in the body important for communicating properly to ourselves and our organ systems.

Of course, I always talk to moms about letting their kids be dirty. On the other hand, don’t be so sanitary. Don’t use antibacterial to everything everywhere because you’re killing off the baby’s immune system. It’s important. 

People are handing me hand sanitizer everywhere. I’m like, “No, thank you.” I can’t even have that alcohol sensation on my hands. I’m thinking about a baby’s hands with their very thin skin. That must burn.

It is. We have so many hormonal disruptors. Hormones are chemical messengers in the body. It’s important to communicate properly to ourselves and our organ systems.

This gut is the first thing this bacteria we get from our mother. Nursing our mothers, the bacteria we get by being with our mother, the mother’s kisses, touching the mother, and all those things, are the baby’s immune system at the beginning. 

The environment is really important. We’ve got the mindset issue, and then we have biology. Our society is for good since the age probably of bacterial life. Our human genetics have changed to a point where people’s immune systems are not as robust as they once were.

I always love moms who let their babies go out and play in the dirt, get dirty, climb trees, and touch animals. Play with the ducks, sit on the grass, and do those things because that’s how we expand. The intelligence of your body comes from exposure.

We didn’t plan for it, but we own a pet duck. It’s just a lot of cleaning and headache, but very cute. Is it sanitary for him to be around the duck all day?

Babies are born with an innate intelligence. Their adult intellect has already been planted as an internal seed. Click To Tweet

Wash his hands when he’s going to eat. For sure, his hands will end up in his mouth. There’s a limit. Your body’s made out of bacteria. We’re grossed out about germs and bacteria, but that’s what we’re made of. When we try to sterilize it, it’s a losing battle.

He loves playing in the dirt outside. He will be full of dirt from head to toe and have a huge smile. It’s the most adorable thing ever. I spent 30 minutes just washing him. There’s sand everywhere in his hair, his eyes, his nose, and his nostrils.

It’s beautiful, and I love that you give him that opportunity because his intelligence gives him exposure to all kinds of other things that will help him have a strong immune system. We learn as human beings from the earth by connecting in and feeling energetically and electromagnetically into the earth.

All children are born with the sensitive ability to see and feel energy.

As a culture, we have become so removed from our natural instincts of being closer to the earth. We got to get back to that. Babies are being born with autoimmune system issues, cancers, and all kinds of diseases that, ideally, we can learn to eliminate. Part of that is rebuilding our immune system.

My little one is having some kind of physical and emotional reaction to go in number two. It’s really hard and painful for him, and I tried many things.

I went to the doctor, who said, “Just give him prune juice; just put him on a diuretic.” But it’s not the solution. It’s just covering the symptoms. What can I do to help him build his system better and maybe slowly but surely allow him to let go and release, and also, physically, have a much better bowel movement?

As a culture, we have become so removed from our natural instincts of being closer to the earth. We got to get back to that.

As you mentioned, there is the physical aspect of it, and then there’s the emotional side of it. The bowels are about letting go. The first thing you could do as a mom would be to be compassionate about what’s going on for him in his life right now. His perception is different. A lot is going on in our world and environment that he can’t articulate to you as a child.

Yeah, he’s hypersensitive. He absorbs everything from the environment and just takes it all in. I’m now working with a healer to release him from that and just be a child. Whatever your mom, dad, and whoever the adult around you have in their psyche is not yours. Just be a child.

All children are born with the gift of energetics. They can see and feel the energy. They are sensitive. Their environment is encoding them. That’s part of this head start program.

Remember that he chose you and Stephan as his parents to have the exact earth experience he needed to help him move into and fulfill his mission. We all come with challenges. We all come with these things that are opportunities for us later in life to work through. Those are access points into our gifts, into why we’re here.

It doesn’t matter how hard you try. It doesn’t matter what you do. Every one of us is designed to have core wounds we work through. Just know that so you can let go of any type of guilt or whatever. He chose you to experience exactly the environment you’re giving him so that he can become the man he was supposed to be, fulfill his purposes, and find joy in that.

We need to trust that we are exactly where we are, our children are with us for a reason, and that we can be compassionate with ourselves and each other.

Just by you saying he’s going to become the man, I had a visceral like, “Oh, my baby’s going to grow.”

I know. It happens faster than you think. Your baby will have babies, and it’s just mind-blowing. I always want to share with my parents because I’m on the other side of my parenting. I have grandchildren now. We need to trust that we are exactly where we are, they’re with us for a reason, and that we can be compassionate with ourselves and each other.

For the children, though, often it’s frustrating because we want them to have a bowel movement. We want them to be comfortable. We don’t know what to do, which can bring more stress and more holding on—thinking about ways that you can help him be safe in an environment where he can share how he’s feeling. I know he’s still very little, but you do a good job. I’ve listened to how you parent and get on his level, and let him speak when you have conversations.

Yeah, we have a lot of conversations. He’s very wise. He’s a good communicator, too.

You can put your hand on his lower belly and massage it clockwise. Talk to him about some things that are going on for his day. if he’s already communicating with you on that level, ask him, “Are there things you feel you’re holding on to,” or “Are you afraid of something?”

Usually, it’ll be as simple as it hurts. He needs water. He’s dehydrated, it’s coming out, it’s scraping, and maybe he’s got some hemorrhoids. It’s very painful. He doesn’t know how to say that. That can be a simple thing. Just make sure to help him fall in love with water.

The more hydrated we can help their little body, that will help soften the bowels so it feels better to come out.

It’s harder these days because kids usually want what’s around them, and that’s not usually water. The more hydrated we can help his little body to be, that will help soften the bowels so it feels better to come out.

The thing I don’t love about prune juice is if it were a rare thing, sure. Try to do something stimulating or softening the stools, but we don’t want to look at symptoms only. We want to look at what is the positive. You mentioned that you’ve used probiotics before. Continue to do that.

I used milk of magnesia.

I don’t personally use that, but I would say some things are gentle and natural, that aren’t addictive, that are just like food. There are different herbs that you can use that are not stimulant herbs. I have a favorite product called Zendocrine Complex, which is food, and it helps nourish the elimination channels, the organs that are in charge of releasing things.

We have four elimination channels, two plus one, and then some external elimination channels. They’re all really important. We need to feed them and ensure they’re being taken care of. That’s your bowels and all the systems that go with that—small and large intestines—and then you have your kidneys and bladder. Those are elimination channels for solids and liquids.

Every one of us is designed to have core wounds we work through. Know that so you can let go of any guilt you have.

You have your liver, which has the biggest job of everything and is trying to break down things. It’s an elimination channel, but it doesn’t have an outlet. If the bowels or kidneys get backed up, all of a sudden, it’s going to come out of your nose, throat, and lungs, or it’s going to come out of the skin.

Here’s another tip. We start this process of bowels and allergies in our children from the first food we feed them. Babies aren’t designed to break down proteins until their eye teeth come in.

We immediately feed our babies’ brains with proteins; they can’t break them down. You’ll notice, the baby’s fine, then nursing, nursing, nursing, and then we give them their first meal, and they get constipated. Or they get stuffy nose and throat stuff. It’s because they weren’t designed to break down the food that you’re giving them. That starts the process of the bowels not working properly from day one.

Think about anything that’s protein until your baby has eye teeth. Some babies get eye teeth at nine months old, and other babies it’s two years old. That’s something for young moms to be thinking about or newer moms to think about. What kind of first foods can I give my baby that can break down based on what his body can handle?

So no grains, no bread. Just vegetables and fruits?

Until the baby can break it, some have protein but not high protein levels like meat or grains. What do you see in a box for your baby’s first food? You get a processed box of oatmeal, wheat, or something. We pour anything, and it’s the baby’s first food. That’s hard. Even the things constipating to you as an adult will be constipating to a child. Keep thinking about that.

If we allow our children to grow at the rate that they need and we teach them to trust their bodies, it could transform the world. Click To Tweet

Certainly, I imagine that everybody knows this, but processed foods, sugar, and sweet things are not appropriate for babies for foods. It’s really fun for parents sometimes. They go, “Oh, the baby wants something at three months old or four or five months old,” and those cause later allergens in the system because the body has to treat it like it goes on defense with that food because it can’t break it down yet.

We get undigested proteins in the system, and then we have a leaky gut later in life, not immediately, but after years of foods that our bodies aren’t breaking down to create breakdown and autoimmune conditions later. I don’t care how cute it is, and your baby doesn’t need ice cream for its first food. Just because it’s soft, it’s filled with sugar and all kinds of things that a baby’s body doesn’t need.

We could give our babies a head start by just fresh, raw, and natural foods that are easy to break down, one thing at a time. As we discussed earlier, with bacteria and exposures, let the body build up a reservoir of things that will draw you.

Everybody’s body is different. It’s not a cookie-cutter program for our babies.

Everybody’s body is different, that’s why it’s important. It’s not a cookie-cutter program for our babies. One little bite and see how the baby responds and build up the repertoire of food that the baby will thrive with. If the baby gets constipated, we will look at other things like water. If the baby was a C-section, let’s look at introducing some probiotics and prebiotics for the baby.

As the baby’s system grows and gets older, you can start doing some fermented-type foods for the child. Different cultures use fermented foods all the time. It’s not as popular here in the States, but it’s very easy to start introducing foods with natural bacteria in prebiotics and probiotics that help break things down.

I put prebiotics in it, and flax seeds and chia seeds. Do I need to add anything else to my shakes?

Chia can be constipating for some people. You wouldn’t think that, but I quite get that feedback. There are a lot of people who can’t.

Broken-down flax seed is typically okay. Flax should be fine. I prefer chia all the time. Chia is fine, but I would play around with a food journal to see if that impacts me.

Eventually, this will pass if he does not have regular bowel movements and you’re not potty training yet. Then, finally, he will have a bowel movement, I promise you. It will happen on the toilet. It seems impossible for boys because that’s my experience.

Teach your child body confidence. All aspects of a healthy self-confidence are vital to true growth and fulfillment.

We can do a whole call on potty training, boys. I don’t know what it is. I have four boys, and all four were challenging to potty train. My three girls, two of them were way ahead of the cycle. My last child was a girl. She took a little longer, but because it’s me than her. I wasn’t as concerned about how fast it took them to potty train.

My first babies, a year and a half, are starting, I’m done changing diapers, and we will be potty training with my son. He’s four years old. I decided to pull my hair out, bringing up another topic.

I don’t want to pull my hair out.

It’s very frustrating. That is the emotional part, though.

In my work, to let go of expectations (I think), especially a lot of time as parents, they receive this pressure subconsciously where we want them to. We should allow them just to be them. For some little boys and girls, it takes four years; for some, it’s a year.

Think about the emotional level of a child in the programming that we instill unconsciously and consciously.

Yeah. Think about that on an emotional level for a child in the programming that we instill unconsciously and consciously. I’m heartbroken over my first children because I just didn’t know. There is a lot of pressure on new parents to be able to keep up with the Joneses. It’s like this competitive thing. We compare them to other children.

I had the advantage that I home-educated my children. I didn’t have a lot of comparisons outside of my family and closest friends. But if we could allow our children to grow at the rate that they need, that we teach them to trust their bodies, it would be a completely different world.

Babies are born with an innate intelligence. The intelligence of their adult self is already a seed inside them. They are already 100% intelligent. They’re more intelligent than you and me because they don’t have the conditioning yet. If you have the programming from the womb that these kids come. And just because they can’t articulate doesn’t mean they don’t know.

It’s looking for clues and teaching babies how to tap into and trust their rhythm before they can speak. Things like human design and Gene Keys, which give us an authentic look into how their system is wired and how they can operate, are great tools as well. Confidence in themselves as sovereign beings is so vital. They begin to have confidence in themselves, and then they can direct their pairing in such a way. It is a process.

I also feel pressure from my mom. Almost every other phone call, she’s like, “Is he potty trained yet? When I come to visit, I’m going to tell him to go to the bathroom.” She doesn’t get the whole background story or what she’s going through. She’s like, “He needs to be potty trained.”

Does he need to be potty trained? No. It would be convenient if he were potty trained, but does he need to? Not necessarily. The other thing is there’s the biological, and then there’s the mental and emotional. We’re creating a lot of mental and emotional beliefs around ourselves that will last his whole life in many areas. It’s a very intimate area of one’s life and letting go of how you handle things.

We’re doing that over a biological thing that we don’t know what’s going on. It’s not his fault that his food is hard. He’s not consciously making his bowels hard. Bowel movement is hard. I see that a lot. The same thing is like sucking thumbs and things like that, where we’re constantly not letting the child move through self-soothing and some body systems.

We’re creating a lot of mental and emotional beliefs around ourselves that will last our children’s whole life in many areas.

With my son, who wasn’t potty trained before, it took me a long time to figure out that he had a case of pinworms that were very painful for him, but he didn’t know what they were. I am still horrified by this. I couldn’t believe he wasn’t potty trained, and then he would hide and poop under a table or something. I was just pulling my hair out. I would get so frustrated.

One night, we were watching a movie. He came out late. He said, “Mommy, I have needles in my bum-bum.” I was like, what are you talking about? I took the diaper off, and he had pinworms. I was trying so hard because it was so horrifying for me to find this in my child.

The next day, I was at the doctor. I was like, “What did I do? I promised I would clean my house.” He’s like, “Kristin, 99% of children have pinworms. You’re just not seeing them.” He goes, “It’s not about cleanliness.” He said if they’re in public school, if they’ve ever gone to the bathroom in a public restroom, if people come into their own homes, we have pets that have parasites.

I learned to deal with that. He got potty trained. He couldn’t handle what was happening in his digestive system. Here he is getting disciplined for something he could not manage.

Thank you so much for sharing that. I’m doing my best to be conscious and loving on him when he pooped. There’s a whole issue of me giving him a 20-minute hug when he goes to the bathroom until he eliminates. Sometimes I don’t have the time or the patience. I do it anyway.

As humans, we learn through connection with the earth’s energy and electromagnetic fields. The more we’re exposed and in tune to these things, the more our intelligence grows. Click To Tweet

Thank you for pointing that out. You gave me a gift to be even more conscious of my little one. To solve this on a physical level, like going to one doctor telling me, “Just give him prune juice, everything will be fine,” and not even listening to me. Where do I go to get the right supplements or the right diagnostic?

One is to trust you, trust him, the Internet, reading, and books. There are all kinds of wonderful tools out there that you can read about. I have a whole product line that I love that I can share with you.

Yeah. What’s the name of it?

I love the doTERRA product line just because it’s very pure and very green. I am an expert and a wellness advocate for natural health using the doTERRA product line. Let me know if anybody needs help with some of these things. There’s a product called Zendocrine Complex that we’ve opened up. It’s a capsule with herbs.

It’s a complex of natural herbs that are put together. We don’t want anything addictive, or you need longer term to have normal bowel function. We want to ask what is the cause behind it. We’re going to always look for that. Prune juice, while it may help somebody go to the bathroom or castor oil, I remember, oh, gosh, don’t ever do that.

Not even a little bit in his bum-bum to soften it?

Yeah, sure. I just had a bad experience when I was birthing my baby. My sister said, “Take castor oil. The baby will come out faster.” It was miserable. 

It’s because we are impatient with the process. It’s just learning to ask questions. How can I help my child have more regular bowel movements?

Let us teach them that digestion begins in the mouth. Teach them to chew their food instead of bite.

Your systems can start finding answers for you, and the right people will come into your life, like me today, to say, “Okay, is he hydrated? What does his diet look like? Does he have a lot of processed foods? Is he getting enough food to move roughage, fresh, raw things?” Let us teach them that digestion begins in the mouth. Teach him to chew his food instead of just bite, inhale, bite, inhale.

That’s what he does. He looks like his mom.

You can make a game out of it. Like, “Okay, we’ll be a tiger today. You could bite me, chew, chew until it’s liquid.” Make it fun because if we chew our food, we mix the saliva, which the process of pooping starts with your mouth. There’s a big, long tube.

We chew our food and mix it with saliva so the pancreas sends the right enzymes to break it down, which softens it. The small intestine can absorb the nutrition out of it. The rest that the body doesn’t need gets sent out through the large intestine. Then the liver’s happy, the skin’s happy, and your nose, throat, and lungs are so glad. It’s all a process.

Sometimes you must backtrack and say, “Where’s the breakdown coming from? I’m chewing my food; that’s not it. I’m hydrated; that’s not it.” He needs to have more probiotics. Maybe he didn’t get as many because he was a C-section baby. Perhaps it’s a stressful time in our family right now. We just need to talk to say it is okay to release this, and we will start each day new.

We need to receive, experience, and let things go. You know what I mean? Sometimes you just have to reverse engineer which part of the pathway is getting challenged. Whatever is most natural would be the best place to start with a child. Teach them to be confident with their body.

Thank you so much for everything you’ve shared today. I appreciate you. We’ll see you in the next episode, won’t we?

We will.

Thank you. I love you very much for everything today. Bye.

You’re so welcome.

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

{✓}Discover the vital connection between your child’s well-being and a healthy bowel movement. Understand the significant impact of proper digestion and waste elimination on their overall well-being.

{✓}Make hydration a priority to ensure your child is adequately refreshed and doesn’t experience constipation. Avoid serving your child soda and other sugary drinks.

{✓}Encourage your child to embrace the joy of the outdoors, like climbing trees and playing with animals. Recognize that contact with dirt and exposure to nature strengthen your child’s immune system.

{✓}Cultivate empathy for your child’s unique perspective, and recognize that their experiences differ from yours. Remember, they may struggle to articulate the stimuli around them.

{✓}Joyfully help your child fulfill their purpose. Your children specifically chose you. It’s up to you to provide the environment to blossom and grow into whole, healthy, and successful adults.

{✓}Develop open communication with your child. This helps you create a safe space that encourages meaningful conversation.

{✓}Shift your attention to the positives of your child’s development instead of the negative obstacles. For example, if your child was born via C-section, introduce probiotics and prebiotics to nurture their gut health.

{✓}Choose gentle, natural, and non-addictive products for your child. Consider non-stimulant herbs like Zendocrine Complex to nurture their digestive system.

{✓}Practice introducing your children to mindful foods. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables before introducing high-protein foods. This minimizes potential allergens in their systems. 

{✓}Document your children’s dietary experiences and curate a catalog of nourishing, healthy foods by creating a food journal. This journal serves as a tool to understand how different foods impact them.

Links and Resources

About Kristin Van Wey

Kristin Van Wey is an internationally recognized leader, educator, speaker and trainer in innovative approaches to well-being. She helped thousands experience: insights, understanding and remarkable results. With over 30 years of professional experience in health, Kristin is one of the leading voices on the use of essential oils. Her humanitarian efforts have brought hope and empowerment to communities in crisis; she’s dedicated to partnering with others to serve communities globally. As a mother to seven children and a grandmother to five grandchildren, she certainly has the experience, mixing that with her vast training across various holistic modalities.

Disclaimer: The medical, fitness, psychological, mindset, lifestyle, and nutritional information provided on this website and through any materials, downloads, videos, webinars, podcasts, or emails are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical/fitness/nutritional advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek the help of your physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, certified trainer, or dietitian with any questions regarding starting any new programs or treatments or stopping any current programs or treatments. This website is for information purposes only, and the creators and editors, including Orion Talmay, accept no liability for any injury or illness arising out of the use of the material contained herein, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of this website and affiliated materials.

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