Good health begins in the gut — but did you know an individual’s gut microbiome is established during the first two years of life?

As consumers seek ways to build a healthy gut microbiome, this trending topic provides opportunity for the dairy community. With growing evidence for the benefits of establishing a healthy gut microbiome right from the beginning, dairy foods can play an essential role in nutrition for pregnant women and young children.

What moms eat during pregnancy, combined with children’s food intake during their first two years, plays a role in determining the overall makeup of bacteria in the gut. A healthy gut microbiome is linked to improved metabolism and immunity and can play a role in reducing the risk of numerous health conditions and diseases later in life, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

As nutrition scientists continue to explore the impact of different foods on the gut microbiome, dairy producers can showcase the benefits of milk and other dairy foods as part of an overall healthy eating pattern early in life. Milk and dairy foods offer a unique package of nutrients that are essential for optimal health, growth, and development. Children who do not eat the recommended servings of milk, yogurt, or cheese may have inadequate intakes of important nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and protein necessary to grow and thrive.

Prioritizing the health of pregnant women and children will help support healthier communities overall. All children and families deserve access to healthy food, including milk and dairy foods, and credible nutrition education that teaches principles for developing lifelong healthy eating habits.

At Dairy Council of California, we are proud to spearhead statewide efforts like “Let’s Eat Healthy and Well-Nourished, Brighter Futures” on behalf of the dairy community. These efforts help ensure all children are supported to grow healthfully during the first two years and beyond. To learn about how you can play an even bigger role in supporting the health of children and families, visit

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2022
February 10, 2022
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