Reasons why you should let your kids eat dirt!

Microbial exposure during early life has been linked to greater protection from illnesses such as allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), asthma, obesity, diabetes, etc, later in life.

Last Updated: Jun 16, 2016, 12:53 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei

New Delhi: This piece of news or advice might bring confusion to your mind, particularly as tactful parents. Because no parents would like their toddlers to crawl around the dirty floors and get filthy fearing infections and other health problems. However, experts are of the view that babies have a specific and additional need for interaction with dirt.

Here are a few reasons why you should allow your children eat dirt:

  • Microbial exposure during early life has been linked to greater protection from illnesses such as allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), asthma, obesity, diabetes, etc, later in life.
  • Your children actually need to be exposed to the dirt in their early lives in order to fully develop their immune system as they should be.
  • A significant amount of research has shown that kids who grew up on farms or with a dog in the house had fewer allergies than their peers who grew up in an extremely clean environment.
  • Clay or soil is rich in mineral components which may supplement diet in some cases.
  • Soil also contains probiotic properties which are healthy for your gut and may aid digestive functions.

So, it may be well noted that children need to be exposed to dirt although hygiene is essential. Sometimes, they should be allowed to play barefoot outside to get dirty.

By saying this, parents shouldn't stop following hand washing principles - washing hands before and after eating, after using the toilet or touching garbage or something that is suspeted to be decomposing or after being in contact with someone sick.