In the more recent years, probiotics have become increasingly popular to help support both immune health and gastrointestinal health for both adults and children. Many parents have found that giving their children probiotic supplements has made a tremendous difference in preventing and stopping diarrhea and other digestion problems, while also boosting their child’s immune system.
While your child can consume foods that contain probiotics, giving your child probiotic supplements will allow you to control the amount and the type of probiotics your child is ingesting. As always, with any medication or supplement that you’re giving your child, you should always consult your child’s pediatrician or doctor before giving your child a probiotic supplement.
What are probiotics?
If you’re looking for an official definition, probiotics are ‘live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host’ (1). Typically, probiotics are bacteria, but there is also a type of yeast that acts as a probiotic. The most commonly found groups of probiotics are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, but there are numerous species inside of each group and each species has several different strands.
You can intake probiotics from consuming supplements, but you can also consume probiotics by eating foods that have been prepared by bacterial fermentation. These foods include kefir, tempeh, sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt.
While a lot of people may not know this, there are different types of probiotics that benefit different health problems. If you’re looking to specifically treat a condition, you should look into choosing the right type of probiotics. However, there are a lot of different probiotics that are available on the market that combine different species of probiotics in the same supplement; these are referred to multi-probiotics or broad-spectrum probiotics.
Are probiotics good for your kids?
If you’re only interested in a short answer- yes, probiotics are safe and even good for your kids.
Probiotics are considered to be safe for children, as they naturally exist in a healthy digestive system. You should remember that there are some strain-specific probiotics that specifically help certain ailments, so make sure that you talk to a doctor before giving a probiotic to your child.
Pros of giving your kids probiotics:
Probiotics are made up of helpful bacteria that make up your microbiome, which you can find naturally in foods such as kombucha, sauerkraut, yogurt, cottage cheese, kimchi, and kefir. If your child eats a lot of yogurt, that is where they will get most of their probiotic intake.
Taking probiotic supplements can help to restore the level of good bacteria in your body, which will help to improve immune system function and improve digestion. Adding a probiotic supplement into your child’s diet can be especially helpful if they are having problems with constipation or diarrhea, especially if you are potty training your child.
It can also be extremely helpful if your child is taking or has finished taking antibiotics, as antibiotics can help the side effects that come with antibiotics by replenishing the level of good bacteria in the gut.
Be careful, as not all probiotics are effective while your child is taking antibiotics, so make sure that you talk to your child’s doctor or pediatrician to see which probiotic would be best for your child to consume.
Cons of giving your kids probiotics:
Adults use probiotics to help regulate their digestive systems, which is why you may see a lot of companies claiming that their probiotic can help assist with improving energy levels, increasing weight loss, improve digestive health, and improving the health of your immune system.
While probiotics are great to give your child, not all probiotics will work in the same way as they do with adults. You may find that some strains aren’t as effective and don’t do anything to benefit your child, especially if your child is also taking antibiotics.
Top 10 Best Probiotics for Kids
#1 ReNew Life Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotic
ReNew Life’s Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotic is naturally sweetened with Xylitol and tasted like berries.
This probiotic has 3 billion live cultures per a tablet, ensuring a gentle balance in your child’s intestines to help support their growing immune systems. There are six child-friendly probiotic strains in this supplement, including Lactobacilli, Bacillus coagulans, and Bifidobacterium.
#2 Udo’s Choice Children’s Blend Probiotic
This probiotic supplement was created to support the digestive systems of children between the ages of 5-15 years old. There are eight bacterial strains that are the proper strength to comfortably benefit the health of children, while also helping to promote healthy childhood microflora.
One Udo’s Choice Children’s Blend Probiotic tab contains four billion active cells, including the following eight strains of bacteria: Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus plantarumm, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bifidobacterium breve.
#3 Culturelle Kids Probiotic Packets
Culturelle claims that the Culturelle Kids Probiotic Packets have been clinically proven to help reduce irregular digestion problems such as bloating, diarrhea, and gas. This probiotic supplement has 5 billion cells per a packet, with 100% naturally sourced Lactobacillus GG in a dairy-free formula.
With regular use, Culturelle Kids Probiotic Packets can help to balance the good and the bad bacteria in your child’s digestive system, improving their overall immune system and digestive system to work more beneficially over time.
#4 Digestive Advantage Kids Daily Probiotic Gummies
If your child is a bit difficult when it comes to taking medication, the gummy format is always an easy way to ensure that they’re taking their supplements without too much hassle.
Digestive Advantage Kids Daily Probiotic Gummies have a great taste and have a patented BC30 probiotic formula which helps to ensure that the bacteria survives stomach acid better than the bacteria in yogurt and other probiotic supplements. There are 500 million cells of bacteria in a serving of gummies, with natural flavors and colors coming from vegetables and fruit.
#5 Rainbow Light Probiolicious Gummies
Rainbow Light Probiolicious Gummies would be a great choice for you and your child if you’re looking for a supplement that is not only shelf-stable but also is yeast free, nut free, shellfish free, fish free, milk free, egg free, soy free, and gluten-free.
These Rainbow Light Probiolicious Gummies help to create and maintain a healthy digestive system for you and your children. That’s right, these probiotics are safe for both children and adults to consume, meaning that the whole family can get their gut health on track!
This multi-functional probiotic contains one billion Bio-Active Probiotic Defense bacteria per a serving, prebiotics from inulin and Fructooligosaccharides.
#6 Bio-Kult Infantis
Bio-Kult Infantis is a unique probiotic supplement that combines seven strains of live bacteria, with high levels of Omega 3 and Vitamin D3, and was specially created with babies, toddlers, and younger children.
The key ingredients in the Bio-Kult Infantis supplement are; Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium breve, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, Streptococcus thermophilus, DHA + Epa powder (this is a source of Omega 3 fatty acids that come from fish), and Vitamin D3.
#7 Flora Tummy’s Probiotic Sprinkles for Kids
Flora Tummy’s Probiotic Sprinkles is an extra gentle formula supplement, containing two probiotic strains, as well as a prebiotic.
This supplement was designed to naturally help boost the friendly bacteria in your child’s digestive system, reduce constipation, decrease diarrhea, and diminish gas.
Flora Tummy’s Probiotic Sprinkles is 100% natural, is non-GMO, and doesn’t contain any yeast, corn, soy, eggs, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, preservatives, dairy, or artificial flavors, meaning that you aren’t going to have to worry about your child having an allergic reaction with this supplement. You will find the Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus strains in this supplement.
#8 Jarrow Formula Yum-Yum Dophilus
Containing four probiotic strains, the Jarrow Formula Yum-Yum Dophilus has a natural raspberry flavor and contains one billion cells per a serving.
This supplement contains Xylitol which helps to improve the natural raspberry taste that this supplement has, but it does not contain any sugar, gluten, artificial flavors, artificial color, or artificial sweeteners.
#9 Nature’s Plus Animal Parade Acidophi Kidz Children’s Chewables
A berry flavored probiotic that you children can chew is an easy way to ensure that your kids are taking their health supplements and won’t put up too much of a fight doing so.
Nature Plus Acidophi Kidz helps to balance your child’s intestinal flora. You can also rest easy knowing that this probiotic is gluten-free and includes pure fructooligosaccharides (also known as FOS) to help create a healthy environment for flora growth. Contains Rhododendron caucasicum and Fructooligosaccharides.
#10 Garden of Life RAW Probiotics Kids
Garden of Life RAW Probiotics Kids is a specially designed formula that fits the unique needs that children have, while also including organic, raw, and whole food probiotics.
Garden of Life RAW have 23 RAW organic fruits and veggies included in the supplement, is gluten-free, and has over 5 billion live probiotic cells that help to improve your child’s digestive health and immune system health. This probiotic supplement is considered to be safe for children to consumers who are three months or older.
Giving your children probiotic supplements is a great way to help encourage healthy digestion, but you should always make sure to talk to your child’s doctor or practitioner before introducing probiotics into your child’s system. Providing your child with access to probiotics as they are growing up will prove as a valuable investment in your child’s present and future health.
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