Do kids need probiotics? Yes!
It’s typical for a child’s digestive system to get out of balance, with bad gut bacteria causing a host of illnesses. Thankfully, probiotics can maintain the levels of “good bacteria” in the gut and is often safe, even for infants.
Probiotic supplements can help you control the types and amounts of probiotics your child ingests. Probiotic supplements are available in capsule, gummy, chewable tablet, and liquid form and come in different flavors.
Benefits of Probiotics
Not all probiotics are created equals – there are several different strains of probiotics (and various species within those strains. Each of the strains confers different benefits for your child. Here are some of the benefits.
Reduce the duration of acute gastroenteritis
There’s nothing more miserable than having a stomach bug. Acute gastroenteritis refers to the decrease in stool consistency and an increase in the frequency of bowel movements.
While probiotics didn’t improve stool consistency, researchers found that L. rhamnosus GG, S. boulardii, L. casei, and L. reuteri strains can help reduce the duration of your child’s diarrhea.
Prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea
If your child is starting a round of antibiotics for underlying infection, probiotics can help reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. The two probiotic strains that are useful are L. rhamnosus GG and S. boulardii.
Prevent respiratory tract infections
Daycare centers can feel a bit like, well, a petri dish for infections. Probiotics have been shown to fend off respiratory infections, so it is certainly worth it to feed your child with probiotics.
- rhamnosus GG strain is shown to decrease the onset of respiratory tract infection.
Manage irritable bowel syndrome
Kids with irritable bowel syndrome may also benefit from probiotics. The best strains to address irritable bowel syndrome include L. rhamnosus GG and L. reuteri.
How to Choose a Probiotic Supplement
To make sure your kid is getting quality probiotic supplementation, look for products that contain the same strains that provide the proper probiotic strains for their specific condition.
Reputable brands. To make sure you’re getting a high-quality probiotic that contains live bacteria and is safe for kids, look for reputable brands. Take note of the manufacturing process and storage method.
Storage and Expiry. Store it in a cool, dark place such as the refrigerator. Take note of the “best by” date on the label to make sure that the probiotic strains are still viable.
Potency. Make sure that the number of CFUs is in the billions. Anything less will not confer adequate potency.
Consult a pediatrician. Exercise caution when using probiotics in children, especially those who are immunocompromised because, although rare, there can be complications.
Beware of sugars. Beware of added sugars, especially the chewable and gummy forms.
Best Probiotics for Kids and Infants
Garden of Life Probiotic for Kids
The best probiotics for kids are the ones that cater to almost every diet, and the Garden of Life Probiotics is a great example. Even children on a vegetarian, gluten, dairy, or soy-free diet can benefit from it.
Not only is this probiotic a top performer in its medicinal duties, but it also tastes good, too! You won’t have to worry about your children turning their faces up at these yummy berry cherry flavored gummies – they’re bound to go down a treat.
It’s so important that growing children receive the necessary digestive and immune support. This children’s probiotic goes the extra mile in assisting with both, containing a combination of doctor-approved strains and ingredients for optimum comfort.
With no added sugars or sweeteners, you can rest assured that the Garden of Life Probiotics for kids only works to impact your child’s health positively. The addition of vitamins C and D work to increase the benefits of the supplements, further encouraging healthy growth all around!
Best Chewables for Kids
Culturelle Kids Chewables Daily Probiotic Formula
Tablet-taking doesn’t have to be a nightmare, and with these children’s probiotics, you can wave goodbye to the struggles of trying to get your kids to swallow down something that tastes far from appealing!
The best ones on the market for children would be Culturelle Kids Chewables. Their new natural bursting berry flavor is bound to be a hit with the children, even the pickiest of eaters.
These highly effective tablets stand out from the crowd with their key ingredient, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which has been clinically proven to help reduce digestive upset, including tummy pain and diarrhea. All ingredients work naturally with your child’s body, encouraging the balance of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
If your child follows a special diet, there’s no need for them to miss out on their daily vitamins with Culturelle Kids Chewables Daily Probiotic Formula. The probiotics are handily free of gluten, dairy, lactose, milk, color additives, preservatives, yeast, and soy, making them ideal for all.
Like we mentioned above, this product can treat both constipation and diarrhea. However, don’t be too surprised if your child experiences diarrhea in the first few days after taking these probiotics – that’s a normal reaction. In case it doesn’t stop, though, we urge you to consult a doctor.
As far as the daily intake is concerned, we advise starting with half a tablet. After a week or two, give your child one half a tablet twice a day (half each time). If there aren’t any side effects, then you can start giving them a full tablet every day in the morning.
- Some of the most active children’s probiotics on the market.
- There haven’t been any reports of side effects.
- Convenient to use because all you need to do is add some to the child’s milk (or cereal).
(We have none to share.)
Best Gummy Probiotics
Olly Kids Multi
Kids love sweets, and with Olly Kids Multi, they can genuinely feel like they’re having a gummy treat, while you know the truth: they’re probiotics in disguise!
These fun gummies come in a variety of exciting flavors, and the brand behind them understand that taking your daily vitamins shouldn’t have to be a chore. By making vitamin time feel like a treat, you can be sure that your child is staying happy AND healthy at the same time – now that’s a bonus.
You can count on Olly Kids Multi’s extensive ingredient list to make the product one of the best probiotics for kids; with each tablet containing an impressive concoction of vitamins A, C, D, E, Bs, and Zinc; plus live probiotics to support gut functioning and keep children’ bellies balanced and calm.
Health doesn’t have to be a mystery, and if you’re looking for children’s probiotics with ingredients that make sense to you, you’ll love Olly Kids Multi. They make nutrition easy to understand with their simple-to-read packaging, with clearly listed instructions on how to take, and all the essential supplement information you need to know.
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Best Probiotics for Toddlers
BioGaia Protectis Probiotics with Vitamin D
You might think that trying to find a probiotic that works for toddlers and babies is a chore not worth bothering with, but the numerous health benefits might change your mind.
Designed with young children and babies in mind, these infant probiotics by BioGaia contain ingredients that are specifically effective in maintaining health in a little person’s body. They’re on hand at all times to soothe digestive upsets, including spit-ups, diarrhea, and constipation and contain the probiotic strain L. reuteri, which has been found to treat infant colic effectively.
There’s no need to worry about whether or not your baby will enjoy the taste of BioGaia Protectis Probiotics, because the formula is entirely flavorless and scentless. For babies with dietary requirements, the probiotics are vegan-friendly, non-GMO, and free from dairy, nuts, shellfish, and soy.
Dealing with a fussy baby is all part of parenthood, but that’s not to say it isn’t exhausting. These probiotics for toddlers are the only ones of their kind to have been proven to reduce crying and fussing in colicky infants with just five drops of the formula daily.