Nobody likes to see their children ill or unwell.
As unavoidable as this is, probiotics for kids are a great way to minimize your child’s risk of catching germs in their school or daycare.
Recent research suggests that certain probiotic supplements can assist in treating digestive issues such as diarrhea.
To save you the time and energy of sourcing out the best supplement for your child, we’ve summarised the top probiotics for kids below so you can find the best one for your child.
The 5 best probiotics for kids
This is currently your best powder option on the market, with an impressive 15 billion CFU’s and 8 different strains that all target the improvement of children’s health, it makes up for the amount of probiotic that don’t survive the journey through the body as efficiently as probiotic tablets would.
These sachets of flavourless powder are designed for children from 12 months to 4 years old and can be mixed into food or disguised in drinks.
- 15 billion CFU’s
- 8 strains
- Technology that claims to deliver probiotics to the body 15x more efficiently than capsules
- Brand also carries capsule forms of probiotics
- Gluten free and sugar free
- Non GMO
- No refrigeration required
- Should not be mixed into milk as it will curdle
- Cannot be mixed in cold or hot drinks as it harms the potency of the probiotics
Price: Click here to check the price of the LoveBug Probiotics for Tiny Tummies – Powder on Amazon’s website
Each dose only possesses about 3 million CFU’s but their patented technology claims to ensure the most amount of prebiotics (very important!) and probiotics survive the journey to your child’s gut with 15x more absorption than other capsules.
- For optimal digestion and immune health
- Pearl form, easy to swallow
- Slight orange taste
- Sugar free, no artificial flavours, no nuts or soy, lactose free
- Patented technology to ensure probiotics survive your child’s stomach acid
- Can be expensive
- Lower CFU count than most other top brands
These gummies are said to have a patented formula that can survive your child’s stomach acid 100x better than other brands, which is an excellent feature as lots of probiotics are usually culled on their journey through the body.
It’s got great assorted flavours that your child will enjoy and around 500 million CFU’s will be put into their bodies, a good little hit of daily probiotics.
- Help with digestive issues, bloating and diarrhea
- Can be given to kids over the age of 3
- Natural flavour/no artificial flavours
- Survives stomach acid 100x more than other brands
- Cheaper option
- Only 500 million CFU’s
Price: Click here to check the price of the Digestive Advantage Kids Daily Probiotic Gummies on Amazon’s website
It can be used from the age of 3 but be sure to consult your doctor as to the best way to introduce it into their diet.
We’ve included it in this list because of all the extra fruits and veggies included to give your kids that little extra boost with their probiotics.
- Blend of 23 organic fruits and vegetables
- Can be used in children 3 months and older
- Contains a prebiotic
- Vegetarian, gluten free, organic
- 5 billion CFU’s per serving
- Dosage will need to be staggered when first introducing into diet
- Powder requires more effort to give to children than capsule form
We love this one because it’s a great, mild probiotic that can be used by all the family.
Children aged 4 to 12 years old can take one cranberry flavoured gummy a day to receive the benefits, this one will be great for fussy kids who don’t like swallowing capsules or powdered drinks.
- Once a day dose
- Cranberry flavour that kids will love with only one gram of sugar
- Can be stored at room temperature
- No allergens such as nuts, soy, dairy, gluten, etc.
- Contains prebiotics
- Cheaper option
- Only 500 million CFU’s per gummy
- Gummies can melt if bottle gets hot
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are bacteria that reside in your large and small intestines.
They help your body to efficiently absorb nutrients, aid in digestion and are essential for maintaining your gut’s health.
They also control around 70% of your body’s immune function and regulate some hormones.
Groups of beneficial bacteria, live microorganisms and yeast are known as “gut flora” and there are over 400 species of probiotics in the body with about 40 trillion good and bad bacteria.
It’s normal to have bad bacteria, but when you have too much your health will suffer – which is why you need a probiotic supplement to replenish the good bacteria and restore balance to your child’s gut.
Clinical studies on probiotics and their effects are time-consuming, expensive and extremely in-depth.
So results have been slow to surface, but there’s been an overwhelming amount of results to suggest probiotics can help with a multitude of health issues.
Some of these are:
- Irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease
- Antibiotic-related diarrhea
- Urinary and vaginal health
- Boosts immune preventing allergies and flus/colds
- Reduces acne and eczema
- Reduces Colic
The most natural way to get your probiotics is through foods such as:
But if you’re getting your probiotics from food, don’t forget to consume some prebiotics to give your probiotics the fuel they need to get all the way to your gut where they can go forth and multiply.
Prebiotics come from foods like onions, asparagus, garlic, bananas and more – everyday foods you probably already have at home to give your health an awesome boost.
Does my child need probiotics?
When your baby is in the womb, their gastrointestinal tract actually doesn’t possess any kind of bacteria, it is developed when they’re born from bacteria transferred to them via the vaginal tract, and breastfeeding.
If any of these events are impeded, the child’s balance of bacteria may not develop properly and can lead to them having poor immune function.
If this occurs, it’s not the end of the world, probiotic supplements can assist with getting your child’s gut health back on track.
If you’re finding your child is suffering from viral infections such as diarrhoea, ear infections and respiratory tract infections you will be pleased to hear that probiotics have been found to reduce susceptibility of these in clinical trials.
Mothers who consume probiotics during their pregnancies have even been found to have children that are less likely to be ailed with allergies, eczema and hayfever.
Some signs your child may need probiotics:
They’re always catching colds
More than 70% of your child’s immune system response is produced by cells in their gut, so the more good bacteria, the better they’ll be at fighting off colds, decreasing severity and longevity of sicknesses and recurrence of infections.
They’ve been on a course of antibiotics
When your child is sick, antibiotics will alleviate their symptoms within a couple days, however, they can also impact the gut flora that prevent further illness, leaving them open to the germs of the world.
Incorporate an antibiotic-resistant probiotic to replenish the good bacteria and keep your child strong.
History of allergies in the family
Taking a probiotic supplement during pregnancy and giving them to your child after birth can help prevent the development of allergies.
So if you know your child is at a high risk of being given the family allergies, probiotics will give them the best chance to avoid this genetic ailment.
They were put on solids early
One of the main reasons breastfeeding is so great for your child is because it delivers good bacteria into your baby’s gut from the get-go.
Unavoidable events may mean that breastfeeding is not a viable option so your baby needs to be put on solids early.
This may reduce the existence of beneficial Bifidobacterium in their system, meaning that a probiotic supplement will be essential to developing that good gut balance.
If you’re not sure about whether a probiotic supplement would be beneficial for your little one, a doctor will be able to assess them and give you some information on the next steps.
Types of probiotics that will benefit your child
Probiotics contain many strains, not all of which we need.
Many strains are helpful only for a few conditions so you need to know exactly what strains to look for to get the most out of your probiotic supplement.
To make it simple, we’ve listed the main strains your child can benefit from:
This strain of bacteria is the most common and most beneficial.
Basically, it lives in your child’s small intestine and produces lactase which breaks down the sugar in milk (lactose).
Lactic acid from foods fermented by probiotics, will help your child’s body to absorb iron, calcium and magnesium which are minerals that are very important for overall health.
Some lactobacillus strains and what they can assist your child with:
- Acidophilus – Prevents and treats infectious diarrhoea
- Fermentum – Assists with eczema
- Rhamnosus – Helps with antibiotic-associated diarrhoea
- Reuteri – Assists with infant colic (reduced by around 50% in clinical studies), eczema/dermatitis, oral health and helps with antibiotic-associated diarrhoea
This is the second most important and beneficial probiotic strain.
They prevent the growth of bad bacteria and can boost the immune system.
Bifidobacterium strains and what they can help with:
- Infantis, Longum and Breve – These three strains that generally form the foundation of healthy gut bacteria in a child
- Bifidum – One of the most prevalent and beneficial probiotic for children
Tips and tricks for purchasing probiotics
You’ve got 3 options; powder, tablets or chewable tablets.
xrdrYou know your child best so you’ll need to pick a form of probiotics that they will be able to easily ingest.
Get an appropriate culture count
Children who are under two years old will need infant formulas of probiotics, but children aged over two years old can generally take and benefit from the same dosage of probiotics that adults do.
You need to be looking for the colony forming units (CFU’s) and the more the merrier, generally anything containing 5 billion CFU”s or around this mark will be excellent for children.
Check it’s got the correct strains
Use our guide above to determine which strains of probiotic you wish to purchase for your child that will assist with their specific health needs.
Shelf life and refrigeration
Probiotic supplements can rapidly decrease in potency if they are not refrigerated so make sure they’ve been kept cold when you purchase them.
Also take note of the expiry date and try to get the probiotics that’s expiry date is the furthest away.
Read the label carefully
Make sure the probiotics you purchase do not contain fillers.
You want to look for the ones with added vitamins and minerals to give your child the best possible health boost.
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