Promote Digestive Balance With The Best Probiotics For Kids (2018 Guide)

Promote Digestive Balance With The Best Probiotics For Kids (2018 Guide)

As a mom who loves to fill up on vitamins and supplements, there was no way my son was not going to reap the numerous benefits that a good probiotic offers.

So, from very early on, he received this useful supplement.

And, now into his third year of life, he still gets one on a daily basis!

If you’ve heard about probiotics before, but aren’t really sure what they are or how they help, read on.

This way, you can choose a supplement that works for your child and their individual needs to get them off to a smart start in their life.

What Exactly Is a Probiotic?

Short, simple, and sweet: a probiotic is basically live organisms (like bacteria and yeast) that are good for your digestive system and helps keep your gut healthy. 

How Do Probiotics Work?

When you take a probiotic, it balances out the good and bad bacteria. 

This way, your system doesn’t get out of whack and you can remain regular and also in good health, immune-wise.

If your little one is ill and running low on good bacteria, a probiotic helps to replace the good stuff that they’re missing and need.

Benefits of Giving Your Kid a Probiotic

Some parents are hesitant about giving their babies and children supplements, while others are all for it.

It’s good to understand the benefits that come with taking a probiotic, so you can make the right decision for your child’s health. 

Probiotics help yield the following health benefits:

  • Regulates digestion. Children who suffer from diarrhea or constipation become more regular (or if your child has an upset stomach from antibiotics, probiotics help remedy the situation).
  • Assists with skin conditions. Parents with children who have eczema have noticed an improvement after taking probiotics.
  • Promotes a healthy immune system. Probiotics can help prevent allergies and colds.
  • Reduces risk of allergies. Newborns have a permeable gut lining, which means foreign materials can pass through into their bloodstream, possibly increasing the chance of an allergic response. When a probiotic is taken, it builds up a barrier of sorts, eliminating the chance of this happening.
  • Manages weight. Probiotics boost and support metabolism, so your little one can maintain a healthy weight and grow in a healthy, supported way.
  • Supports brain health. Sometimes the gut is called the second brain because there is a direct connection between the two, according to some doctors. 
  • Reduces colic symptoms. Some studies show that babies who get a daily probiotic have less spit up, are less fussy, and have less gas.
  • Helps with dental health. L. reuteri has been known to cut down on tooth decay.

Probiotic Strains for Kids

Now that you understand the many benefits of probiotics, here are some strands to check that your probiotic contains:

  • 1
    Lactobacillus strain. Converts sugars to lactic acid
  • 2
    Bifidobacteria strain. Beneficial to gastrointestinal tract
  • 3
    L. reuteri. Helps promote dental health
  • 4
    S. boulardii lyo. Combats pediatric diarrhea

There are many other strains, but these seem to be the most popular and effective for children.

REMEMBER

Which, leads me to my other point: probiotics for adults should not be given to children.

Some people think that probiotics are probiotics. And, they are right to an extent. 

But, your baby and children have different needs, a less mature system, and they don’t need as much good bacteria in their system as a teen or adult does.

So, always make sure you’re reading labels and giving them the proper dose and that the brand you choose is specially designed for children!

How Many CFUs Does My Child Need?

The probiotic world can be a bit overwhelming for the non-scientific or medical individual.

My doctor freely talked about CFU’s and I just nodded my head in agreement, but had no idea what she was saying. It was if she was speaking a foreign language.

I learned that CFU stands for colony-forming unit. This refers to the number of live and active micro-organisms that each serving of probiotic provides your child with.

And, I also learned that the amount your child gets does matter. The magic number seems to be 5 billion CFU’s per serving

So, as a parent, it’s important to become a label reader when it comes to what goes in and on our kids’ bodies. 

Important Features to Look For

In addition to the right about of CFU’s and strains, some probiotics also have features that make them stand out from others.

Shop for some that boast the following ingredients or characteristics:

  • Prebiotics. Prebiotics go hand in hand with probiotics. They nourish the good bacteria already present in the bowel or colon and tend to act like a “fertilizer” for the good stuff that’s already there. 
  • Easy to take. I’ve found that a powder form works best. Powder is easy to mix in drinks and other soft foods, like yogurt and applesauce. It’s taste is undetectable and you don’t have to have a fight with your child every morning when it’s time to take their “vitamin.” This way, they just don’t know!
  • Time-released. When your child’s probiotics are released slowly (over an 8-10 hour period), they get better absorbed and have a more positive impact and effect.
  • Gummy form. If you aren’t into giving your child a powder, then allow them to chew their way to better health. Gummy vitamins have everything your child needs and they taste like candy, so there’s no struggle with taking them in a timely manner.
  • Without allergens. Some probiotics contain high allergen ingredients like gluten, soy, yeast, milk, eggs, nuts, fish or shellfish. But, there’s also many that are made that are free from these ingredients!
  • Sold in bulk. Since a probiotic is to be taken each day, it makes sense to purchase them in bulk, in a large pack.

Best Probiotics for Kids

#1. Hyperbiotics

Give your little one a foundation for a stronger immune system with this highly effective four-strain probiotic from PRO-Kids (click here to check the price on Amazon).

This probiotic made just for kids includes both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria to create a harmful bacteria at bay. The time-released pearls give targeted support to your child’s digest tract.

If you are on the hunt for a time-released probiotic for your child, you may want to consider this option.

We like

Time-released pearls. This once-daily pearl is up to 15 times stronger than other probiotics designed for children. Because they are time-released, you can be sure that 60 percent of the CFUs will reach deep into their intestinal tract.

It’s all natural. There are zero artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners with this probiotic.

Longer shelf life than some. You won’t need to worry about keeping this probiotic refrigerated to extend its life.

Keep in mind

Better for older kids. Although the pearls are technically chewable, they don’t taste as good as some others. You might want to wait until your little one can swallow the pearl.

Not as effective when crushed. If you plan to crush your child’s probiotic into their food, you should be aware it's going to lose its time-released capabilities.


#2. Naturo Sciences

Whether you plan to use this probiotic from Naturo Sciences (click here to check the price on Amazon) as a quick fix for an upset tummy or long-term use, it’s just as effective.

Your child will enjoy this great tasting tangerine formula, and you will love that it’s sugar-free.

You might want to think about this probiotic if you are looking for a kid-friendly formula that will support a healthy immune function.

We like

Ideal for use with antibiotics. This eight strain formula helps treat symptoms commonly associated with antibiotics such as diarrhea and belly troubles.

Safe for children with allergies and special needs. Made with all kids in mind, this product is gluten, dairy, soy, peanut, tree nut, shellfish, and wheat free.

Guaranteed fresh cultures. Each chewable tablet is individually wrapped in a blister foil pack and sealed with a special form of dry nitrogen, so you know they will work when you need them.

Keep in mind

Low CFU count. This probiotic was made with a lower CFU count than some others. However, the number of strains may be more important than the actual number of CFUs introduced.

Needs to be taken without food. For this kid-friendly probiotic to work best, your child will need to take it before they eat in the morning.


#3. Renew Life

Safely and gently give your child’s immune system a boost with this kid-friendly probiotic from Renew Life (click here to check the price on Amazon).

This six strain probiotic is made with both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria which is recommended by most pediatricians.

If you're searching for a probiotic for your child that tastes good and has a large organism count, this might be a good choice.

We like

Great tasting. Your little one will love the naturally sweetened berry-licious flavor. You will love that it's made with dentist approved xylitol.

Lacto strains for extra defense. This children-friendly probiotic can help boost immune systems clearing up everything from colds and flu to eczema.

High organism counts. Each chewable contains 3 billion organisms which are higher than most probiotics made for kids.

Keep in mind

Refrigerate after opening. If you don’t fridge these probiotics, the total amount of cultures delivered at consumption can be affected.

Not 100% allergy safe. While this probiotic doesn’t contain wheat, gluten, soy or dairy, they are made in a factory that does. If you have an especially sensitive child, you may want to avoid this probiotic.


#4. Culturelle

Culturelle makes this premium probiotic (click here to check the price on Amazon) made from naturally sourced Lacto GG.

Pediatrician recommended for fostering a proper balance of good bacteria in the GI tract, it boasts a whopping 5 billion active cultures to keep you child healthy.

If you want a probiotic that was designed with even young children in mind, this might be your best option.

We like

Perfect for young children. The flavorless packet quickly dissolves into food or liquid. Your little one won't even notice this flavorless addition.

Five billion active cultures. Unlike other probiotics, this company gives you the number of live cultures that will be around by the expiration of this product, not the number present at manufacturing.

Ideal for constipation. If your child has trouble making regular bowel movements, you might want to think about choosing this option.

Keep in mind

Needs to be mixed with cold liquid. Warm liquids can kill good bacteria before they reach your child’s GI tract rendering them less effective.

Trace amounts of sugar. Although the packaging says sugar-free, the FDA allows for up to 0.5 grams with this labeling. If sugar is a concern for you, this probiotic might not be for you.


#5. Garden of Life

This doctor formulated chewable probiotic from Garden of Life (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a good choice for parents looking for a probiotic with the addition of vitamins.

Complete with 14 probiotic strains, your child will get a wide variety of immune boosters.

You might want to think about this organic option if you are on the hunt for a vegetarian probiotic for your children. This probiotic is dairy, gluten and soy free. It also contains no added sugar.

We like

A high number of probiotic strains. While CFUs are important, it’s important to know where they are coming from as well. Your kid’s immune system will benefit from the 14 unique strains in this probiotic.

Prebiotic support. Containing Organic Acacai fiber for extra assistance in making good gut bacteria thrive.

Vitamin C & D boost. This organic kid-friendly probiotic is a once-daily option with added vitamins to promote overall well-being.

Keep in mind

Not great tasting. The ‘berry cherry’ flavor seems to have more of a grape taste. The chewable tablets are also larger than many children might enjoy.

Needs to be fridged. You will need to keep this probiotic in the refrigerator to maximize the effects of the strains.


#6. NatureWise

NatureWise are an eight strain probiotic (click here to check the price on Amazon) made just for the needs of your child.

These micro-pearls are time-released and acid resistant ensuring they make it all the way to your kid’s intestinal tract. This probiotic provides more than just digestive support.It also improves your little one’s immune system creating better overall health.

You might want to think about this probiotic if you are looking for a time-released option that is highly effective.

We like

Controlled release formula. The micro-pearls will introduce live cultures into your child’s GI tract over the course of the day. It has been shown that time-released probiotics are up to 15 times more effective than other options.

They are shelf stable. You will not need to worry about this probiotic being temperature controlled. You can be assured that your little one will receive 3 billion cultures right up until the expiration date.

Easy to swallow. The micro-pearl design makes it easy for your youngster to take. You won’t find yourself pulling teeth to get your child to take this tiny pearl.

Keep in mind

Not 100% dairy free. Although the product itself is dairy free, there may be trace amounts of milk protein left over from the fermentation process. Chances are, even if your child is extremely sensitive to dairy, it shouldn’t be an issue.

Ideally for children 3 years and up. Because your child might not know the concept of swallowing a pill whole, it’s best to wait until they are older before giving them this probiotic.

Wrapping Up

I noticed a world of difference once my son began to take probiotics.

He was happier, he had more energy, he got sick less often, and his constipation issues were long gone.

Choose the probiotic that is right for your child based on is ingredients and characteristics to ensure your child is in the best health possible and lives the highest quality of life as possible.

After all, healthy habits start right from the get go!

Kate Trout
 

Hi there, I'm Kate! I started Maternity Glow to be a place for new and expecting moms to come to for practical pregnancy advice, parenting tips, and baby care tricks.

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