Probiotics have been proven to treat digestive problems and infections in adults. Now, experts claim that probiotic supplements can also benefit the health of children.
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This comes as great news for parents who are constantly troubled by the recurrent bouts of diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, flu and eczema flare-ups in their kids.
Premium probiotics specially designed for children can address all these issues and help to improve their overall health and immune system function.
But parents might be concerned whether it is safe to give probiotics to children at an early age? And if it’s safe then what are the best probiotics for kids?
In this post we have addressed all these issues and prepared a list of some of the best probiotic supplements in different forms suitable for kids.
Why Children Need Probiotics?
Our children’s gastrointestinal systems are home to trillions of bacteria, both good and bad and these microorganisms have been present in their gut since their birth. The collection of flora in the intestine aid digestion, help to break down milk and support the functions of the immune system. Problems occurs when the balance of flora in the intestine gets disturbed due to illness or a diet rich in sugar and lacking fiber. In addition, course of antibiotics to treat infections also wipe out the natural flora almost entirely. Probiotic supplements containing a mix of different strains of live bacteria can help to restore the balance of flora in your child’s gastrointestinal tract and improve his health. Probiotics not only support digestion and vitamin absorption, but also help to prevent and treat skin rashes, inflammation, asthma and allergies.
Is a Probiotic Right for Every Child?
Evidences are conflicting in this area. While some experts recommend that every child should take a daily dose of probiotics others say that it does not show any added benefits in kids who don’t suffer from any symptoms and eat a normal diet. But as far as safety is concerned, there are no potential side effects of probiotics. The best probiotics have been widely tested on children of all ages including new-borns with no negative reports.
As parents, we are very cautious when it comes to giving them health supplements. Your precious little one needs the best, so we have provided several information related to – what to look for, which ingredients it should contain and others in our buying guide.
Apart from that, we have provided a list of carefully picked probiotic products that are safe and suitable for kids.
Note: Just like any other supplement, consult your pediatrician before giving it to your kids, especially if they are facing any immunity disorders or serious illness.
Best Probiotics for Kids
1. Rainbow Light Probiolicious Probiotic Gummies
Rainbow Light Company has been manufacturing high quality health supplements since 1981. Their unique and innovative formulas are specially developed to deliver research based products for better absorption and effectiveness.
The probiolicious probiotic gummies developed by them are designed to help both kids and adults to support their digestive and immune system.
This supplement contains Bio-Active Probiotic Defense and Bacillus Coagulans that helps to restore the healthy balance of flora in the intestine. It also contains Prebiotics from inulin and Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) that support colonization of the probiotics in the intestine.
The combination of both probiotics and prebiotics makes this product different and effective than others. These two ingredients work together in order to relieve lactose intolerance, diarrhea, constipation, occasional gas and other digestion problems.
Only highly potent and pure ingredients are used for making these supplements. These gummies are free from gluten, wheat, milk, soy, eggs, nuts, fish and shellfish. They are made under strict compliance and high quality standards.
It contains a natural cranberry flavor so your kids will love taking them. Each serving contains 500 billion CFU’s (colony forming units). Taking just 1 serving per day is enough to replenish the probiotic stores in the intestine. The probiotics present in this supplement can withstand the stomach acid and reach the intestines for colonization.
It is a shelf-stable product that does not require refrigeration. The natural coating of the gummies ensures survival of the probiotics through manufacturing, shipping and consumption.
- No artificial colors
- Delicious cranberry flavor
- Free from lactose, wheat, gluten, etc..
- No allergens such as eggs, fish, nuts
- No refrigeration required
- 500 billion CFU’s
- Contains 3 probiotic strains
- Comes with printed expiration date
- Contains added sugar
- May overstimulate the immune system
2. Renew Life Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotic
Second from our list comes Renew Life Ultimate Flora. Since 20 years, this company has been known for its pioneered super-quality digestive wellness supplements.
Among their probiotic supplement series, Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotics is specially formulated with high-potency ingredients that include 3 Lactobacillus strains and 3 Bifidobacterium strains.
This probiotic supplement contains almost 3 billion colony forming units. The delayed-release feature of this product will ensure the strains can withstand the stomach acid and reach the intestine safely.
This chewable probiotic helps in addressing occasional digestive upsets, supporting the immune system in kids by restoring the balance of good bacteria in the intestine.
A natural berry flavor is added to the supplement so your kids will love taking. It contains xylitol ingredient which is a natural sweetener. This makes the supplement more palatable for children.
It does not contain any artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors. The quality, potency and purity of this supplement are guaranteed to stay intact until expiration.
Renew Life Ultimate Flora Kids has to be stored in a dry place at 77F (25C) or below. And it is better to refrigerate for maintaining the quality. However, Rainbow Light Probiolicious is shelf stable and doesn’t require refrigeration. This is the reason, we have listed Renew Life is second place.
- Contains 6 different probiotic strains
- Delicious berry flavor
- Printed expiration date
- No artificial sweetener, color or flavor
- Gluten, dairy and sugar-free
- Potency, purity and quality guaranteed
- Manufactured in a GMP certified facility in USA
- Not suitable for children below 2 years of age
- Needs refrigeration
3. Culturelle Kids Chewables Daily Probiotic Formula
This is one of the most prescribed probiotic supplements by Pediatricians. It provides drug-free and safe way to restore gut health. It is a unique blend of naturally sourced ingredients which are specially picked up by doctors for kids.
This premium probiotic supplement contains
- Lactobacillus rhamnosusGG (LGG): It is the clinically studied probiotic strain that has shown successful results in dealing with digestive issues.
- 5gms of dietary fiber derived from kiwi fruit and inulin (a probiotic from chicory root).
This supplement is designed to foster a proper balance of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, support children’s natural immune system and treat occasional digestive upsets.
Each serving of this supplement provides 5 billion CFUs of active culture to your kid’s intestine.
This supplement comes in 3 forms – powder, chewable and capsules. The powder is for children weighting between 25 to 50 pounds, the chewable is for children weighing between 50 to 100 pounds and the capsules are for children weighing over 100 pounds.
Each serving of this supplement is double foil packed to protect it from air, heat, moisture and light. It doesn’t contain gluten, dairy, sugar and harsh stimulants.
The manufacturer assures that the ingredients in this supplement will stay intact and potent until expiration. However, you have to store it in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.
Dosage: For children 3 years and above, we recommend – one (1) tablet daily to support digestive and immune health. If he/she suffers from occasional digestive distress, take two (2) tablets per day. If taking two tablets, take one in the morning and one in the evening.
If your child over 100 lbs then we recommend to take the dosage as mentioned over the package. It can be taken either with or without food.
- Provides 5 billion CFUs per serving
- Flavorless supplement
- Individual double-foil protected supplements
- Contains the well-researched Lactobacillus GG strain
- No milk, dairy, lactose, soy, yeast, gluten or preservatives
- Posted expiration date
- Potency is guaranteed
- May negatively affect carbohydrate metabolism
- May cause mild gas and bloating during initial use
4. Nature’s Way Primadophilus for Kids
This probiotic supplement has highest quality rating from Labdoor which makes it a dependable and trustworthy product.
This supplement has been specially formulated for kids between the ages of 2 – 12 years.
It is a blend of 3 well-researched probiotic strains – Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, and Bifidobacterium Longum that supports digestion, improves immunity, relieves upset stomach, improves nutrient absorption from foods and boosts energy levels.
This supplement comes in natural cherry flavored chewable tablet form. 1 serving of this supplement provides 3 billion CFUs of live culture to the intestine. These cells are guaranteed potent until the expiration date, as long as you keep it in a dry place at 73 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
The capsules are vegetarian and have a delayed release formula which means that it can withstand the harsh stomach acids and reach the intestines.
This is a shelf-stable supplement that does not require refrigeration. As per the manufacturer, potency and quality of the supplement is guaranteed to stay until expiration.
- Contains 3 well-researched probiotic strains
- Provides 3 billion CFUs per serving
- Backed by True guarantee
- Natural cherry flavored chewable tablets
- Shelf-stable supplement does not require refrigeration
- May cause mild gas and bloating in the beginning
5. Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics Organic Kids+
Garden of Life is a RAW, Certified USDA Organic probiotic supplement developed to meet the unique needs of children. This whole food probiotic formula is specially formulated by most renowned pediatricians to provide added benefits of vitamins to kids.
This supplement includes 14 different probiotic strains that support overall digestive health and immune system function. The probiotic strains gathered in this supplement are uncooked, unadulterated, untreated. Each serving contains 5 billion live probiotic cells.
Apart from probiotics, it also contains organic whole food vitamins C (derived from organic Amla) and D along with prebiotic fiber that supports the colonization of the probiotics in the intestine.
The supplement has organic berry cherry flavor and formulated into chewable. So, even if your kid is a picky eater, he/she will love taking them.
The manufacturer claims utilizing temperature-controlled cold storage and delivery so that the strains stay fresh and alive. This supplement is free of toxic pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and genetic engineering.
- Contains 14 different probiotic strains
- Contains added prebiotic, vitamin C and vitamin D
- Organic and vegetarian supplement
- Free from gluten, dairy, soy and sugar
- Needs refrigeration
- The size of the tablets are larger compared to other chewables
6. Naturo Sciences Children’s Chewable Probiotic
Naturo Sciences chewable probiotics are the most preferred choice by parents. What makes it so trusted is the quality and potency of the probiotics. Actually, many probiotic supplements require refrigeration for keeping the strains alive. This can result in reduced potency and quality due to different climatic and shipping conditions.
However, Naturo Sciences is different. They use advanced nitrogen-filled blister pack in order to create a refrigerator like environment. With this method, you can sure that your kid is getting active probiotics.
It is an effective children’s probiotic supplement that can be used both as a quick fix for diarrhea and a long-term supplement. This supplement also supports healthy immune function.
This supplement contains 8 different probiotic strains that help to treat antibiotic associated diarrhea and other digestive disorders. Each serving provides 5 billion CFUs of live culture to the intestine.
This is a sugar-free supplement that comes in refreshing tangerine flavor.
This is a hypoallergenic supplement suitable for children with allergies. It is free from common allergens such as gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, shellfish, etc.
Each of the chewable tablets is wrapped in blister foil pack which protects them from heat, moisture, light, etc.
- Contains 8 potent strains
- Helps to treat antibiotic associated diarrhea
- Sugar-free formula
- Contains natural tangerine flavor
- Ideal for children with allergies
- Each tablet is individually blister foil pack wrapped for guarantee freshness of the cultures
- Low CFU count
- Needs to be taken without food to work best
7. Digestive Advantage Kids Daily Probiotic Gummies
This supplement is by far the most trusted and highly effective probiotic supplement because it has patented BC30 probiotic formula. Usually, most of the probiotic supplements less capability of surviving the harsh stomach acids. That is why manufacturer of Digestive Advantage has come with BC30 formula.
This formula ensures that the probiotic strains survive the stomach acids 100x better than yogurt and other supplements.
Delivery of probiotic strains to the intestines and survivability are the main factors that influence the overall performance and quality of this product.
This probiotic supplement is designed to support everyday digestive health and treat occasional digestive upset, abdominal discomfort and diarrhea.
This supplement comes in the form of chewable gummies with natural fruit flavor. It includes the well-researched Bacillus Coagulans strain and each serving provides 500 million viable cells.
Giving probiotics to kids every day can be a challenge. However, as the Digestive Advantage Kids Daily Probiotic Gummies taste great and are fun to chew, kids love the take them without any issues.
Parents can confidently begin the probiotic regimen of this supplement at home with kids ages 3 and 12 years.
- Contains the well-researched Bacillus Coagulans strain
- Each serving provides 500 million viable cells
- Supports everyday digestive health
- Natural fruit-flavoured chewable gummies
- No artificial flavours or preservatives
- Survives stomach acid 100x better
- Contains corn syrup and sugar
8. Hyperbiotics PRO-Kids ENT Children’s Oral Probiotics
The Hyperbiotics PRO-Kids ENT is the high recommend product by doctors if your child is having dental and ENT issues. The strains in PRO-Kids ENT produce natural antibacterial that balance the flora in the oral cavity and allow room for the good bacteria to thrive.
This supplement enables beneficial bacteria to colonize in the throat and pharynx and create a barrier against invaders that can lead to unpleasant ear, sinus and chest issues.
This probiotic supplement contains 4 potent probiotic strains that create a foundation of a stronger immune system for your kids.
This probiotic supplement includes both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains that fight off harmful bacteria and provides protection against ear, nose and throat infections. This supplement also promotes healthy teeth.
It also contains S.salicarius K12. As per many clinical trials, this strain is known to enhance your immune function within just 24 hours.
This supplement comes in the form of time-released pearls that are up to 15 times stronger than other children’s probiotic supplements.
It is a 100% natural supplement that does not contain any artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. It is free from GMOs, yeast, lactose, soy, gluten, wheat, nuts and preservatives.
- Contains 4 potent probiotic strains
- Time-released pearls ensure more CFUs reach the intestinal tract
- Contains zero artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners
- Provides protection against ear, nose and throat infections
- Longer shelf life than most other supplements
- Don’t taste as good as other chewable supplements
9. Align Jr Daily Probiotic for Kids
Align Jr.Daily Probiotics for kids is the most trusted supplement by gastroenterologist and doctors. This probiotic supplement is formulated to naturally fortify your child’s digestive system.
This supplement contains the clinically studied B. infantis 35624 strains that help to maintain healthy gut flora even during periods of stress.
This supplement comes in the form of chewable tablets with delicious cherry flavor that is loved by kids. Each Align Jr. chewable tablet provides an effective level of bacteria (1x 107 CFU) until at least the “best by” date.
This supplement does not contain any artificial sweeteners, gluten, dairy or colors. Any kid who has minimum 6 years of age can take this supplement. 1 chewable tablet per day is good enough to get 24/7 digestive support.
This product doesn’t require to be stored in refrigerator, so you can take it anywhere you travel.
If you are not satisfied with Align Jr. probiotic supplement, then you can simply return the UPC code from the package and your original sales receipt within 60 days of purchase for a full refund in the form of a prepaid card.
- Contains the clinically studied B. infantis 35624 strain
- Provides 24/7 digestive support
- Delicious cherry flavor
- Contains no artificial colors or sweeteners
- Contains milk
- Contains sucrose, fructose and corn starch
10. Nature’s Dynamics Kids Berry Garden Chewable Probiotics
Nature’s Dynamics is a family owned and operated company that safely and effectively develops 100% natural whole food gummy supplements with organics for consumers. Its products are formulated after researching botanical and medical studies from around the world.
This is a vegetarian probiotic chewable for kids that support digestive and immune system health.
This supplement contains 6 well-researched probiotic strains along with whole foods such as organic fruits, vegetables and seeds.
This is a whole food based probiotic supplement that is easy on your kid’s digestive system.
It is a 100% natural supplement that contains organic flavors and organic sugar. It doesn’t contain any synthetic or artificial ingredients.
- Whole food based probiotic supplement
- Vegetarian and organic supplement
- Contains 6 probiotic strains along with whole foods
- Supports overall digestive health and immune system function
- Contains organic sugar and organic flavor
- Does not taste as good as other chewable supplements
11. Doctor MK’s Natural Probiotic Chews for Kids
This is claimed to be the best tasting probiotic supplement for kids that comes in fun animal shapes.
This supplement includes 10 different strains of probiotics and each serving of this supplement provides 2 billion CFUs of live culture that supports overall gut and immune system health of kids.
This is a 100% natural and vegetarian supplement made from all-natural ingredients and free from gluten, additives and harmful chemicals. This product is tested for purity and contamination before delivering to you.
- Contains 10 different probiotic strains
- Has a potency of 2 billion CFUs
- Sugar free and great tasting
- Natural, vegan/vegetarian supplement
- Made from all-natural ingredients
- Made in a GMP certified plant in USA
- Nothing Much
12. Culturelle Kids Packets Daily Probiotic Formula
Cultrelle is one of the most recommended brands by pediatricians. This is an effective daily probiotic formula for kids that comes in powder form.
This supplement contains naturally sourced Lactobacillus GG strain that support the natural immune system function.
It is clinically proven to help reduce occasional tummy troubles by helping to restore the balance of good and not-so-good bacteria in children’s digestive systems
Apart from probiotics, it also includes the added benefits of vitamin C which is helpful for maintaining good health.
Each serving of this supplement provides 5 billion CFUs of active culture to the intestine. Each pack of this supplement contains 30 single serve packets of the probiotic powder. The flavorless powder can be added to foods or liquids and given to kids.
- Contains the well-researched Lactobacillus GG strain
- Also contains vitamin C
- Provides 5 billion CFUs of active culture
- Contains 30 single serve packets
- Flavorless powder can be mixed with foods and liquids
- Needs to the mixed with cold liquids
- Contains trace amount of sugar
13. FloraTummys Probiotic Sprinkles for Kids
This particular probiotic supplement is formulated to treat occasional digestive disorders such as diarrhea, gas, constipation and support the child’s immune system.
This probiotic supplement comes in the form of powder. Each pack contains 30 individual sprinkles packet that can be added to your child’s food or drink or mixed with baby formula.
This is a flavor-less powder that does not leave behind any taste in the mouth.
This supplement contains the B.Lactis and L.Acidophilus strains along with prebiotics. Each serving provides 5 billion active cultures to the intestine.
This is a high quality supplement free from sugar, GMO, dairy, gluten, soy and allergens such as yeast, corn, fish, shellfish, eggs, lactose, nuts, etc.
- Formulated to treat occasional digestive upset
- Contains B.lactis and L.Acidophilus strains
- Provides 5 billion active culture per serving
- Vegan, non-dairy and non-GMO supplement
- Made in USA
- Free from common allergens
- Flavourless powder
- Guarantees 5 billion CFUs at the time of manufacture
14. Biocodex Florastor Kids Probiotic Sachets
If your kid is suffering with frequent bouts of diarrhea or digestive issues then Biocodex florastor kids is the ideal choice.
It also improves nutrient absorption from foods and boosts energy levels in the body.
This product contains fruit-flavoured capsules and powder packets that include the well-researched Saccharomyces Boulardii Iyo strain.
This is a 100% vegetarian and gluten-free supplement with 3 years guaranteed shelf life, so it requires no refrigeration.
You can mix this powder into cool water or food. It should not be mixed into carbonated, very hot or alcohol containing foods or liquids.
Once added into foods, the strains are only viable for 30 minutes, so it has to be taken within this time. You should not take this supplement in conjunction with anti-fungal tablets.
- Contains active yeast strain Saccharomyces Boulardii lyo
- Specially effective in treating acute diarrhea in children
- 100% vegetarian and gluten-free supplement
- 3 years guaranteed shelf life
- Can be taken with or without food
- Contains 33 mg lactose
- Contains trace of soy
- Can’t be added to hot liquids
- The supplement is only viable for 30 minutes after being added to foods or liquids
15. Garden of Life RAW Probiotics Kids
This is an organic, whole food probiotic supplement for kids that helps to support overall digestive health and immune system health.
This supplement contains the well-researched Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria strains and each serving provides 5 billion CFUs of these microorganisms to the intestine.
It also contains 23 raw and organic fruits and vegetables that provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to the body.
This is a USDA certified organic and vegetarian supplement free from gluten, sugar, allergens, binders, fillers and carriers.
- Organic, vegetarian whole food probiotic supplement
- Contains Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria strains
- Each serving provides 5 billion CFUs of active culture
- Contains 23 raw and organic fruits and vegetables
- Suitable for children aged 3 months and older
- Requires cool temperatures for storage
16. LoveBug Probiotics Tiny Tummies
This probiotic supplement is specially formulated for babies and young children aged between 12 months and 4 years.
This supplement contains 8 different strains of probiotics that supports the developing microbiome of the baby and creates the foundation for a strong immune system and digestive system.
Each serving of this supplant provides 15 billion CFUs of live active culture.
This supplement comes in flavourless powder form that can be mixed with foods or liquids.
This is high quality supplement made in USA that is free from gluten, GMOs, sugar, lactose, soy, wheat, nuts, chemicals, preservatives and artificial colors and flavours.
- Specially formulated for babies and young children
- Contains 8 different probiotic strains
- Each packet provides 15 billion CFUs of active culture
- Flavourless powder
- Made in USA
- Free from GMOs, allergens, chemicals, preservatives and artificial ingredients
- Can’t be mixed into warm foods and liquids
17. Garden of Life Primal Defense Kids Probiotic Formula
This is a powdered probiotic formula for kids designed for children aged 3 years and above.
This supplement contains a unique blend of 3 Bifidobacterium strains – Bifidobacterium Breve, Bifidobacterium infantis and Bifidobacterium longum along with Saccharomyces boulardii that supports digestive system and immune system health.
The Saccharomyces boulardii included in this supplement supports the ability of the intestinal cells to break down lactose.
Prebiotic inulin included in this supplement supports the growth of the probiotics in the intestine.
This supplement also contains organic banana powder that adds a nice fruity flavor to the supplement.
- Whole food probiotic formula for children aged 3 years and above
- Contains 6 probiotic strains
- Total cultures – 4 billion CFU
- Contains organic banana powder
- Includes natural probiotic inulin that supports the growth of probiotics
- Supports healthy digestive and immune function
- Some kids may not like the taste of the formula
18. NatureWise Kids’ Care Time-Release Probiotics
This probiotic supplement is formulated for kids aged 3 years and above and comes in the form of easy-to-swallow micro-pearls.
This probiotic supplement contains 8 different probiotic strains and each serving provides 3 billion CFU of active culture to the intestine.
This helps to support kid’s immune systems and digestive health.
It is a shelf-stable and acid resistant supplement that is 15 times more effective that regular capsules.
This supplement is non-GMO, gluten-free and sugar-free and does not contain wheat, soy, eggs, nuts, fish or shellfish.
- Time-release micro-pearls
- Contains 8 probiotic strains
- Provides 3 billion CFU of active culture per serving
- Shelf-stable and acid resistant supplement
- 15 time more effective than regular capsules
- Contains trace amount of milk protein
- May cause bloating and nausea in some kids
19. Replenish the Good Kids Probiotics
This particular probiotic supplement is ideal for replenishing the good bacteria after a course of antibiotics. It also works as a daily supplement that supports digestive health and brain health.
This supplement comes in the form of tiny, easy-to-swallow pearl tablets. Each of these pearls provides 3 billion CFUs of 5 clinically researched probiotic strains.
These pearl tablets have been developed using patented time release BIO-tract system that ensures superior survivability of the good bacteria so that it delivers 15 times more live microorganisms to the intestine compared to regular capsules or chewables.
The micro-pearls come with natural citrus flavor with makes it more palatable for kids.
The supplement is 100% vegetarian, lactose-free and gluten-free.
This is a shelf-stable supplement that does not require refrigeration.
- Easy-to-swallow pearl tablets
- Contains 5 clinically researched probiotic strains
- Each pearl contains 3 billion CFUs of live culture
- Patented time release BIO-tract system
- Natural citrus flavor
- Vegetarian, lactose and gluten-free
- Shelf-stable supplement
- Some kids may find it difficult to swallow the pearls
20. Hyperbiotics PRO-Kids Children’s Probiotics
This children’s probiotic supplement creates the foundation for a strong immune system and supports healthy digestion.
This supplement comes in easy-to-swallow pearl form and each serving provides 3 billion CFUs of 4 different probiotic strains.
It also contains prebiotic Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) that support the growth and colonization of the probiotics in the intestine.
It is a 100% vegetarian supplement free from GMOs, preservatives, sugar, artificial ingredients and allergens such as soy, lactose, nuts, wheat, gluten, etc.
The patented time-released pearls are up to 15 times stronger than regular probiotic supplements designed for children.
The supplement has prolonged shelf life so there is no need to refrigerate it.
- Contains 4 different probiotic strains
- Each pearl supplies 3 billion CFUs of live culture to the intestine
- Vegetarian supplement
- Time-release pearls 15 times stronger than regular probiotic supplements
- All-natural supplement free from artificial ingredients, sweeteners and preservatives
- Long shelf life
- Some kids may find it difficult to swallow the pearls
- Does not taste good when crushed or chewed
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How to Choose Right Probiotics for Kids
When purchasing probiotics, there are some important factors to consider. We have mentioned them below for your convenience.
1. Capsules / Chewable / Powders
All these types of probiotic supplements are safe to consume for kids. Chewable tablets are the best options as most of the children like them. Some manufacturers add sweet or citrus flavors to make it more palatable. Powders can be mixed into milk, food or water. Capsules are a bit tricky as it is difficult to convince your kid to take them.
2. Look for Specific Strains
You have to look out for two specific when it comes to your kid’s health: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These strains play a more important role that the number of CFUs.
The number of strains included in a supplement is more important than the number of CFUs.
Lactobacillus strains – This strain is normally found in our digestive, urinary and genital tracts. Most probiotic supplements for kids include this strain because it helps to treat general digestive problems and diarrhea caused by antibiotics and fight off pathogens. Lactobacillus strains also help to break down foods and improve nutrients absorption.
Some of the highly recommended Lactobacillus strains are L. acidophilus, L. fermentum, and L-rhamnose
Bifidobacteria Strains – This another beneficial probiotic strain that is commonly included in children’s probiotic supplements. Bifido is normally found in the intestine. They prevent the growth and colonization of harmful bacteria and restore good bacteria in the gut. It boosts the immune system and helps to treat constipation, IBS, diarrhea and skin issues such as eczema.
Some of the highly recommended Bifidobacteria strains are B. longum and B bifidum.
3. CFU (Colony Forming Units)
This term refers to the number of active and live organisms present in the probiotic supplement. The more the number, the better the product is. Because, fewer number of CFU’s cannot outgrow the bad bacteria and form their colonies.
It is best to opt for a supplement that is shelf-stable and does not require refrigeration. In most cases, the microorganisms present in refrigerated products will die if they are kept in room temperature for a prolong period of time. Moreover, if you are purchasing probiotic supplements online then it is impossible to ensure that the correct temperature has been maintained throughout transport and delivery of the supplement.
5. Time-Release Feature
It is important to ensure that the microorganisms present in the probiotic supplement survives the stomach acids and remain alive when they reach the digestive tract, otherwise they won’t be of any use. So, it is best to choose a probiotic supplement that comes with special delivery system such as time-release or control-release formula.
Some probiotic supplements contain ingredients like gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, nuts, yeast or fish. So, it is better to check the ingredient list before purchasing the supplement.
7. Expiration Date
When it comes to choosing probiotic supplements, this is an important piece of information. A supplement that comes with a displayed expiration date acts as a manufacturer’s promise of the duration of potency of the supplement.
8. Money Back Guarantee
If possible, choose a supplement that comes with money-back guarantee. It is an indication that the manufacturer stands by the performance of the product.
Benefits of Probiotics for Kids
1. Improves Digestion and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Probiotics are more beneficial for kids suffering from recurrent constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. The healthy bacteria support the movement of foods through the digestive system by breaking down the food components. They also fight off any pathogens present in the digestive tract.
In an observational study in Germany with 203 children aged 4 to 18 years, it was seen that when treated with a supplement containing a natural intestinal bacterium, the key IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, etc. improved significantly. (1)
2. Treat Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea
Children are often prescribed antibiotic courses to treat flu and infections. These antibiotics destroy both the harmful and beneficial bacteria in the GI tract. A common side effect of antibiotic treatment is diarrhea. A probiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus strains such as Lactobacillus reuteri protectis and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG can help to alleviate diarrhea caused due to antibiotics.
In a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials, it was seen that the use of probiotics produced a significant reduction in the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. (2)
3. Improves Immune Health
Maintaining a balanced population of gut bacteria can go a long way to prevent the recurrence of colds and flu in children and help them stay healthy throughout the flu season. The healthy gut flora also helps to prevent allergy development in children.
In a recent meta-analysis of probiotic use in healthy children and adults, it was seen that probiotic use reduced the duration of illness significantly. (3)
4. Prevent and Treat Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis
Kids are more prone to rashes and other skin conditions such as eczema (characterized by red and irritated skin, fluid-filled and oozing bumps). Taking a daily probiotic supplement can help to prevent the development of eczema and even treat the condition. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus are most beneficial to treat skin conditions.
Researchers from the Department of Pediatrics at Wright State University conducted a review of 10 previous randomized trials to assess the benefit of probiotics for children with eczema. The study published in Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology revealed that probiotics may benefit children with moderately severe eczema. (4)
Can every child take probiotics?
Some experts recommend that every child should take a daily dose of probiotics. However others say that it does not show any added benefits in kids who don’t suffer from any symptoms and eat a normal diet. But as far as safety is concerned, there are no potential side effects of probiotics. The best probiotics have been widely tested on children of all ages including new-born with no negative reports.
A Word of Note before Leaving…
Our top pick from this list is Rainbow Light Probiolicious Probiotic Gummies that support all over digestive and immune system health in kids. This supplement contains 3 well-researched probiotic strains along with prebiotics that support colonization of the good bacteria.
It has a natural cranberry flavor that is loved by kids. It is free from artificial ingredients and common allergens which makes it suitable for kids with special needs. It is a shelf-stable product that does not require refrigeration. The package comes with printed expiration date which guarantees the potency of the supplement.
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