A healthy gut is foundational for energy and wellness, but with today’s busy family lifestyles, it’s easy to get off balance – even for kids. High sugar diets, courses of antibiotics and irritable bowel issues can cause digestive discomfort in kids and adults alike. Thankfully, extensive research has been done on the many ways in which probiotics can help support healthy kids and strong immune systems.
We’ve put together a list of a few compelling reasons to integrate probiotics for kids into your family’s diet as well as some of the best probiotic supplements to get you started.
How Can Kids Benefit from Probiotics?
Research on the correlation between a healthy gut and a healthy immune response has exploded in recent years, leading some to believe that 70%-80% of a healthy immune system resides in the gut. Many probiotics, especially those formulated for kids, are designed to support the healthy bacteria in the gut, leading to fewer sick days, a decrease in allergies, healthy digestion, and smoother bathroom breaks.
Integrating Probiotics Into Your Child’s Diet
There are several ways to boost the probiotic content of your child’s diet, and it can start with something as simple as a bowl of high-quality yogurt or other fermented foods. But, if you’re looking to ensure a guaranteed dose of beneficial probiotics, it’s best to go with a formulated supplement as different yogurts have varying levels of probiotics and differ in effectiveness depending on shelf-life and other factors.
One of the most crucial times to put probiotics to work is when your child is prescribed a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics can chase away strep throat and ear infections and can be seen as a miracle of modern medicine. The only downside, however, is that antibiotics can can kill off both the “good” and “bad” bacteria in your child’s gut, leaving them prone to diarrhea or other digestive issues. This is why probiotics can be so helpful when your child is sick, they help the good bacteria thrive while your prescription goes to work clearing out harmful infections.
Probiotics vs. Prebiotics
They sound the same, but they’re actually two different halves of an important whole. Probiotics are the good bacteria that maintains a healthy gut, and prebiotics are the starchy, high carb foods probiotics microorganisms eat to survive. When probiotics and prebiotics are taken in combination, they work symbiotically to support a healthy gut. Fermented foods such as kefir and yogurt work are great choice for kids as they contain both live bacteria (probiotics) and the fuel it requires to thrive (prebiotics.)
Best Probiotics for Kids
If you’re convinced that probiotics are the right choice for your family, take a look at these products to get started.
- Rainbow Light Probiolicious Probiotic Gummies: Obviously gummies are a no-brainer when it comes to kids, and as a bonus these delicious cranberry flavored supplements are appropriate for your entire family. Each serving contains 1 billion CFU Bio-Active Probiotic Defense and contains a multi-function probiotic to support a healthy intestinal system.
- NOW BerryDophilus Kids: NOW BerryDophilus Kids provides 2 billion CFU from a combination of 10 clinically validated probiotic bacterial strains. It’s designed to support gastrointestinal health and healthy immune system function. A balanced gut can create a favorable environment for the absorption of nutrients, allowing your child’s gut to continue thriving.
- Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic Kids: Keep your child’s tummy in tip-top spirits every day with Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotic 3 Billion. This daily chewable probiotic is made with six scientifically studied Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains to ease occasional tummy trouble and support digestive and immune health.
- Dr. Formulated Organic Kids+ by Garden of Life: This organic, probiotic supplement, available in cherry and berry, promotes optimal digestive and immune health to support good digestion, growth and development.
- Kids Kyo-Dophilus from Kyolic: This non-dairy, vanilla flavored supplement is formulated with three uniquely cultured heat-stable strains of beneficial bacteria to support your child’s health and wellness.
Do you use probiotic supplements or fermented foods to support your child’s diet and digestion? Tell us in the comments below!
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