Picking the Best Probiotics for Kids in 2017 – Parents’ Guide

Probiotics for kids?! I hear you cry! Although the term may sound scientific and scary as though something’s wrong with them, don’t worry, that’s not the case at all! Probiotics are known in the mainstream world as ‘good bacteria’ that are very effective at fighting bad bacteria in our bodies, as well as our children’s.

Most commonly, these probiotics are ideal for helping our children to have healthy digestion systems, enhanced immune systems and have been proven to help support our gastrointestinal systems, resulting in happy tums and happy moms! But where would you start with finding these good bacteria? Well, you start here!

A Collection of My Favorite Prebiotics Designed Especially for Children

To give you a solid foundation of knowledge, here are some of my favorite probiotics that your children are going to love. What’s more, they’re also great for promoting your kid’s health and well-being!

1. Culturelle Kids Packet Daily Probiotic Formula

To start off my list, I’ve chosen this great all-rounded probiotic that’s both balanced and puts our children’s best interests at heart. With the Culturelle formula, your children will be able to enjoy the benefits of a proper and well-nourished gastrointestinal tract, resulting in proper digestive functions, minimising the risk of those traditional childhood toilet troubles.

Not only does it help there. You’ll also be able to relish in the benefits of an increased and more productive immune system so all in all, there’ll be less chance of diarrhea and stomach problems, and your child will get less sick and ill! This Culturelle product is highly recommended by pediatricians across the United States so you can feel safe in the knowledge that your product is one of quality and benefits.

What's Great About It: This leading probiotic is only made from 100% naturally sourced bacteria. Lactobacillus GC to be precise, one of the most highly studied and clinically trialed probiotics in the industry!

2. Zahler Kidophilus Chewable Probiotics

Looking for a high-performance probiotic that’s incredibly easy for your child to consume and digest? There may not be any need to look further than the Zahler Chewable Probiotic. As the title suggests, this probiotic is easily consumed since it can simply be chewed, much like a sweet, meaning there’s no gooey liquids or big pills to swallow.

When it comes to performance, this is where Zahler also excels. Inside this product, you’ll find up to 10 billion live bacteria as well as active CFU, ensuring your child’s bacteria population count rises to provide them with several benefits.

These benefits include a more balanced gastrointestinal system, increased and proper digestive functions and an enhanced immune system, ensuring your child’s well-being is as good as it can be.​

What's Great About It: To improve your experience while taking the probiotics, these easily consumable tablets contain completely natural Acidophilus, giving these tablets all the bacteria they need while enabling your child to enjoy a fantastic berry flavor.

3. Renew Life Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotics

The Renew Life Flora Kids Probiotics is a leading immune system support probiotic that’s been proven to improve your child’s health and well-being, preventing and minimising the risk of them contracting illnesses by fighting off the bad bacteria.

To help consumption, these probiotics come in a chewable tablet with a child-friendly berry taste, meaning you won’t have to worry about your child fussing over eating it, in fact, they’ll be happy to do so!

Additionally, your child will also be able to enjoy a better digestive system as well as being proven to increase nutrient absorption in your child’s stomach and decreases the risk of common tummy aches! That’s everything you need, all in one handy probiotic capsule.​

What's Great About It: Renew Life really do put your child’s well-being first. In each capsule, you won’t find any artificial flavors, sweeteners or colors, ensuring the utmost purity and quality in each tablet.

​4. PRO-Kids Children’s Probiotics

This is easily one of my top favorite child-friendly probiotic, and it really does work wonders. This completely natural formula comes in the leading chewable form for easy, fuss-free consumption and helps to deliver all the good bacteria that child needs to the intestinal tract.

In fact, in recent tests, it was shown that up to 60% of the good bacteria actually makes it to the tract, unlike traditional probiotics, some of which only managed 4%!

This can help to boost your child’s immune system functions as well as restoring and regenerating resident bacteria, guaranteeing optimal digestive functions and strong health. These tablets are suitable for children aged 4 and above and contains no artificial flavorings, sweeteners or colors, ensuring that your child’s health is always first.​

What's Great About It: Keeping with the mindset of looking after your child’s well-being, these probiotics contain no synthetic substances or sugars, meaning it’s good for their teeth while chewing and won’t contribute to diet problems related to too much sugar.

​5. NatureWise Kids’ Care Time-Release Probiotics

Finally, to conclude my list of favorites, I’ve chosen this outstanding all-purpose, child-friendly probiotic that contains not one, not two, but eight leading probiotic strains, ideal for improving both your child’s health, well-being, digestive functions and for enhancing their immune system. That’s twice as many probiotic strains that the next leading brand!

Inside each small micro-tablet, you’ll find over 3 billion CFU, making these perfect for being digested on their own, or simply pop it in their food for easy consumption. These probiotics are designed using NatureWise’s leading WiseBiotics technology, ensuring that over 15 times more of the good bacteria actually reaches your child’s digestive tract where it can be most effective.

As the name suggests, these micro pearls also have a patented and unique time-release feature, slowly distributing and releasing the probiotic cultures into your child’s system throughout the day, so they can continuously benefit from the bacteria, without having to worry about taking another!​

What's Great About It: In addition to all these fantastic features, NatureWise is also guaranteed to live until their expiration date, even when stored room temperature, meaning you’ll never have to worry about feeding your child an unintentional placebo probiotic tablet that won’t do anything.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Ideal Child-Friendly Probiotics

With all this in mind, it’s time to choose the ideal probiotics for you and your family. However, as parents, we need to be sure that we’re making the right decisions, especially when it comes to our children’s health. Scroll down, and you’ll discover my complete buying guide, enabling you to make the wisest decision.

What’s a CFU?

You may have seen this throughout my list. A CFU is short for a Colony-Forming Unit. It refers to how many bacteria are found in each probiotic tablet unit.

Isn’t Bacteria Bad for My Kids and Me?

In short, the answer is absolutely not! As mentioned before, probiotics are ‘good bacteria’ that is naturally found in your child’s gut. In fact, it starts growing there on its own from around the age of 3. This growing process then continues through their development stages, all the way through adulthood for the rest of our lives!

So, What Do I Need Probiotics For?

Every child grows up differently, and there are several factors that you’ll need to consider that can be extremely difficult to track and manage. These factors include lifestyle aspects such as diet, exercise, the rate of growth and development stage.

There’s also the question of how effective your child’s immune system is already, but as above, this is extremely difficult to monitor as a child’s developing body is an ever-changing landscape.

However, probiotics can’t do any harm. Your child’s stomach already contains billions these friendly bacteria, but, by adding a few more billion, you can increase the functions of your child’s body that results in a healthy body. Over 80% of a child’s immune system bacteria is found in their gastrointestinal tract which is why a probiotic can be consumed because that’s where they’ll end up!

Think of it this way. Let’s say your child’s intestine has one billion bacteria already. Then, your child eats some food that’s got a mild form of a cold virus on it, so theoretically, they’re going to catch a cold. Over the course of a couple of days, these billion bacteria are working away, fighting the cold virus until it’s all gone and your child gets better. Everybody’s happy.

​Now, if your child is taking probiotics, this bacteria count is now two billion, meaning that it can fight the cold in half the time, or stop it from becoming a problem altogether. This is the same for the immune system and the digestive tract functions, always resulting in one happy, healthy toddler!

Are There Any Risks to Taking Probiotics?

One of the most common issues parents face when it comes to things like medication or food supplements, or in this case probiotics, is the risk of overdose. However, if you over administer your chosen probiotic, the only symptom you’re likely to see is an increased amount of gas. Such a nice thought, I know!

Due to the increase in bacteria in the digestive tract, it’s obvious to see why gas could build up, however, despite increased gas, there’s no way that probiotics could make your child physically sick or ill.​

Which Strains Should I Be Giving My Children?

When it comes to actually choosing which probiotic to give your child, you have a tonne of choice which is where it gets confusing for most parents. There are standard strains such as DHA and EPA Powder (both derived from Omega 3 found in fish) or vitamins, such as vitamin D3.

Alternatively, you could opt for the core probiotic strains such as Perplex, Lactobacillus Casei, Bifidobacterium breve, Streptococcus thermophiles and the list goes on and on. In short, there’s a huge amount to choose from, and when it comes down to it, it doesn’t really matter which one you choose, just so long as you’re not giving your child any bad bacteria.

So, Why Can’t I Choose Any Old Probiotic?

Traditional probiotics, especially some from the leading mainstream companies that you would usually find in a supermarket, have been made to be as affordable as possible. They are also designed, so your kids will love them, ensuring that you think ‘Great, it works, I don’t need anything else now.’ Unfortunately, these companies have used special methods to create these effects.

These techniques include pumping each probiotic pill with a tonne of artificial sweeteners, flavorings, additives and, most importantly, sugar. As with any good parent, you’ll constantly be monitoring your child’s sugar intake as it can quickly lead to weight increase and other health problems, especially if your child also consumes a lot of sugary food.

With this in mind, it’s best to avoid sugar-filled probiotics all together, allowing you to eliminate this problem. Likewise, I know for a fact that I would rather give my kids natural ingredients that are harmless to their bodies, rather than opting for more affordable but more dangerous products that contain artificial chemicals.

What’s the Best Way to Administer Probiotics?

As you can see from my list of favorites, there’s a tonne of ways you can administer your child’s probiotic dosage. Nowadays, many companies have opted for a range of different techniques. If the tablet form is rather large, I would highly advise a chewable tablet, since a young child can have problems swallowing a pill-sized tablet whole.

Although, it’s worth noting that probiotics are a lot more effective if swallowed whole rather than chewed but you’ll still see some benefits. Alternatively, you could opt for micro-pearls, a new-age solution that condenses everything your child needs into a small bead-like tablet. This means your child will find it incredibly easy to swallow, or you can simply pop the tablet in your child’s food, so they won’t even consider that it’s there.

Final Thoughts

Taking your time to pick out and choose the best probiotic for your family and children is such a worthwhile decision. Not only will you have to deal with less sickness and illnesses relating to your children, but you’ll also be able to be sure that you’re giving your child the best foundation to grow up strong and healthy.

    Sandra Cobain
     

    Mum of two. Child psychologist. Ardent admirer of art, crafts and cooking. She is the head of content for BestForTheKids. When she's not busy crafting posts & researching about compelling content ideas, she can be spotted playing outdoors with her two adorable children.

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