For every parent, their child’s health is of top priority. So when it comes to boosting a child’s health and activating their immune system, parents today must check out the emerging market of probiotics. While one usually associates probiotics being beneficial for adults, research has found that the same benefits are applicable for children as well. Probiotics can support a child’s immune and digestive system and also address other conditions such as acid reflux and constipation. There are so many options of probiotics available on the market that it is confusing to choose the correct one for your child. Here are some of the best probiotics that are safe for kids.
Should You Be Giving Probiotics To Your Child?
Before moving on to the best probiotics for your kid, it is first essential to understand whether you should include probiotics in your child’s diet or not? Probiotics help to keep children’s digestive system healthy, while also boosting their immunity.
Probiotics are believed to be a natural remedy that can help keep kids healthy. As per the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, probiotics are the third natural product that is used amongst children.(1)
While more studies are still required to substantially prove the benefits and risks of giving probiotics to children, some of the existing research done on this subject has been encouraging:
A research review carried out in 2015 found that probiotics were more effective than placebo in decreasing the incidence and also the duration of upper respiratory tract infections in the participants of the study. At the same time, using probiotics regularly led to decreased school absence, and antibiotic usage due to the common cold was significantly reduced.(2)
A review by the American Family Physician found that using probiotics can help in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease in children.(3) The survey found that probiotics may also lower the duration of diarrhea caused by gastroenteritis. When probiotics were administered to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, they helped reduce the development of allergies and eczema in infants.
Another study carried out by The University of Melbourne and published in JAMA Pediatrics found that administering probiotics to infants during the first three months of life helped prevent constipation, colic, and acid reflux.(4) The children who were given the probiotics were also found to be crying less.
Apart from the scientific evidence, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence also that supports the use of probiotics in children. However, it is likely that the health benefits experienced depends on which strain of bacteria is present in the particular probiotic. For instance, a specific strain that might be beneficial with one health condition might prove to be useless against another disease. This is why there is ambiguity amongst experts about whether or not parents should be giving probiotics to their children, especially for extended periods.
Best Probiotics That Are Safe For Kids
If you decide to give probiotics to your children, then here are some of the best ones you can choose from:
BerryDophilus Kids by Now Foods
This probiotic, available in chewable tablets, is designed for children as young as 2 years and above.(5) The BerryDophilus probiotic combines ten probiotic strains to boost digestive health and also strengthen the immune systems. Children like having this probiotic, mainly because of the fun animal shapes of the tablets and the natural berry flavor. This brand of probiotic is available for roughly $7 for 60 tablets.
Digestive Advantage Kids Daily Probiotic
These are natural fruit-flavored gummies that can be used for providing day to day support to not your child, but your digestive and overall health as well.(6) Digestive Advantage Kids Daily Probiotic is known to contain BC30, which is a probiotic strain that can survive in the stomach acid better than other types of probiotics and even yogurts.(7)
This probiotic is ideal for both children and adults. Children from the ages of 3 and up can have this probiotic. It is available for $13 for 80 gummies.
Renew Life Kids Probiotic
Another probiotic available in the form of chewable tablets, Renew Life Kids Probiotic, is manufactured with over three billion bacterial cultures and six strains. It is a berry-flavored probiotic that helps decrease any occasional digestive imbalance and also supports the child’s immune health.
This brand of probiotic is free of sugar, gluten, and dairy. Therefore, it is a popular option for many kids with food allergies. At the same time, the probiotic does not contain any artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. It is also shelf-stable, meaning you don’t have to refrigerate it.
Renew Life Kids Probiotic is available for $10 for a pack of 30 chewable tablets.(8)
Culturelle Kids Packets Daily Probiotic Supplement
Available in single-serve packets, the Culturelle Kids probiotic supplement is designed for children above one year of age. This product contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG to boost your child’s digestive and immune health. This single-serve packet can also be mixed into any beverage or even cold food once in a day. It is free of dairy, gluten, lactose, milk, preservative, added colors, soy, and yeast.
The Culturelle Kids probiotic supplement is slightly more expensive than the others on this list and comes for $17 for 30 single-serve packets.(9)
Pedia-Lax Probiotic Yums
The Pedia-Lax Probiotic Yums are available in strawberry-flavored chewable tablets, priced at $15 for 30 chewable tablets. This probiotic delivers as many live bacterial cultures as are present in one serving of yogurt. The product is free of gluten, preservatives, sugar, eggs, soy, artificial colors, and peanuts. Pedia-Lax Probiotic Yums helps restore natural digestive balance by increasing the level of good gut bacteria in children between the ages of 2 to 11.(10)
Biocodex Floraster Kids
Available in single-serve sachets, this naturally sweetened probiotic is available in tutti-frutti flavor. The Biocodex Floraster Kids probiotic also promotes healthy digestion in children. It can be used in children aged two months and above. It works by maintaining a balance in the intestinal flora. To consume, you have to mix the contents of one packet of probiotic with juice, cold water, or any soft foods such as applesauce two times a day to get the best results. This is a gluten-free probiotic, and it cannot be refrigerated.
20 single-serve sachets are available for $22.(11)
Garden of Life RAW Probiotics Kids
This probiotic comes in a mild banana flavor and is designed for supporting the healthy growth of digestive bacteria in children. The Garden of Life probiotic can be given to children aged three months and older. It contains over five billion live probiotic cells, 23 organic and raw fruits and vegetables, and also includes the prebiotic inulin. It is necessary to introduce this probiotic gradually into your child’s meals and drinks by beginning with just a quarter of a teaspoon and then increasing it to a full serving every day.
Two month’s supply of this probiotic comes for $26.(12)
Probiotics for children can offer many health benefits as they do for adults as well. From boosting the bacterial growth in their digestive system to enhancing and activating their immune system, probiotics can help children in many ways. However, before introducing probiotics into your child’s diet, it is essential to discuss the same with their pediatrician to find out if probiotics would be right for them. Only start the above-listed probiotics after getting the go-ahead from your child’s doctor.
- NCCIH. 2020. 1.6% Of U.S. Adults (3.9 Million) Used | NCCIH. [online] Available at: https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/NHIS/2012/natural-products/biotics#child-data [Accessed 12 March 2020].
- Hao, Q., Dong, B.R. and Wu, T., 2015. Probiotics for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infections. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2).
- Armstrong, C., 2020. AAP Reports On Use Of Probiotics And Prebiotics In Children. [online] Aafp.org. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0401/p849.html [Accessed 12 March 2020].
- Sung, V., Collett, S., de Gooyer, T., Hiscock, H., Tang, M. and Wake, M., 2013. Probiotics to prevent or treat excessive infant crying: systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA pediatrics, 167(12), pp.1150-1157.
- NOW Foods. 2020. Berrydophilus™ Kids Chewables. [online] Available at: https://www.nowfoods.com/supplements/berrydophilus-kids-chewables [Accessed 12 March 2020].
- Schiff Vitamins. 2020. Digestive Advantage KIDS Daily Probiotic Gummies. [online] Available at: https://www.schiffvitamins.com/products/digestive-advantage-kids-daily-probiotic-gummies [Accessed 12 March 2020].
- Keller, D., Verbruggen, S., Cash, H., Farmer, S. and Venema, K., 2019. Spores of Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 show high germination, survival and enzyme activity in a dynamic, computer-controlled in vitro model of the gastrointestinal tract. Beneficial Microbes, 10(1), pp.77-87.
- Renewlife.com. 2020. Kids Probiotics. [online] Available at: https://www.renewlife.com/probiotic-supplements/kids-probiotics [Accessed 12 March 2020].
- Culturelle.com. 2020. Daily Probiotic Packet For Toddlers And Kids | Culturelle®. [online] Available at: https://www.culturelle.com/products/kids/probiotic-packets [Accessed 12 March 2020].
- Pedia-Lax®. 2020. Pedia-Lax® Probiotic Yums®. [online] Available at: https://www.pedia-lax.com/childrens-constipation-relief-products/pedia-lax-probiotic-yums [Accessed 12 March 2020].
- Florastor. 2020. Florastor® Products | Daily Probiotic Supplement. [online] Available at: https://florastor.com/products/ [Accessed 12 March 2020].
- Garden of Life. 2020. Raw Probiotics Kids Digestive Powder | Garden Of Life. [online] Available at: https://www.gardenoflife.com/content/product/raw-probiotics-kids-digestion/ [Accessed 12 March 2020].
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