What will you find in this article?
- 1 Probiotics for children
- 2 How do probiotics for children work?
- 3 Are probiotics safe to give to children?
- 4 How do you give probiotics to children?
- 5 How do probiotics help children with their health and development?
- 6 The best probiotics brands for kids
- 7 Best Probiotics for Children
- 8 Choosing the Best Probiotics for Children
- 9 Children’s Probiotic Health Benefits
- 10 How to Read Kids Probiotics Labels
- 11 How Safe Are Probiotics for Kids?
Probiotics for children
In this article we are going to discuss the best probiotics for children. It goes without saying that every parent wants the best for their child. We all want to see our sons and daughters grow up as happy and healthy as is possible, which is usually the reason why increasing numbers of parents are looking to give their children probiotic supplements as they grow up.
A mixed and healthy diet is of course the best way to make sure our little ones are physically healthy, but on top of this, recent research has linked specially developed probiotics for children with a whole range of health benefits.
How do probiotics for children work?
Probiotics are essentially ‘friendly bacteria’. There are trillions of these bacteria living in our GI tracts already, and the supplements help to strengthen these numbers.
Each supplement contains huge numbers of many different strains of friendly bacteria, which after being ingested will work their way through the stomach and towards the intestines where they help to boost the existing ‘microflora’.
Are probiotics safe to give to children?
Some parents may wonder if it is safe to give their children supplements – even if they are designed to improve their physical health.
When it comes to probiotics, the simple answer is that they are completely safe to give to kids of all ages. Probiotics are totally natural – after all, they are full of natural bacteria that are already found living in abundance in our digestive systems.
The supplements simply boost the bacteria cultures already found in our large and small intestines, while helping to address any imbalances that may have occurred as a result of our diets or any health conditions.
Because they are natural, probiotics are also generally tolerated by users too – meaning they will actually benefit our children rather than simply passing through their systems.
How do you give probiotics to children?
When it comes to medicines and supplements, children can be notoriously reluctant to cooperate – just think of the old adage “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”.
It’s common sense that children will be hesitant to gulp down a mouthful of foul-tasting medicine, but fortunately probiotic manufacturers have considered this when developing probiotics designed for kids.
Many popular probiotic brands produce tasteless probiotic drops especially for children. Others produce child-friendly tablets. These are packed full of the same friendly bacteria as regular adult probiotics, but they look and feel more like sweets than traditional health products – making them much more appealing, especially for younger children. Some can be swallowed whole, whereas others come as a chewable tablet not dissimilar from the popular Chewits sweets.
Many brands also produce probiotic powders for kids that can be added to milk or yoghurt. These offer added convenience as they can easily be mixed in and fed to kids of all ages – and stubborn children might not even realise they’re eating or drinking a supplement!
How do probiotics help children with their health and development?
Probiotics have been proven to offer a variety of health benefits for children. These range from respiratory issues and skin conditions to diarrhoea and sickness. A wide range of scientific research studies have been published to prove these links too. Here we take a closer look at some of the most prominent health benefits of probiotics for children.
Treatment of diarrhoea and constipation
Unfortunately many children will suffer from diarrhoea at certain times as they grow up. It’s not a pleasant experience for children or parents, but fortunately for both, a number of studies have shown a positive link between probiotic supplements and the treatment of diarrhoea in children. Probiotics have been proven to be safe and effective in treating both persistent and acute diarrhoea, and in reducing the duration of diarrhoea brought on by mild gastroenteritis.
Constipation is another digestive issue that can cause serious discomfort for children. A 2007 study on kids aged 4-16 showed improved symptoms of constipation over 4 weeks by taking a daily probiotic supplement.
Common colds and sickness bugs
As their name suggests, common colds are prevalent among adults, and especially children – as they have a less developed immune systems. In a 2006 study, probiotic supplements were shown to shorten the duration of common colds by 2 days, and significantly reduced the intensity of the symptoms.
Eczema and skin conditions
A Chinese study showed a link between probiotic supplements and the reduced risk of children developing infantile eczema. Another study mirrored the results, reducing the occurence of both eczema and particularly atopic eczema.
The same study also showed a link between four individual probiotic strains and reduced the prevalence of respiratory infections. Other research, based on nearly 250 child participants, showed reduced incidence and duration of respiratory diseases during the cold season – something that could be particularly beneficial as we enter winter and temperatures begin to drop.
The best probiotics brands for kids
When it comes to probiotics for children, there are a number of top rated brands offering a variety of supplements specially designed to assist with the development of both boys and girls:
- Renew Life
- Garden of Life Whole Food
- Dr Perlmutter Formulated
- Prescript Assist
- Klaire Labs
- Bifido Maximus by The Gut Institute
- Designs for Health
Best Probiotics for Children
The first thing you need to do is get to know about labelling, safety and benefits. There are many parents who are keen to know about the best probiotics for children, and for good reason.
Sometimes we may skimp when it comes to our own health, but not so with the offspring. There are things that all parents need to know about the top rated probiotics for children. Making a well informed choice is imperative when it comes to the health of our little ones.
Choosing the Best Probiotics for Children
Before you try to find the best probiotics for children, you need to know what you’re buying. The good news is that it’s not complicated. In fact, consuming probiotics can be as simple as eating the right kind of yogurt. These contain live, healthy bacteria. Many probiotics are bacteria like the natural ones present in the intestinal tracts and stomach. These are our good or friendly bacteria and we welcome their presence.
Probiotics help to regulate your gut flora. This gut flora is also known as gut microbiota and intestinal flora. It consists of a complex community of microorganism species that live in the digestive tracts. The digestive system is a group of hollow organs that work together to convert the foods we eat into energy. It’s also what delivers essential nutrients that nourish the entire body. As a parent, you want a balance of good to bad bacteria in your kid’s belly. This is where probiotics come in useful.
Most of the probiotics for kid’s reviews suggest that the pill based ones are the most favoured.
Children’s Probiotic Health Benefits
In the last couple of decades, clinical studies confirm that probiotic therapy is of great benefit for children. Let’s look at some of those benefits.
Probiotics for kids:
- Helps to provide treatment for gastrointestinal ills.
- Reduces flu and cold symptoms as well as duration.
- Delays allergy development.
- Treats as well as avoids urinary and vaginal infections in girls.
How to Read Kids Probiotics Labels
It’s important that you get to know some of the terminology on the probiotic labels. There’s not much to know, but it’s important all the same.
- Probiotic bacteria: This is the Colony Forming Units (CFU). It’s the number of live microorganisms present in every serving. Take note of the products expiry date. Read the label carefully. Check the effective live bacteria level through to the ‘end’ date’ or the ‘best by’ date.
- Bacteria strain: This tells of the probiotic strain types present within the product.
- Other ingredient types: Check to see what the “other ingredients” are. Do they comprise of things that may trigger any allergies the child may have?
- Serving size: This is simply the quantity to be taken.
- Health benefits: What health benefits does the product promise to the user?
- Frequency: How often is it to be taken? Is there a need to consume the product with food or at any specific time?
- Manufacturer of the product: Name and brand. With this you can look up more information about the product if you need to. You can also use this to search for any published “probiotics for children reviews”.
How Safe Are Probiotics for Kids?
Child safety is the number one concern of any parent. In general, the top rated probiotics for kids are safe to use. The normal digestive system already has some probiotics present. However, anyone who has impaired immune functionality may face some theoretical risks. If in doubt, make sure you talk with a medical professional before making any decisions. You might want to take a photo of the label and its ingredients along with you.