In today’s world of online “google” research, social media opinions, and blogs (yes I said it) , there is A LOT of controversy when it comes to raising our kids, including what the best probiotics for kids may be.
There is a To-Do list for EVERYTHING! And Do’s and Dont’s for everything else. We are constantly bombarded with what our kids should or should not eat or drink, what vitamins are the best, when they should be potty trained, what type of schooling is best, what snacks are best, what kind of milk they should drink, how much sleep they should get, how much screen-time is okay, and so much.
So I thought I would take some time to narrow down a really important issue so that you aren’t deciding between 25 different options. While probiotics are often touted as potentially beneficial for adults, researchers have also found that probiotics are beneficial for children as well.
We know that 70-80% of the immune system is located in the gut, and more research is emerging every day showing how important gut bacteria is for multiple aspects of our overall health.
Probiotics help to support a child’s digestive and immune health, and help with constipation and regularity issues. (I have seen the positive effects in my own children) Which probiotic to choose for your child can be a very important decision to make.
Are children are exposed to so much in the world today. It seems nearly impossible to guard them from every little things that we find in our air and foods. so probiotics are a great way to armour them from the inside!
Health Benefits of Probiotics
So what are some of the benefits that probiotics, and prebiotics, provide for our kids? Well for starters, a healthy digestive tract contributes to immune health as well as overall health. Take a look at some of the benefits below:
1.Helps to maintain a healthy digestive system while supporting immunity.
2. Boost the absorption of nutrients that are obtained from food and supplements.
3. Protects against occasional digestive problems.
4. Replenish good flora in our digestive tract
How To Choose The Right Probiotic
1. CFU – The Number of Living Microorganisms
Our babies’ bodies needs the right amount of the right strain.
CFU stands for Colony-Forming Units. This number represents an estimate of the number of living microorganisms in a sample. This is very important because probiotics are living organisms and would only be considered a probiotic if they enter the intestinal tract alive. However, just a higher CFU alone does not mean that the product is the best option.
2. The Expiration Date
The level of importance of the expiration date is right up there with CFU, believe it or not. Look at it this way: the CFU claim on the label is only important if the probiotics are still alive by the time they reach your intestinal system.
As a general rule, I only trust a product that at least has an expiration date. The best option is a product that reads “viable through end of shelf life” or “live cultures guaranteed”.
3. Species/Strain of Probiotics Present
Your child’s microbiome has thousands of diverse strains that are of benefit to their body, so the probiotics we give them should mirror that. Look for a probiotic supplement with a diverse combination of strains.
Probiotic supplements with one strain just will not do!
Select a combination of strains that are clinically proven to provide the desire benefits you seek as well. Some products have strains that are specifically geared towards helping children.
A list of common probiotic strains and what those starins can do for our bodies can be found here.
For more information on picking the right probiotic, make sure to take a few minutes to check out the video below!
At A Glance: My 5 Picks for Kids Probiotics
- Florify For Kids Probiotic
- Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic
- Culturelle Kids Probiotic
- Smarty Pants Probiotics
- Olly Kids Probiotics
THE Best Probiotics For Kids
Florify is my absolute Top Pick and the brand that I use for my kids after trying Everything! It has everything that a high quality probiotic should have, including high CFU and 7 strains of microbes.
This product is not sold in stores, but must be ordered as part of an online shopping membership along with other high quality products. Florify must be ordered and delivered to your door and it’s worth all its weight in gold!
Benefits: Each dose of Florify for Kids gives your kid
1. Strawberry flavor great for kids
2. Can be added to beverage
3. 5 billion active probiotic cultures—guaranteed
4. 7 diverse, beneficial probiotic strains. The greater the diversity, the better! Versus 1 strand in other leading products**
5. 3 of those probiotic strains are specifically for kids
6. Easy to take
7. Clinically Researched
Why seven diverse strains? Because a gut microbiome is populated by trillions of microbes already. The more probiotic strains you give them, the more support your kids will have for a healthy, balanced microbiome.
Check out this info graph of Benefits!
Culturelle Probiotic Products are designed to promote ongoing digestive and immune health as well as everyday wellness for every member of the family. This is a number one recommended brand and many peoplehave been using this brand for many years.
1.Contains naturally sourced ingredients that work with your body to support digestive health.
2. Ingredients like the proven probiotic strain, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), are shown to help your digestive system work better.
3. Brand most recommended by Pediatricians.
4. Culturelle Baby products help promote your baby’s developing digestive and immune systems
5. Meets the FDA’s guidelines for gluten-free
6. Best Selling Brand
My Thoughts on Culturelle: I included Culturelle because they seem to work for many people and they are the “Number 1 Recommended probiotic by Pediatricians”. However, the fact that the supplement only includes 1 strain gives me pause.
Check out their full line of kids products!
3. Smarty Pants Probiotic
The Smarty Pants Kid’s chewable probiotic vitamin is a gummy that combines probiotics and prebiotics for a well rounded digestive and immune support.
For those that are not familiar with prebiotics, they are actually indigestible fiber that bypass our small intestine and go straight to the colon where they are fermented by the bacteria in our gut. This is according to Dr. Vincent Pedre, author of Happy Gut.
The best time to take prebiotics and probiotics is regularly. Both can be taken at the same time, daily.
1. 4 billion CFU per serving in
2. Probiotic comes in spore form – it has been stated that 99% will reach your lower digestive track alive
3. Two Strains, including: Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus coagulans
4. Prebiotics are included: beta-glucan is said to support the growth of probiotic bacteria
5. Non-GMO and Vegan. The labeling claims that there is no artificial flavors or sweeteners. It is free of allergens like the other probiotics.
My Take: Smarty Pants is a pretty good choice if you want an item that you just throw into your cart. I’m intrigued by the addition of the prebiotic and I and I’m definitely happy that it contains a pretty good CFU and more than one strain.
4. Olly Kids Probiotic
I personally give my kids a separate multi vitamin (I will be making a post on the reason why soon), but if you would like to make life easier, here you go! (who doesn’t?). The CFU and strain count isn’t my first choice, but the combination of vitamins, prebiotics, and probiotics pushes this product up on the list.
OLLY Multivitamin and Probiotic is a great combination for kids. These yummy gummy vitamins include vitamins A, C, D, E, Zinc, and all of the vitamin B’s. In additions to that, you have the live probiotics AND prebiotics.
- Olly Balanced Belly has 500 million CFU and comes in 1 strain.
2. The strain used is Bacillus coagulans.
3. This strain has been shown to help with bloating and stomach pain associated with patients who have bowel issues.
4. It’s also suggested to increase immune response, prevent diarrhea, and balance out bacteria levels in the body.
5. This probiotic also uses a prebiotic blend of Fructooligosaccharides, Xylitol, and Inulin.
5. RenewLife Ultimate Flora Probiotic
Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotic is a Renew Life probiotic brand that was voted #1 in consumer satisfaction in 2018. I like this product because it has great numbers. It touts 6 strains which is awesome, certainly more than other products aside from Florify with 3 billion CFU. It’s great tasting and honestly would be my SECOND CHOICE.
1. This Probiotic is for kids aged 2 and older (most are 3-4)
2. Renew Life Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotic is made with 3 billion cultures
3. MULTI-STRAIN PROBIOTIC: Each kids chewable probiotic tablet contains a great blend of 6 different probiotic strains to reflect the natural diversity of your child’s gut. That’s 6 specially selected strains to ease occasional tummy trouble, irregularity, and also support the digestive balance.
4. It’s gluten free, dairy free, and soy free
5. BEST IF REFRIGERATED
6. Contains Xylitol, which is good for kid’s teeth (fights against teeth decaying bacteria)
7. HIGH-QUALITY GUARANTEE: Renew Life is the #1 probiotic brand in consumer satisfaction in 2018
8. SHELF STABLE PROBIOTIC: Refrigeration recommended but not required, so stick this probiotic for kids in the fridge only if you want to!
6. Digestive Advantage Kids Probiotics
Digestive Advantage Kids Probiotic Gummies is a fairly easy and tasty way to get your kids to take a probiotic, if you are okay with some sugar. ( I am lol)
They claim that these probiotics are made with no artificial flavors or colors and just like the other probiotics, they help support your child’s everyday digestive and overall health. Digestive Advantage contains BC30, a probiotic that is shown to survives 10X better than yogurt to deliver good bacteria where kids need it.
1. Many probiotics don’t survive the acidic stomach environment to get to the intestines where they do their work. That’s why we must be careful that labels guarantee live bacteria, and not just live when it was packaged. The BC30 protein is said to be their method to remedy this issue.
2. 500 Million CFU and 1 Strain is in the product.
3. They are made with natural flavors and taste great so kids love them
4. These numbers are based on median % survivability of the digestive advantage probiotic vs. leading probiotis and yogurt in a simulated gastric PH.
My Thoughts on Digestive Advantage: This is a bonus probiotic that I included because of its popularity. I believe it’s important to talk about the popular products. This particular line has a great feature, in that it has a protein shell that helps deliver more live bacteria to the gut. However, like Culturelle, there is only one strain present and I don’t see and freshness or CFU guarantees.
What Ailments Can Probiotics Help Provide Relief For?
There has been a huge effort recently to increase the awareness of the use of probiotics, and much of it has been backed by great research. Take a look at some other common ailments that may benefit from the use of probiotics.
- irritable bowel syndrome.
- ulcerative colitis.
- Crohn’s disease.
- H. pylori (the cause of ulcers)
- vaginal infections.
- urinary tract infections.
- recurrence of bladder cancer.
- Children’s colds.
- Urinary tract and vaginal health.
- Allergies and asthma.
- Lactose intolerance.
- Childhood stomach and lung infections.
- Mouth health.
- Joint stiffness.
- Traveler’s diarrhea
Well there is my list! Narrowed down to the top six and hopefully narrowed down enough so that a decision can be made easily. It’s important to consider what we are allowing to go into our children’s body so the first step is getting the information!
Are you using another probiotic for your child? If so please let me know in the comment section! Also let me know if you enjoyed this post on the best probiotics for kids and what you would like to see next.
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