12 min read
Should Kids Take Probiotics? 5 Reasons Why Probiotics Are Good For Your Kids
You would be naturally cautious about what goes inside your kid's body as a parent. As you safeguard your child's health and wellness, you might wonder if giving them probiotics will help or harm them. After all, you may have already heard the beautiful wonders of what probiotics can do to our gut health. The question is, should kids also take probiotics?
Apparently, your kids can take probiotics. They are generally deemed safe and suitable for their gut health. It can support the health of your kid's digestive system, immune system, and growth and development.
In this article, let us help you understand the following:
- What probiotics are
- Should kids take probiotics?
- What are the health benefits of giving probiotics to kids?
- Are probiotics safe for your kids to take?
- Will kids experience side effects of taking probiotics?'
- Where can you get probiotics?
- How to safely administer probiotics to kids?
- How to choose a probiotic supplement for your kid?
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are beneficial to one's overall health. These are the good bacteria that promote digestion and prevent your microbiome from falling into the state of dysbiosis - a loss of beneficial bacteria resulting in a reduction in microbial diversity.
Perhaps, some parents may probably think that probiotics are basically bacteria. Or, you may believe that probiotics are like chemicals or drugs that your child may not be able to tolerate. Thus, it can lead to a perception that probiotics are bad for kids.
Let's fix that misconception!
Remember that our gut is home to billions of microbes working together to keep us healthy. Thus, it should be noted that not all bacteria are harmful! With probiotics in the picture, their primary role is to keep our tummies happy.
How? Probiotic bacteria compete with harmful or toxic bacteria for nutrients. Their ability to grow and multiply in numbers prevents bad bacteria from residing inside the body.
Should Kids Take Probiotics?
Probiotics are generally safe for kids to consume with little adverse effect to worry about.
In fact, the benefits still outweigh the risks as probiotics were found to be beneficial for growth, treatment of infections and diseases, and immune function.
Furthermore, the potential of probiotics on a kid's health has been explored by many studies. And the use of probiotics for therapy and disease prevention is encouraged by health researchers for the growing population.
5 Reasons Why Probiotics Are Good For Your Kids
The Health Benefits
1. Helps with digestion
Taking probiotics is linked to healthy digestion. Moreso, these might be beneficial for children with digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome.
2. Strengthens the immune system
While diet and lifestyle play significant roles in the immune system of children, a study found that probiotics also possess the potential to enhance one's immune function. Certain probiotic strains are good bacteria that help fight off harmful or "bad" bacteria.
3. Helps treat infections and diseases
Clinical research has linked probiotics with the treatment of acute gastroenteritis and respiratory tract infection.
A study also looked into how probiotics prevent infections in children attending daycare centers. Probiotics are also curative of other medical conditions such as yeast infections, urinary tract infections (UTI), lactose intolerance, and eczema.
4. Aids in growth and development
According to research, it was concluded that probiotics contribute to the weight and height gain of children, especially those who are undernourished.
Thus, incorporating probiotics into the diet can improve a child's nutritional status.
5. Eases side effects from antibiotics
Yes, antibiotics fight infections to eliminate toxic bacteria from the body. However, antibiotic treatment may cause a child to experience gastric discomfort due to the disruption in the gut microbiota.
Studies have shown that probiotics are effective against diarrhea caused by antibiotics.
In other words, probiotics can serve as an excellent accompaniment to antibiotics to provide relief for children experiencing the side effects, such as constipation and diarrhea.
Are Probiotics Safe For Your Kids To Take?
Probiotics are generally safe for consumption. In the first place, you already have these microbial strains naturally occurring in the body! In simpler terms, these good bacteria are already known and welcomed by the human gut.
Hence, you have little to worry about when it comes to giving probiotics to kids.
In addition, probiotics can replenish the good bacteria that may have been destroyed along with the toxic bacteria. Your child's gut health can undoubtedly benefit from probiotics.
Can Probiotics Cause Side Effects in Kids?
Adverse effects related to probiotic consumption are rare. This means to say that probiotics are generally safe to use by adults and kids alike.
The closest thing to a side effect that your child may experience from probiotics is an upset stomach, bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea.
Findings from scientific studies show that some probiotic strains were found to have no reported side effects.
You may seek medical advice from a pediatrician should your child experience any side effects.
What Kind of Probiotics Should I Give to My Kids?
Probiotics are found in some foods, and you can also buy them over-the-counter as supplements. Let's talk about the primary sources one by one.
Food sources of probiotics include grains, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, sourdough bread, and fermented food like pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
During your grocery run, you can also check out food labels for "live and active cultures" as an ingredient.
From the beginning of life, your child has already consumed probiotics through breastmilk. Human milk contains probiotics that help strengthen the immune system of infants. Some formula milk has added probiotics to ensure good gut health for non-breastfed babies.
Probiotic supplements are widely available in the market. Plus, you can obtain these supplements in different forms. These include
- Chewable candies
Precautions For Giving Probiotics To Kids
As much as probiotics are proven to have health benefits with only minor side effects, much caution is still needed for some children. This includes kids with a compromised immune system, the terminally ill, and those recovering from surgery. It is still best to consult with a physician before giving probiotic supplements to your child.
How To Give Probiotics to Kids?
Once you have the go signal from the pediatrician on introducing probiotics into your kid's diet, you may try experimenting with foods rich in probiotics, such as yogurt or a kid-friendly probiotic drink. You may also opt for healthier snack alternatives like fruits.
On the other hand, if you feel like probiotic supplements are another excellent option, consult with a healthcare professional for the right strain and amount to give your child.
As an additional tip, you may also combine probiotics with prebiotics which are beneficial to the growth of good bacteria.
Can you combine prebiotics and probiotics? Learn more here.
How to Choose a Probiotic Supplement for My Kids?
There is no one best probiotic supplement for kids. You should remember that different strains of bacteria deliver different health results.
Take claims of dietary supplements with a grain of salt and always do your research. It is always best to seek the advice of a pediatrician to know whether a probiotic supplement will be beneficial for your child.
Our Take Away
Protecting your child as they grow is necessary to give them a good quality of life free from illnesses. Supplementing your child's diet with probiotics can help you achieve this health goal.
Probiotics are live strains of good bacteria necessary for maintaining gut health. Probiotics are linked to many health benefits for children, including preventing and treating infections.
Unless contraindicated, probiotics are deemed safe for consumption by kids. Probiotics can be found from both natural sources and in supplement form.
A visit to the pediatrician can help you narrow your choices for the best possible probiotic supplement unique to your child's needs.
Get the Tummy Goodness From Nuzest’s Kids Good Stuff!
Kids Good Stuff is an all-in-one nutritional support that also contains the happy tummy goodness that your child needs.
Our smoothie formula has Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria lactus, fiber, and dietary enzymes for good your kids’ digestion and gut support.
Here are more reasons why parents are choosing Nuzest’s Kids Good Stuff.
- It is suitable for everyone of all ages from 4 and up
- It is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, and non-GMO
- It is made from real food, including 11 different fruit and vegetables
- Loaded 20+ other vitamins and minerals to support immunity, digestion, concentration, and growth.
- It has 8g of plant-based protein per serve to aid growth and development.
- It provides long-lasting energy to help them live, learns, grows, and play.
What’s behind the formula of Kids Good Stuff and its probiotics? Find the secret here.
Kids Good Stuff
A solid foundation of protein, fruits and vegetables with added vitamins, minerals, probiotics and much more.
The information provided on Nuzest is for educational and informational purposes only. The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional advice or care. Please speak to your qualified healthcare professional in the event that something you have read here raises questions or concerns regarding your health.