One scientific explanation of probiotics describes them as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” For a more poetic definition, turn to the word’s Greek origins. From the root words “pro” (meaning promoting) and “biotic” (meaning life), this ancient language elevates probiotics into a life-affirming supplement many believe is essential to our well-being. And yes, that includes babies and kids. If you’ve been considering probiotics for your little one (or want to learn more about why you should) this post sheds some light on the benefits of probiotics for infants, plus the most popular member-approved products to try.
Before you decide on a particular product, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of probiotics for babies. Studies explain that infant microbiome development begins at birth. One report notes that “after birth, infants are rapidly colonized with a complex mixture of microbes primarily derived from initial environmental exposures,” and suggests that the first two years of life encompass a critical window for a healthy microbiome to be established. Probiotics are one way to support infant microbiome development, and are believed to offer a number of benefits.
For example, if your child develops an infection or illness that calls for antibiotics, a probiotic may help shorten the symptoms. Trials have shown that respiratory tract infections may be preventable through the use of probiotics, and that these supplements give the immune system an overall boost.
Still, it’s worth noting that The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates probiotics as a food product—not as a medicine. This distinction means probiotics aren’t mandated to show they’re safe or effective, so have a chat with your pediatrician if you’re interested in exploring probiotics for your kids.
ThriveMarket.com sells some of the best infant probiotics available. Here’s a look at some of the picks our members offer to their young children.
This powder probiotic from Love Bug Probiotics introduces beneficial bacteria strains to the tummies of children ages 1 to 4. Convenient powder packs make it easy to mix with formula, milk, water, or juice, and feature strains that include B. lactis and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG).
“Picky kids can’t tell when this is put in their drinks!”
Formulated for kids ages 4 and older, this pack of 60 probiotic pills delivers 3 billion live cultures in every serving. This supplement is non-GMO and free from artificial colors and flavors.
“These probiotics are easy for small kids to swallow if taken with yogurt.”
When baby is ready to transition to solids, probiotic-enriched cereal is here to help. Each spoonful delivers DHA, choline, and probiotics for baby’s immune support.
“I add a little of this to my toddler’s smoothies for extra nutrients and it works great.”
The formula for these liquid drops is new and improved, featuring the B. infantis M-63 strain of probiotics. Designed to use within 28 days, the bottle adds a daily dose to lukewarm milk, formulas, or foods.
“Jarrow Probiotics are some of my favorites and this baby version is no different! I love that it’s a single strain, and liquid instead of powder.”
—Jessica, South Carolina
Shake up your breakfast routine with a protein- and probiotic-fueled powder featuring organic greens, fruits, vegetables, and 1 billion CFU probiotics. Mix it with milk for a delicious drink!
“This is great to make banana and strawberry smoothies. My son also likes the chocolate flavor, but he still drinks this one.”
Sixty grape-flavored gummies offer digestive support to your kids, thanks to nutrients like omega-3s, vitamins D3 and B12, soluble fiber, and 4 billion CFUs of probiotic bacteria. This supplement is formulated without artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners.
“My son loves these! They taste great, have a nice texture, and work fabulously.”
—Colleen, New Jersey
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