Best Probiotics for Kids: How to Choose

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Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are similar to the “good” bacteria that are naturally found in the gut. These bacteria can help to keep the gut healthy and can also help to boost the immune system.

Probiotics for Kids: A Guide to the Best Products

There are many different types of probiotics available, and it can be difficult to know which one is right for your child. In this blog post, we will discuss the best probiotics for kids and provide some tips on how to choose the right product for your child.

What are the Benefits of Probiotics for Kids?

Research shows that there are many health benefits of probiotics for kids, including:

  • Improved digestion: Probiotics can help to keep the gut healthy and can help to prevent diarrhea and constipation.
  • Boosted immune system: Probiotics can help to boost the immune system and can help to prevent and treat infections.
  • Improved mood: Probiotics can help to improve mood and can help to reduce anxiety and depression.
  • Improved sleep: Probiotics may even improve sleep and can help to reduce insomnia.
  • Recover from antibiotics: Probiotics help restore gut health after using antibiotic prescriptions.
  • Reduces colds and respiratory tract infections: Using probiotics reduces the chances of getting colds and viruses and lessens the severity of upper respiratory infections as well. 
  • Supports dental health: Probiotics help to decrease the risk of gingivitis, periodontitis, and cavities. 
  • May prevent ear infections: Some research shows that probiotics may reduce the chances of getting ear infections. 
  • Reduces toxins: Probiotics may help the body neutralize toxins in the gut, including glyphosate. 
  • Reduces colic: Probiotics may reduce symptoms of crying and fussing in babies with colic symptoms. 

Related post: Who Should Not Take Probiotics + Important Benefits

Culturelle® is the #1 Pediatrician Recommended Probiotic brand.

What are the Different Types of Probiotics Available?

There are many different types of probiotics available, and each type has its own unique benefits. Some of the most popular types of probiotics for kids include:

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG): This type of probiotic is known for its ability to help prevent and treat diarrhea.
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus: This type of probiotic is known for its ability to help improve digestion.
  • Lactobacillus reuteri: Helps with many conditions, including colic. 
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum: This type of probiotic is known for its ability to help boost the immune system.
  • Saccharomyces boulardii: This type of probiotic is known for its ability to help prevent diarrhea and candidiasis.
  • Bacillus coagulans: This probiotic type helps reduce IBS symptoms and supports bowel regularity. 

What are Some Tips for Using Probiotics Effectively?

Here are some tips for using probiotics effectively:

  • Start with a low dose and gradually increase the amount as tolerated.
  • Give probiotics with food to help them absorb properly.
  • Avoid giving probiotics to children with severely weakened immune systems.
  • Talk to your doctor before giving probiotics to your child.

Probiotics can be a safe and effective way to help keep your child’s gut healthy and to boost their immune system. By following the tips in this blog post, you can choose the right probiotic for your child and use it effectively.

How Do I Give My Child a Probiotic?

Probiotics can be given to kids in a variety of ways, including:

  • Chewable tablets: often are a tasty way to give kids their probiotic supplements, but aren’t suitable for infants and children under age 2. 
  • Gummies: chewable probiotics that are easy for children age 2 and up to eat, so it is easy to get kids to eat this form. This form of probiotic can have a small amount of added sugar. 
  • Powder or sprinkles are useful because they are flavorless and can be mixed into food at the table, water, yogurt, juice, etc.  
  • Yogurts: are pleasing because they usually taste great to kids but can have too much sugar. 
  • Liquid drops: Probiotic liquid drops can be given to babies and kids who are young or who do not like capsules.
  • Melts: dissolve quickly so that chewing isn’t needed. Usually made in kid-friendly and tasty flavors. 

How do I Choose the Right Probiotic for My Child?

When choosing a daily probiotic for your child, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Choosing a probiotic for your child can seem daunting.  However, there are many quality assurances that you can look for to help decide the best probiotic for your child’s specific needs. 

  • Health condition: different types of probiotics are suited for different health benefits. For example, Streptococcus salivarius K12 probiotic may help reduce the risk of ear infections, while Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG probiotic is researched to help with tummy symptoms. If your child has a health condition, such as a weakened immune system, talk to your doctor before giving them a probiotic.
  • Third-party testing: good manufacturing practices certification assures the quality and safety of the probiotic. 
  • Taste: is a very important factor because kids won’t usually take a probiotic that they don’t like.
  • Ingredients: products containing safe and high-quality ingredients, probiotic strains studied in children, without any additives, or preservatives, and tested to be free of contaminants like heavy metals. 
  • Dosage: should be listed on the label although the strength of some kinds of probiotics like Bacillus strains can be good at low doses. 
  • Price: probiotics should be affordable for families and also effective, so a range of probiotic prices is available throughout this post. 
  • Suitable for children: forms of probiotics should be suitable for each age group. So infant probiotics should be in dropper form while children aged 2 and up can use chewable, gummy, and powder forms. 
  • Age: Some probiotics are not suitable for infants, so make sure to choose a product that is appropriate for your child’s age.
  • Weight: Some probiotics are dosed by weight, so make sure to choose a product that is appropriate for your child’s weight.

Best Probiotics for Kids by Brand

Image of star-shaped probiotics on a white background with wording The Best Probiotics for Kids by The Healthy RD

Here are the top 10 probiotics for kids listed by brand, the cost, form and dose, strains, and the uses of each type. 

BrandCostForm and DoseStrainsStrain uses 
Megaspore Biotic Kids$39 for 45 day’s supplyGummy2 billion CFUsB. indicus, B. clausii,B subtillus, B coagulansGI health, diarrhea and IBS for kids 2 and up
Hyperbiotics Pro Kids ENT$29 for 45 day’s supplyChewable tablet 3 billion CFUsS. salivarius K12, S. salivarius M18, L. reuteri, L. sakei, and L. paracaseiEar, nose, and throat health for kids 2 and up
Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Kids by Garden of Life$17 for 30 day’s supplyChewable tablet5 billion CFUsLactobacillus acidophilus, gasseri, paracasei, and plantarum, Bifidobacterium lactis, breve, infantis, and bifidumDigestive health for kids 2 and up
Culturelle Kids Chewable$19 for 30 day’s supplyChewable tablet5 billion CFUsLactobacillus rhamnosus GGImmune and gut health for kids ages 2 and up
Florastor Kids$21 for 20 servings
15% off if you buy directly with coupon
Unflavored powder250 mgSaccharomyces boulardii lyo CNCM I-745Digestive health, dental health, and immune health for children ages 2 and up
Now Supplements BerryDophilus$9 for 60 servingsChewable tablets, 2 billion CFUsL.acidophilus, B. lactis L. plantarum, L. casei L.  rhamnosus, L. aracasei, B. breve, S. thermophilus, L.salivarius, B.longum For kids 2 and up: For constipation, digestive health, and immunity
Renew Life Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotic$15 for 30 servingsGummies3 billion CFUsBacillus coagulans, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus plantarumGut and immune health for kids 2 and up
Lovebug Baby Probiotics$22 for 30 servingsUnflavored powder 4 billion CFUsB. lactis, B. infantis, L. rhamnosus GG, L. reuteri, L. plantarumFor babies: Colic, diarrhea, eczema, constipation, digestive upset, and weakened immune systems
BioGaia Protectis Baby Probiotic $17 for 25 day’s supplyDrops, dose not availableL. reuteri ProtectisFor babies: reduces colic, gas, and spit-ups, reduces crying promotes digestion
Ancient Nutrition SBO Probiotics $28 for 15 day’s supply10 billionB. coagulans, B. subitilisFor kids and teens: Supports bowel regularity

Probiotics for Kids: The Best of the Best

Let’s dive into some details about the best probiotics for kids and recommended brands. 

Best Chewable Probiotics for Kids Ages 2 and Up

Megaspore Biotic Kids is a tasty strawberry-flavored probiotic gummy that supports GI health and no refrigeration is required. For children 2 and up. Contains Bacillus bacteria that are spore-based which helps support immunity and a healthy gut barrier while reducing constipation and diarrhea symptoms.  Bacillus strains like these don’t require as high doses, which is nice. They are also very well tolerated in most cases. The only drawback is that it is a little more expensive than most brands. Also, it’s best to buy this probiotic brand directly from the company to assure quality. 

Hyperbiotics Pro Kids ENT is a chewable probiotic for children 2 years and up that is geared toward supporting ear, nose, and throat health. It contains specialized strains including Streptococcus salivarius K12, Streptococcus salivarius M18, and 3 other strains. The strawberry vanilla flavor that kids love. No added sugar in this probiotic. Doesn’t require refrigeration and 3 billion CFUs per serving. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive for this brand and the only critique is that it doesn’t come with a child-proof lid. 

Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Kids by Garden of Life is a chewable probiotic for kids age 2 and in a tasty cherry berry flavor that contains several strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium for digestive health and contains a bonus of  30mg of Whole Food Vitamin C from Organic Amla Berry as well as 400 IU of Whole Food Vitamin D for added immune support. No sugar added. 5 billion CFUs per serving and gets great reviews. 

Culturelle Kids Chewable is for children ages 2 and up and comes in berry flavor.  It contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG which is a popular strain for overall kids’ health that even is helpful for atopic dermatitis in many cases. Gentle and effective for bowel regularity. 5 billion CFUs per serving. A trusted brand for decades. The only drawback is that it is a single strain so may not work for everyone. You can also buy Culturelle directly from the company if you wish to support the company rather than Amazon.

Renew Life Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotic is a probiotic chewable in berry flavor for kids age 2 and up with 3 billion cultures and 6 types of probiotic strains for gut health and immune support. Gets amazing reviews and is also very reasonably priced. Even the pickiest kids seem to enjoy the taste of these. Free of major allergens. Some reviews of this probiotic state that this is too strong for their kids so they started with a half serving. Find on Fullscript.

Most Affordable Probiotic for Kids

Now Supplements BerryDophilus is a probiotic chewable with 2 billion CFUs and an impressive 10 probiotic strains for gut diversity. It is great tasting and the best part is that it can fit most any budget. This trusted brand gets great reviews too especially for helping manage constipation. Great for mood, gut health, and immunity. Most kids love the flavor, but occasionally some kids do not. 

SBO Probiotics for Kids is a potent spore-based berry-flavored gummy probiotic that is used for healthy digestion and immunity. Easy to tolerate and provides 10 billion CFU per serving.  They’re the most resilient type of probiotic and are virtually indestructible by heat, stomach acid, or bile, which means they can survive and thrive in your gut. The only downside is that it contains 4 grams of sugar per serving. 

Best Unflavored Powder Probiotic for Babies and Kids

Florastor Kids is one of the only probiotic brands that is a probiotic sprinkle and can be added to foods. It is also safe for babies aged 2 months and up as well as for children. Contains Saccharomyces boulardii which is very useful to prevent antibiotic-associated gut issues. This brand is trusted for decades by thousands of people and clinically studied to help create digestive balance. The only drawback is that some people complain that it is difficult to mix into fluids. While this probiotic is a bit more expensive than others, you can get it with a coupon for 15% off if you buy direct from the company. 

Best Probiotics for Babies Overall

Lovebug Baby Probiotics is a certified organic probiotic powder sprinkle for babies ages 6 months to 3 years old. Contains 5 strains that are studied to be safe in babies. Can be mixed or stirred into beverages or foods. Very highly rated for many health issues that babies face, such as colic, diarrhea, constipation, gas, and eczema.  The occasional reviewer complains that it is difficult to disguise in foods, but most are very satisfied by the taste. 

Best Probiotics for Colic

BioGaia Protectis Baby Probiotic is among the best probiotics for babies and is specifically designed to help reduce colic symptoms. Contains Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 (L. reuteri ProTectis) and comes in convenient drops for babies. Reviewers also state that it is helpful for reducing reflux symptoms. The only downside is that the product label doesn’t list the dose. 

How to Get Probiotics From Food

If you aren’t keen on giving your child a probiotic supplement, you can find natural probiotics for kids over age 1 in the following healthy foods: 

  • Yogurt: Tip: there is often no difference between most whole yogurt and yogurt marketed to kids and babies. And the kids’ versions of yogurts are often higher in sugar than those marketed to adults. 
  • Kombucha
  • Kimchi
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Aged natural cheeses
  • Fermented vegetables like fermented carrots
  • Fermented rice

Conclusion

Probiotics are a helpful type of supplement for many health concerns facing babies and kids today, such as gut health and immunity. By choosing probiotics in the right form for your child’s age as outlined above, you stand the best chance of helping your child. Keep in mind that starting slow and gradually is a good approach. Because each person’s gut is unique, it may take some trial and error to find the right probiotic for your child. 

Tips:

  • When choosing a probiotic for your child, consider their age, weight, and health conditions.
  • Start with a low dose of probiotics and gradually increase the amount as tolerated.
  • Give probiotics with food to help them absorb properly.
  • Avoid giving probiotics to children with severely weakened immune systems.
  • Talk to your doctor before giving probiotics to your child.

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