Best Probiotic Food Supplements For Children
Keeping your children healthy is always a concern for parents. You want to give them the best in life and that includes a diet. Yet, it isn’t always easy with picky eaters. And, with buzzwords out there like processed foods, GMOs, sugar, and pesticides it might make many new parents feel worried and scared about choosing the best foods for there little ones. The good news is that if you give your child a diet full of nutrient-rich whole foods and supplements, you’re giving them the best start to a healthy life. And, it’s not as difficult as you think to choose the right foods and avoid the wrong foods. However, there are certain life events that require you to take a more serious look at your child’s health. Are they getting sick more often? Do they experience digestion issues like bloating or constipation? If so, you might want to look to healing this issues through food. And, some of the best foods to do so are with fermented foods. Clinical trials and studies have shown that these foods can offer a host of health benefits for healthy and unhealthy adults and children. So, if you looking for a way to improve your child’s health with living food, keep reading to learn about how to choose the best probiotic supplements for children.
First, Make Sure You Talk To Your Doctor
As always, you’ll want to talk to your doctor first when you’re making any diet or supplement changes for you children. Their bodies function differently than adults. They are still growing and have slightly different nutritional needs than adults. So, what works diet wise and is considered healthy for you, might not be exactly what your child needs. Could you imagine putting a child on a Paleo diet? Or, what about a glass of red wine for heart health. Healthy for mom and dad doesn’t always been healthy for a 4-year old. If you’re looking for ways to simply keep them healthy, talk to your doctor about adding probiotic foods or supplements to their diet. If it’s a health concern that makes you wonder if a probiotic can help your little use the restroom more regularly, then ask if a probiotic is the right solution for your child.
What Exactly Are Probiotics?
Over the last few years, probiotics have become a buzzword in the health and wellness community. Yogurt commercials have used them as keywords synonymous with gut health. Weightloss supplements have featured them as the key to a smaller waistline. While both of these are benefits that come from adding probiotics to your diet, these living foods also offer a host of other benefits. To put it simply probiotics are foods that contain the living organisms and healthy bacteria that are normally found in our bodies. There are trillions of these bacteria living in our gut and they impact everything from immunity to our skin and yes our waste functions. When we eat probiotics we are giving our reintroducing these types of healthy bacteria back into our bodies.
How Probiotics Can Benefit Your Kids
Generally speaking, probiotics are safe for both adults and children. Probiotics help to replenish the good bacteria in your gut. If your child is experiencing constipation a probiotic could be useful to help improve their gut’s waste function. If your child takes an antibiotic, probiotics can help with the side effects. While antibiotics can fight infections, they can also kill of the healthy bacteria in the gut. Afterwards, some children experience stomach pain, constipation, or diarrhoea. A probiotic supplement can help your child by reintroducing healthy bacteria back into their bodies to build up their immune systems and keep stomach pain at bay. Some research suggests that taking probiotics daily can both improve general health and prevent certain diseases. A study published in Nutrients by a Taiwanese research team in 2018 showed that children who were given probiotics that contained the Lactobacillus bacteria strand for 3 months experienced lower asthma severity. Other clinical trials have shown that probiotics can help infants and children heal faster from diarrhoea.
What Age Should They Start?
All around the world babies and children are given probiotics. They’re living foods that have been around for thousands of years. In Japan babies are given miso soup, a light broth made from fermented soybeans. In Russia, kefir is a popular fermented milk drink that children and adults have been drinking for centuries. And, fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi have been served around dinner tables for the whole family to enjoy throughout the world. So, generally speaking probiotics are safe for children as young as 4 months old. If you want to ensure that your child is healthy, you can begin introducing probiotics to their diet when your child is an infant. Just be sure to talk to your health care professional beforehand to ensure that your child has a healthy immune system before hand. There is evidence to suggest that adding probiotics to children’s diet at infancy can help curb children’s allergy risk for foods like peanuts, eczema, and asthma. While more research needs to be done to understand exactly why this is, some believe that it is probiotics ability to introduce healthy microbes to the gut that promotes healthy immune function.
How Bacteria Improves Your Child’s Health
When it comes to choosing the best probiotic supplement for your kids, the keyword is ‘natural’. You’ll want to choose a supplement that is as close to natural living food as possible. If you’re not in the kitchen fermenting yogurt, milk, or cabbage yourself, you’ll want to make sure that you look for foods in your grocery isle that contain ‘living’ cultures. These labels ensure that the probiotics contain the gut-healthy bacteria that you’re looking for to improve your child’s health. Some of these healthy bacteria include…
- Lactobacillus acidophilus: This bacteria has been shown to reduce abdominal strain in children suffering from inflammatory bowel disease and to treated childhood diahrrea.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus: This strand is linked to supporting immune health. In particular some studies suggest that children who take this antibiotic from infancy to childhood could prevent immune-mediated disease as they become older.
- Bifidobacterium animalis: This strand has been shown to promote regularity.
- Bifidobacterium infantis: This bacteria might be especially beneficial to mothers’ who breastfeed. It has been linked to helping infants digest their breast milk.
What To Look For and Avoid
- Easy to Chew or Drink: Probiotics are not medicine and therefore shouldn’t taste or look like one. But, as many parents might know supplements like multi-vitamins and probiotics can come in chewable forms that are unappealing to your little one. One of the nice things about probiotics is that they can be an easy-to-drink milk or yogurt beverage that your child will enjoy. If they’re a chewable, double check the age to ensure that your child won’t choke. Also, be sure to choose a child-friendly flavor that you know your child will like.
- Allergies: While some studies suggest that probiotics can help with allergies, you should still read the label carefully if your child has allergies. Be sure that the probiotic is allergen safe and not processed in a facility where it could be contaminated with nuts or gluten. If you’re vegan know that there are plenty of dairy-free options out there. There are yogurts and milks made with coconut that are fermented with the same healthy bacteria, but don’t come from animals.
- Avoid Sugar and Artificial Colors: Some probiotics have added sugars in them to make the taste appealing to kids. Read the label carefully to see how much added sugar is in the drink. You want your child to be healthy and supplements laced in sugar aren’t the healthiest option. Also, if you notice that a drink is a pretty pink or those chewables come in fun colors red the labels to see what was used for the dyes. Colors that come with numbers are chemical ingredients that were added for vibrant colors.
All in all, keeping your child healthy with whole-foods is easy. A balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and probiotics is as simply as taking a trip down your grocery isle. Just like getting adequate rest or exercising regularly can improve your health, making sure that you have a well-balanced diet with whole foods and supplements can offer a host of health benefits. Today, science demonstrates how ancient foods like kefir, yogurt, and kimchi offer a host of health benefits for both you and your child. If you’re looking for add these foods to your diet in a supplement form, you’ll want to look for a product that is as close to nature as possible. Read the label carefully to be sure that you’re not adding too many sugars or chemical dyes and additives to your child’s diet. Look for ‘living strands’ and active bacteria that will benefit your little one’s gut health. And, always talk to your health care professional first about making a change to your family’s diet or supplements.