A probiotic is a type of dietary supplement designed to aid the digestive system. It contains living microorganisms – the “good” bacteria, to be precise, and can help relieve symptoms of common problems like diarrhea or constipation.
Whether a probiotic is necessary for your child is up to you and your pediatrician or doctor, so in this guide, we will simply provide you with a list of the top brands and help you understand how to select one.
Find out how to choose the best probiotic for kids and basic information about the ingredients that they contain with the help of our experts.
Top 10 Probiotics for Kids Comparison Table
Not many kids are too keen on swallowing pills or taking medicine, so to help make the experience more enjoyable for them, kid-friendly probiotics are often “packaged” in these formats:
You might also see “pearls” used, which are tiny tablets that are easy to swallow. Some kids end up chewing them, but the taste is usually bitter and not as pleasant, which is the case of the NatureWise Time Release Probiotics Kids’ Care. The Hyperbiotics PRO-Kids have a slightly better flavor, so if children chew them rather than swallow them, they’re a bit more pleasant.
Manufacturers will often try to mask the harsh medicine taste with familiar flavors such as citrus or berries, but surprisingly, most are sugar-free. Instead, you will usually find natural sweeteners such as stevia in them. Schiff Digestive Advantage Probiotic Gummies
and Smarty Pants Kids Probiotic Complete do
contain sugar, so if you prefer a sugar-free probiotic, steer clear of them.
Understanding the Terms – Strains and CFU
How many strains should a probiotic have and why on earth are there billions of CFU in them?
If you have never taken a probiotic or given one to a child, then it is important that you understand these terms.
Since your body already contains bacteria in the trillions, taking doses of them in the billions is small compared to what is already present. 5-10 billion CFU – or “colony forming unit” – is right to help maintain a healthy gut and digestive system, and for some ailments like irritable bowel syndrome, a higher CFU might be more helpful. However, a higher CFU does not mean the probiotic is better.
There are also different strains of healthy bacteria that manufacturers add to probiotics, and you can do some additional research to see what each one does. Some probiotics contain six strains while others contain 14. Again, more does not mean better. Some strains may not be very helpful to the symptoms that you are trying to alleviate, so be sure you take the time to find out which ones the probiotic contains and what they do in the gut.
Top 3 Best Probiotic for Kids Reviews
This probiotic from Naturo Sciences contains eight strains of bacteria and 5 billion CFU. The proportion of bacteria strains and CFU seems to be just right for many children because those who have tried it find that their children get sick less often (even though exposed to numerous germs at school) and that with a healthy diet, digestion stays regular.
As a chewable tablet, most children find the tangerine flavor to be enjoyable, but if you have a picky eater, you can always crush up the tablets and mask them in their food.
Whether this is the best probiotic for kids or not really depends on the child! If you haven’t yet tried this brand and would like to start integrating a daily probiotic into your child’s diet, we highly recommend it.
NatureWise seems to be an excellent probiotic for many children, although getting them to eat it isn’t always easy.
Each mini pearl tablet is designed to be swallowed, but we know that some kids end up trying to chew it and the result is a bit sour. The pearl tablet is still safe for your child if they chew it, and you can always crush it up and put it in something they enjoy if they refuse to take it.
We found it to be unique among the other options since each tablet is formulated in a sustained-release manner, which means that it delivers the probiotics more slowly so that the stomach can’t destroy as many of them before reaching the GI tract. Unfortunately, your stomach is only doing its job when the bacteria reach it, but in the case of a probiotic, you want the good bacteria to pass along into the lower part of the GI tract.
It contains eight strains of bacteria and 3 billion CFU, which is great if you are in need of a daily supplement to help maintain your child’s good health.
These powder packets from Culturelle Kids are interesting, and we like that you can just mix them right into a snack or a beverage to help give your child the daily dose he or she needs. Be sure you mix it into cool foods or beverages only, as mixing it into anything hot or warm can kill the bacteria!
It contains 5 billion CFU per serving and the lactobacillus gg bacterium that is known for stimulating the immune system. Many find this particular probiotic to be useful for occasional bouts of diarrhea in addition to being a good daily probiotic.
Make sure that you mix it well with liquids so that it dissolves. Otherwise, your child might end up feeling the granules. Please note that these are not dissolving powders that can be taken alone. You need to mix them with something, whether that is a cool drink or a yogurt snack!