Whether at school, a birthday party, day care or home, children are faced with illness-causing bacteria. One method of illness prevention is probiotics, which work to support one’s immune system by influencing a desirable balance of good bacteria to counter illness-causing bad bacteria within the intestine. Probiotics are associated with reducing symptoms of colic, decreasing antibiotic-associated diarrhea and improving day-to-day gastrointestinal function overall. It is important to remember that the digestive tracts of children are more sensitive than adults and there are no official recommendations regarding daily fiber intake for children. While some probiotic supplements contain a small amount of fiber to act as prebiotics, they are neither marketed as, nor sufficient to be, fiber supplements. Since probiotics are categorized as dietary supplements, they are not regulated by the FDA, so label and manufacturing inconsistencies may occur. Visit the National Science Foundation’s website on dietary supplements and ConsumerLab to provide insight on a supplement’s quality and safety.
Amerifit Brands: Culturelle for Kids
Culturelle for Kids contains the probiotic lactobacillus GG, which has been shown to reduce the length and severity of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and help support the still-developing immune systems of children in clinical studies. It comes in individual packets to be emptied into cool food or drink, specifically less than 75 degrees. Cooler temperatures help maintain the product’s maximal potency. Culturelle for Kids is tasteless, odorless and is intended for children who weigh under 100 pounds. Culturelle for Kids is dairy-free and gluten-free.
Nature’s One: Baby’s Only Essentials Probiotic
Manufactured in the United States, this probiotic contains at least 3 billion live and active bifidobacteria in three different strains: B. longum, B. breve and B. infantis. Bifidobacterium are believed to aid in preventing infectious types of diarrhea cause by the likes of rotavirus and some strains of E. Coli. Fructooligosaccharides, or FOS, a naturally occurring dietary fiber source obtained from sugar beets, is also included in this product as a prebiotic. Prebiotics operate as food sources to promote the good bacteria. Each pack of Baby’s Only Essentials Probiotic contains 1 g of FOS, which is 1 g of dietary fiber. This product is gluten-free and lactose-free.
Biocodex USA: Florastor Kids
Florastor Kids uses the yeast cells saccharomyces boulardii lyo to promote a healthy bacterial flora within the intestinal tract. It has been shown to maintain intestinal health and to promote normal bowel function. The difference between Florastor Kids and original Florastor is the method of ingestion. Florastor Kids is a powder packet that can be mixed with a beverage or food, whereas the adult version is a capsule. The dose, 250 mg twice daily, comes from either two packets or two capsules. Florastor Kids includes fructose and lactose. Despite containing lactose, it is reported to increase levels of the lactase in the intestine, the enzyme necessary for lactose digestion.
Nestle Nutrition: Boost Kid Essentials
Packaged like a juice box, this nutritional drink comes with a straw lined with the probiotic lactobacillus reuteri protectis. This probiotic has been associated with decreasing the frequency of regurgitation in children, improving bowel regularity and enhancing the immune system to lower the risk of acquiring common infections. In addition to the probiotic, the drink is a source of 25 essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium. Boost Kid Essentials comes in vanilla and chocolate flavors and is gluten-free and lactose-free.