Probiotics for Kids
Probiotics are known commonly as “friendly bacteria”. They are living organisms that are typically found in the gut (stomach, intestines and bowels).
Children can benefit from probiotics for a variety of reasons. They can help to improve digestion, reduce the incidence of constipation and also help to improve the immune system. Probiotics can be particularly useful to repopulate the gut with friendly bacteria during and after a course of antibiotics.
Children can obtain probiotics naturally from foods like yoghurt and kefir. It can also be found in traditional buttermilk and some cheeses.
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All you need to know about Probiotics for Kids
What are the health benefits of probiotics for kids?
Probiotics are a useful natural remedy for kids, as they help to replace good bacteria within the body. Children with eczema and conditions like irritable bowel syndrome may benefit from probiotics. They can also be useful in helping the body fight viruses like the common cold. How your child benefits from probiotics will depend on the types of probiotics they are taking, and their own immune system.
Are there any side effects to kids' probiotics?
If you have a child with a compromised immune system, they may have trouble processing probiotics, and could have problems with infection. If your child has a bowel condition, such as IBS, they may experience watery stools, gas and bloating. You shouldn't give probiotics to very sick infants. Always consult your GP first before giving your child probiotics.
Can my child overdose on probiotics?
It isn't possible to overdose on probiotics to the point where they would make your child seriously ill, but if your child is fed too much probiotic, it may lead to them feeling sick, or experiencing excess bloating, gas and diarrhoea. This is because there are already trillions of bacteria living in a person's gut, and too much probiotic can upset its natural balance of bacteria.
What foods are naturally high in probiotics?
If you're looking to get more probiotic into your child's diet, you can feed them foods that have natural probiotics occurring within them, such as yogurts, sauerkraut, miso, sourdough, kimchi and kefir. Some cheeses and fermented foods also contain high amounts of probiotic. If that isn't to their taste, there are plenty of tasty children's yogurt drinks on the market that include probiotics.