What Are the Best Probiotics for Kids?

Children on green grass with the title "What are the Best Probiotics for Kids?"

Probiotics are living microorganisms that can benefit the health of most people – including our kids. Our bodies are home to nearly 100 trillion microorganisms forming what is called the “natural flora”. An imbalance in your kid’s resident flora has the potential to cause problems with digestion and beyond. The best probiotics for kids aid in keeping their digestive systems in balance.

What Probiotics Do and How They Work?

In an ideal scenario, our kids’ natural flora would be perfectly balanced and healthy. However, that’s not always the case. An imbalance can occur due to the environment, poor diet (low in fiber or high in sugar) or conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. If your child takes a course of antibiotics for a tummy upset or flu, this will wipe out their natural flora almost completely.

When alteration or destruction of the bacteria occurs, it can cause ill health. Probiotic supplements to the rescue! These supplements contain a mix of strains of live bacteria. When your kid swallows them, they take up residence in the gut, just like the natural inhabitants.

Product
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Our #1 Rated
i-Health Culturelle Probiotics for Kids

Culturelle

i-Health Culturelle Probiotics for Kids

4.5 out of 5

In the Probiotics category

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  • Supports a child's health by fostering the proper balance of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Helps support kids' natural immune systems
  • Helps reduce occasional digestive upset in kids - including diarrhea or general discomfort
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #1 Rated

4.5 out of 5

In the Probiotics category


Our #2 Rated
PRO-Kids Children’s Probiotics

Hyperbiotics

PRO-Kids Children’s Probiotics

4.5 out of 5

In the Probiotics category

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  • GET 15 TIMES MORE RESULTS THAN WITH OTHERS. In vitro lab testing shows that less than 4% of the probiotics in most chewables,...
  • KEEP YOUR CHILD HEALTHY. 80% of your immune system is in your gut, and when probiotics (the good guys) are abundant in your...
  • GIVE YOUR CHILD THE FOUNDATION OF A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM. From our modern dietary choices to our daily hygiene regimens, many...
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Our #2 Rated

4.5 out of 5

In the Probiotics category


Our #3 Rated
Rainbow Light Probiolicious Gummies

Renew Life

Rainbow Light Probiolicious Gummies

4.5 out of 5

In the Probiotics category

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  • Probiolicious makes it easy to support a healthy digestive and immune system
  • Rainbow Light
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Our #3 Rated

4.5 out of 5

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Our #4 Rated
Renew Life Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotic Chewable Tablets

Renew Life

Renew Life Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotic Chewable Tablets

4 out of 5

In the Probiotics category

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  • SUPPORT YOUR CHILD'S IMMUNE HEALTH: Using a special formula, Ultimate Flora Probiotic is designed specially to support your...
  • NO FUSS PROBIOTIC FOR KIDS*: Each kids chewable tablet is bursting with delicious Berry taste, making for a healthy and happy...
  • BUILD A FOUNDATION: Given daily, Ultimate Flora will help foster the proper balance of good bacteria to help support strong...
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Our #4 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Probiotics category


Our #5 Rated
Schiff Digestive Advantage Probiotics Gummies

Schiff

Schiff Digestive Advantage Probiotics Gummies

3 out of 5

In the Probiotics category

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  • Promotes long term digestive and immune health with continued use
  • Delicious natural fruit-flavored gummies with no artificial flavors
  • Helps lessen minor abdominal discomfort, bloating and may relieve occasional diarrhea
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Our #5 Rated

3 out of 5

In the Probiotics category

What are the Health Benefits of Probiotics for Kids?

Preventing Minor Illness

The idea of ingesting billions of bacteria seems both figuratively and literally hard for kids to swallow, but it’s worth it, I promise. Probiotic supplements repopulate your child’s system with healthy bacteria. They make sure that bad bacteria can’t move in – simply because there’s no space for them. This means you may notice a decrease in tummy upsets and minor illnesses.

Improved Digestion & IBS

Gut bacteria assist in the transport of food through the digestive system by breaking down food components and fighting any malicious bacteria that may be present. There is growing evidence suggesting that probiotics can help with ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome – check with your doctor if your child suffers from constipation, diarrhoea or gas on an ongoing basis as this could be the source. (source)

Strengthen Immune System

Children’s immune systems face challenges every day. They occur in the environment – when a child is at play, at home or in the classroom. The billions of good bacteria living in our guts not only assist digestion but get involved in regulation of the immune system too. Studies also suggest the use of probiotic therapy helps in delaying allergy development in children. (source)

Antibiotics

In most cases, if your child takes an antibiotic, it’s a good idea to give them a probiotic supplement after the course is finished. Taking it along with the antibiotic will just kill the bacteria you’ve ingested. However there is evidence that probiotics are helpful in preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea. (source)

Is a Probiotic Right for Every Child?

The evidence is conflicting. According to an article by Mark Crisp on the Science-Based Medicine website, people suffering no symptoms and eating a normal diet will see no benefits. But most kids aren’t eating a perfect diet, are they?

On the flipside, a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that probiotics can be of benefit to healthy infants and healthy children.

A ypung child stnading next to fruit and supplements.

Live yoghurts and fermented foods contain the good bacteria needed in the digestive tract. Children sometimes find these foods unpalatable. Probiotic supplements provide the needed bacteria for a healthy gastrointestinal system.

Dr. Dan W. Thomas stresses the importance of talking to a pediatrician before giving your child probiotics. When given to a seriously or chronically ill child they can present a problem.

How to Choose the Right Probiotic

The basic criteria for choosing the best probiotics for kids are as follows:

Probiotic Strains

The number of bacteria contained in the product is not as important as the strains included. Medical researcher Dr. David Williams recommends a minimum inclusion of L. acidophilus, B. longum, and B bifidum.

Secondary recommendations are L. fermentum, and L-rhamnose. Any strains beyond these depend on specific health concerns.

Formulation & Packaging

Some probiotics come in gummy and chewable forms. Sweet or citrus flavors are sometimes added to entice children to take them.

If possible, try to look for a product that does not require refrigeration. When these products are at room temperature, the microorganisms inside will die. It’s impossible to ensure that the correct temperature has been maintained throughout delivery if you purchase online.

Delivery System

The microorganisms in probiotics must be alive when they reach the digestive tract or they will be of no benefit. As well as high temperatures, stomach acid can kill the little creatures.

So look for a probiotic that is formulated to protect bacteria until they reach the area where they’re needed – the intestines. Controlled-release tablets or caplets are a favorite of some researchers.

Expiration Date

Expiration dates are not an industry required piece of information. A displayed expiration date tells something of a product’s quality – it’s a manufacturer’s promise of how long bacteria in the product remain potent and active.

Money-Back Guarantee

A money-back guarantee indicates a company stands by its product.

Informational Resources

Studies about probiotics are relatively new. Dr. John Douillard created a YouTube video that I found very informative. He wrote an article to accompany the video that goes into more detail.

Product Reviews

Our #1 Rated
Our pick our #1 rated

Culturelle

i-Health Culturelle Probiotics for Kids

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

This product fosters a proper balance of helpful bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. It aids in supporting children’s natural immune systems. It reduces occasional digestive upset such as general discomfort or diarrhea.

The product comes in three forms, powdered, chewable, and capsules. For children between 25 and 50 pounds the powdered form is mixed with cool foods and liquids. Children weighing between 50 to 100 pounds take the chewable formula. Those, over 100 pounds use capsules.

i-Health Culturelle Probiotics for Kids survives stomach acid that gobbles good bacteria and sticks where most needed – the intestinal wall. The packaging of the product ensures that the bacteria remain alive. Each serving has double foil protection that keeps out air, heat, moisture, and light.

Pros
Pro Flavorless
Pro Contains no milk, dairy, or lactose
Pro No gluten, added color, or preservatives
Pro No soy or yeast.
Pro Contains listed primary bacteria
Pro Posted expiration
Pro Guaranteed potency
Pro Easy to take
Cons
Con May adversely affect carbohydrate metabolism
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #2 Rated
Our pick our #2 rated

Hyperbiotics

PRO-Kids Children’s Probiotics

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

Most probiotics fail to survive long enough to reach the gastrointestinal tract. Only about four percent of the sensitive organisms pass through to the stomach. Superior technology allows the formula for PRO-Kids Probiotic to reach deep in a child’s intestinal tract.

Eighty percent of the immune system is in the gut. Abundant probiotics in the body make it harder for harmful bacteria to settle in.Most children find the small pearl easy to swallow. PRO-Kids Probiotics are also chewable.

Pros
Pro Restores beneficial bacteria for immunity and digestion
Pro Promotes full nutrient absorption
Pro Reactivates natural defenses
Pro Easy to swallow
Pro Tangy citrus flavor
Pro Sugar-free
Pro No artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors.
Pro Contains four probiotic strains
Pro Long shelf life
Pro Does not require refrigeration
Pro Expiration date provided
Pro Once per day dosage
Pro Manufactured in the U.S.
Cons
Con Probiotics may cause gas or bloating
Con No money back guarantee
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #3 Rated
Our pick our #3 rated

Renew Life

Rainbow Light Probiolicious Gummies

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

Designed to support immune and digestive health, Probiolicious Gummies keep the digestive system balanced. The purpose is to restore the digestive system to a natural state and support wellness. They are used to ease digestive discomforts such as occasional diarrhea, constipation, and gas. They support lactose digestion.

A natural coating allows survival during manufacturing, shipping, and in stomach acid. The coating ensures a sufficient number of probiotics reach the digestive system. The probiotic bacteria in this product promote intestinal colonization of healthy bacteria.

Pros
Pro Cranberry flavor
Pro No artificial sweeteners or colors
Pro Lactose-, wheat-, and gluten-free
Pro No yeast, eggs, fish, or shellfish
Pro No soy or nuts
Pro No preservativesNo refrigeration required
Pro Three probiotic strains
Pro Dosage of one gummy per day
Pro Expiration date posted
Cons
Con Contains one gram of sugar
Con May over stimulate the immune system
Con No money back guarantee
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #4 Rated
Our pick our #4 rated

Renew Life

Renew Life Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotic Chewable Tablets

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
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    Our rating

The purpose of this probiotic is to aid in the reduction of occasional digestive upset. This kid-friendly formula provides support to the immune and digestive health when a digestive upset occurs.

To make the probiotic easy for children to take, it has a natural sweetener, xylitol, added. Xylitol is tooth-friendly and contains no sugar.

Pros
Pro Contains six scientifically studied bacteria strains
Pro Berry flavor
Pro Gluten-, dairy-, and sugar-free
Pro Posted expiration date
Pro Potency, purity, and quality guarantee
Pro Manufactured in a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certified facility
Pro Made in the U.S.
Cons
Con To be used cautiously with infants
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our #5 Rated
Our pick our #5 rated

Schiff

Schiff Digestive Advantage Probiotics Gummies

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

This probiotic supplement targets specific digestive health needs. It lessens occasional diarrhea, bloating, and minor abdominal discomfort. Continued use supports long-term digestive health.

The strain of bacteria contained in Schiff Digestive Advantage Probiotics has a natural protective shell that surrounds each cell. The shell allows the product to withstand harsh stomach acidity.

The bacteria strain found in this product provide relief from bloating and occasional abdominal discomfort within two weeks. Each gummy seeds the gut with bacteria that have the potential of working together to maintain a digestive tract balance.

Pros
Pro Gummy delivery popular with kids
Pro Has natural flavoring and colors from vegetables and fruits
Pro Money back guarantee
 
 
Cons
Con Unclear dosage recommendation
Con Contains corn syrup, gelatin, and sugar
Con Contains lactic and citric acids
Con Contains lactic and citric acids
Con Highest price product on the list

And the Winner Is . . .

The clear winner in my book is i-Health Culturelle Probiotics for Kids. The packaging ensures the bacteria stay alive and the different forms (powder, chewable and capsule) ensure there’s something to suit every child. It contains the bacteria recommended by Dr. David Williams. An expiration date posted on the label and a guarantee of potency indicate the manufacturer stands behind the product.

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