Probiotics are big news these days as gut health, and immune health are tied together by physicians and researchers alike. Finding the right probiotic for your children can be difficult, so we’ve researched to find our top 11 favorites and help you decide which is right for your family.
Probiotics are a hot topic these days with the scientific community’s new findings on gut microbiome and how it can affect our overall health. We know that the foods we eat, the medications we take, and the lives we live can all negatively impact our gut health, so taking probiotics from a young age is something many doctors now highly recommend.
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Unfortunately, if you’re new to probiotics or aren’t given a direction by your doctor, finding the right one for your family can be difficult to achieve. There are plenty of products on the market boasting different strains of good bacteria, but it can be hard to decide which one is the best overall.
We did some research to find you the best of the best probiotics for kids. We’ll talk about how we chose our ratings on these products, give you product reviews to help you understand a little bit more about each probiotic on our list, and finally help you to make an informed decision with a handy buyer’s guide.
We rated our favorite probiotics for you based on several factors and a lot of research. First, we wanted to ensure we only listed true probiotics, which means they contain live and active bacterial cultures. We also made sure every product on our list had 1 billion units of colony formers at a minimum. Finally, we only included products containing the following strains:
The strains listed above have been involved in the most research and have proven to be beneficial in many situations including improving immune health, improving gastrointestinal diseases like ulcerative colitis and IBS, and reduction of infections.
Since all of our products had to have some similarities in order to make the list, deciding on their ratings wasn’t always easy. To decide which products won out, we looked at how many active cultures and colony builders the products had. We also checked to see which had been through the most intensive clinical trials. Finally, we checked customer reviews of each product.
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We will caution that some probiotics are better for certain symptoms over others. We looked at overall gut health here, but you may find that you like a product that ranked further down on our list more because of its benefits to a specific ailment your child is going through. Our list is meant to give you the best options so that you can make the ultimate decision on what will work for your family.
Now that you know a little bit about how we made our decisions let’s check out our top eleven best probiotics for kids. Remember, we rated these based on overall health, so make sure to read each review to discover what the products have been tested for in clinical trials and which will help with specific conditions more than others.
Not only do these gummies come in flavors your kids will love, but they are also great if you’re on a budget. Even better, the flavors and colors you’ll see in these gummies are naturally sourced from fruits and vegetables, so you can feel good about feeding them to your kids. These gummies are recommended for children age three and up.
Customer reviews of this product are outstanding. Even more exciting is the patented probiotic formula within these gummies. The BC30 formula within the gummies helps the cultures within them to survive your child’s stomach’s acidic environment 100 times better than other leading probiotics or probiotic yogurts. These gummies are great for alleviating gas, bloating, and digestive discomfort.
If your child has some resistance to lactose, you may want to check out these probiotic gummies by Rainbow Light. They are made for children age four and up, are gluten and lactose-free, and contain no artificial sweeteners. This product is formulated specifically to survive stomach acid and move into the intestinal tract.
One thing we think sets this product apart from some of the competition is its inclusion of prebiotics. Prebiotics are a food source for probiotics, which helps them to grow stronger and quicker. The taste of these gummies is not quite as good as those we talked about above, but overall we think they are a great alternative for kids who can’t or won’t do powders or pills.
Also available in handy powder packs, Culturelle Kids probiotics are some of the highest rated on the market. They are probably also the oldest children’s probiotic on the market, which is a good sign for consumers. These chewables contain the most researched strain of probiotic, so you’ll know what you’re giving your child will do its job.
The chewables are tasty and contain no dairy, sugar, or gluten, so you won’t have to worry about allergens. These chewables are for children three and up, and all ages can take the same dosage, unlike some others on our list. We love that the Lactobacillus GG in this product is 100% naturally sourced and well researched, so you know you’re getting a high-quality product.
For those of us who try our best to give our kids organic foods, it makes sense to also go with an organic probiotic supplement like this one by Garden of Life. We love that it contains 14 separate probiotic strains, which means it is built to address the maximum number of probiotic addressable issues your child may have, including basic immune health.
We also love the additional vitamins found in this product. Every dose will give your child Vitamins C and D along with their daily probiotics. The reviews on this product are excellent, and we love that these chewables are vegetarian, and gluten, soy, and dairy free. These probiotics are recommended for children four and up.
Ultimate Flora contains three billion live cultures per tablet, including six strains of kid-friendly probiotics. It is naturally sweetened with Xylitol and has a taste that many kids will love. What we love about this probiotic is how gentle it is on tiny tummies. Sometimes even probiotics formulated for kids can cause stomach upset, but this product seems to have a lesser effect.
This product is great for digestive issues and occasional abdominal pain, but it is also excellent for overall immune support. We also love that kids as young as two can use this product, so you won’t have to find an alternative for the youngest probiotic users in your family. The one downside is that this product needs to be refrigerated after opening. This is a good sign for the number of live cultures within, however, so we’re not too upset about it.
This gentle, yet effective product is recommended for children four and up. It is another gentle on the stomach option that comes at a lower budget than many brands, but still works wonders for digestion and immune health. NOW Foods BerryDophilus Chewables contain FOS, which can assist in growing healthy acidophilus and bifidus organisms in the gut, along with 2.5 billion probiotic cultures in each tablet.
This product has ten total strains of probiotic and reviewers say it tastes great. It is sweetened with Xylitol instead of sugar, which is a bonus for parents who are worried about the health of their children’s teeth as well as their guts. We also love that there is no muss or fuss with this product since it doesn’t need to hit the fridge once it’s open.
If you’re looking for a probiotic that you can share with the whole family, Number One Nutrition Advanced Probiotic might be the right choice for you. The downside is that this product comes in veggie caps, which are often more difficult to get kids to take, but the bright side is well worth the effort. This product contains 11.5 billion cultures per serving with seven strains of bacteria.
We love that it contains Bacillus subtilis, a probiotic strain that outdates antibiotics and is often used for urinary tract infections and gastrointestinal issues. Also, it contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which is one of the most researched probiotic strains on the market. Research shows that this strain can reduce allergies, diarrhea, and instances of respiratory illness.
The creators of this product must have been parents because they created a powdered formula that virtually disappears in whatever liquid you choose. Your children will be sure to get their daily dose of probiotic even if they’re fussy about taking pills, which is something many parents can get on board with. We love that each serving contains three billion cultures with a potency guarantee as long as the product is used by its expiration date.
This product contains the two most highly researched strains of probiotic, which means we know it will accomplish all that it claims in helping your child to be overall healthier, while also cutting down on digestive issues. In addition, the bifodobacterium infantis in this product is freeze-dried to help it survive the stomach and make it through to your child’s intestines.
We couldn’t avoid including another Garden of Life Product on our list, because this one is just as fantastic as its counterpart. This product contains both prebiotics and probiotics from whole foods, including 23 RAW and organic fruits and veggies. This product is sugar-free, contains no soy, binders, fillers or carriers, and is vegetarian on top of being completely organic.
We like that this is another powder product to help get kids the probiotics they need even if they are picky with vitamins. It contains more than five billion active cultures as well as inulin to help grow healthy gut bacteria quickly. Although this powder doesn’t require refrigeration, it is highly recommended for the best results. This is especially helpful if you plan to mix the powder with a juice or other cold beverage.
Another product that your child will have to swallow rather than chew or drink, Hyperbiotics PRO-Kids is a product we love. This brand lives and breathes probiotics, so you know you’re getting a product that has been tested and researched thoroughly. We also love the BIO-Tract preparation technique used in this product to help time release the prebiotics and probiotics to best avoid stomach acid and make it into the gut where they belong.
We also love that this product is all-natural with no GMOs, is vegetarian, lactose, nut, soy, and sugar-free, and don’t need to be refrigerated. Kids will need to be a little bit older to properly take these pills since younger children tend to want to bit the pearls rather than swallow them whole. It is up to your discretion if your child is old enough to swallow the pearls, but the manufacturer recommends their use for kids four and up.
As the only liquid product to make our list, Mommy’s Bliss is in a league of its own. This product is touted for its ability to help with occasional gas, diarrhea, and constipation, as well as the typical immune and digestive health that all probiotics can promote. What we love about this product is that you can use it on children as young as newborns, which isn’t true of any of the other products on our list.
This product is all natural and 100% vegan. It contains no chemicals, parabens, artificial colors or flavors, gluten, dairy or soy. The best part is, you can place it on your breast directly for nursing babies or mix it into their favorite drinks if your kids aren’t fans of taking the flavorless liquid directly. Reviews on this product are excellent, and parents love all of the benefits that their children can get so early on.
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So you’ve seen our top picks of the best probiotics for kids, but how do you know which one is right for you and your family? We have a few simple questions you can answer to help you make the best possible buying decision.
As you saw in our reviews above, there are age restrictions on most probiotic supplements, so if you’re looking to give this probiotic to an infant or toddler, your options are severely limited. If, however, you have children over four, you have almost unlimited options and can move on to the next question to help narrow your search for the right product.
To be effective, experts recommend using a product with a minimum of one billion CFUs per serving. Every product on our list at least met that minimum, but the more CFUs, the better. You should also look for a good variety of bacterial strains so that you know that your child is getting the maximum number of benefits. Just because Lactobacillus strains have more research behind them doesn’t mean other strains aren’t worth having.
Are you looking for a probiotic for your child because you’d like them to build a better immune system or are you looking because they have been struggling with a specific issue that you believe probiotics can help to overcome? If you’re in the former group, your options are much more open, but in the latter group, you’ll want to research strains of bacteria to find out what they do, and which products contain the most cultures of that strain.
Some products, for instance, are specifically formulated to help with symptoms of IBS or other digestive tract issues, while others may do these things as a side effect, while their purpose is simply to improve immune health. The same is true of products that help with occasional diarrhea and constipation.
Probiotic supplements are not an area where you are likely to want to search for the best deal. There are brands that will inevitably be better than others based on the sources of their probiotics, how they measure their strains, how they package their product (pill, powder, gummy, etc.), and what additives they put in their product.
Your goal should always be to find the best brand with the fewest additives and most information about the strains and number of CFUs in their product. If a brand is vague about these things, they likely aren’t going to be the best. For this reason, experts tend to shy away from store brands or other products that might seem like a good deal, but might not have the best ingredients in the end.