Probiotics for toddlers are beneficial bacteria that can help to restore the balance of good bacteria in your child’s digestive system. They are found in many foods including yoghurt, kefir, cheese and pickles.
Yogurts containing ‘live’ or ‘active’ cultures are the most commonly consumed probiotic-rich foods for children. Some fermented drinks like kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut also contain good probiotic bacteria.
In addition to their gut-boosting benefits, some probiotics can reduce the length and severity of respiratory infections / ear infections. Research (8) has shown that a strain called Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) significantly reduced the duration of diarrhea in children suffering from acute gastroenteritis (temporary inflammation of the stomach or intestines).
Probiotics for Toddlers: What You Need to Know About Improving Their Gut Health
As mentioned above, kids in daycare and those traveling are at greater risk for respiratory tract infections. However, research (7) has shown that a strain called Saccharomyces boulardii can help prevent and treat this type of infection in children.
When our bodies need to take antibiotics, these medications can upset the normal balance of bacteria in the gut by wiping out most of the healthy ones. This is known as “antibiotic-associated diarrhea” and it can be very painful for toddlers and even adults to have, and can lead to dehydration.
Taking a daily supplement of two to three billion colony-forming units (CFU) of a good strain of bacteria such as LGG or SBO can help to keep these types of infections at bay. It is often recommended for children who have been on antibiotics or for those who are at increased risk of developing an infection during and after antibiotic treatment.