Probiotics for Kids and How They Can Help
It has been proven by scientific research that probiotics can improve your child’s immune system with fewer cases of cold and flu, improve digestive problems and even make it easier during potty training.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are living bacteria that are good for your digestive system and health. Bacteria are often thought of as something that is bad and causes disease; however, Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help to keep your “gut” healthy. Some Probiotics are found in food, but you can also get probiotic supplements.
Probiotic supplements may be added to an otherwise healthy child’s diet to help them get over diarrhea or an ear infection with a reduced healing time. The way it does this is the “good” bacteria in the probiotic can decrease the “bad” bacteria in the gut which caused the initial infection or inflammation.
Probiotics basically restore the good gut flora which is good for digestive health and promotes optimal health benefits overall. Probiotics can be used as an additional treatment and can be safely consumed alongside regularly prescribed medications if your child happens to have irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease or chronic diarrhea. The use Probiotics should not dismiss the need for your doctor’s recommended treatment.
Types of Probiotics
What type of probiotic do you choose for your child? They come in a variety of ways, such as pills and capsules. However, if you aren’t secure with giving your child pill form supplements, you can always give them yogurt which is an excellent probiotic, as long as the container states it contains “live of active cultures.” Other foods containing Probiotics are sauerkraut, soft cheese, dill pickles, and even buttermilk. However, if you are going to treat your child’s upset tummy, remember to always consult his or her pediatrician before continuing on any “home remedy” for treatment.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulated that Probiotics are considered to be food products, which does not mandate them to prove their use is actually effective or safe. They contain lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, or saccharomyces and sometimes all three combined, which does make them safe to use. As with any other regimen, it is always a good idea to confer with your child’s doctor as to what probiotic is best to use.
Probiotics are used to replenish the much needed “gut bacteria” that has been either depleted of never developed due to several factors in the child’s life, such as stress, poor diet, excessive use of antibiotics and even over-sterilization, toxins in the environment and even the way the child came into the world at birth.
Children inherit their gut bacteria from mom; and by over-exposing their tiny bodies to good bacteria this can positively affect their immune system for the rest of their life.
Best Way to Absorb Probiotics
One of the downsides to over-the-counter Probiotics is they come in chewable, liquids, and powder form. However, with the acid in the stomach being so powerful, this form of probiotic doesn’t stand a chance of survival to make through to being beneficial to their bodies because the stomach acid eats them all up. The best way to get the most out of a probiotic supplement to is get it in capsule form that the child swallows whole, which will allow the probiotic to absorb naturally into their body and ensure they are receiving all the health benefits it offers.
Helping a Kid to Swallow Probiotics
Most children do not like to swallow pills, so how do you convince your child to do this important thing for their health’s sake? You should take a few minutes each morning and explain the importance of doing things to keep healthy. Things like washing their hands, eating their fruits and vegetables, and taking their vitamins. Also, look for the smallest probiotic pill made; it will be easier to talk them into taking a tiny pill as opposed to a large pill. If worse comes to worse, you can always cut up the pill and mix it with something they like, such as the peanut butter or mayonnaise that you spread on their sandwich. They will never know the difference that they just “took a pill”.
By starting our children off right and teaching them the importance of eating healthy and taking their vitamins and supplements, we are getting them prepared for a healthy beginning to their life in which they will hopefully, continue this regimen throughout their lifetime.