Do Toddlers Really Need Probiotics?

Do Toddlers Really Need Probiotics? | Baby Chick

Do Toddlers Really Need Probiotics?

Health and wellbeing is always going be a top priority for any parent when it comes to their children. Ensuring they are fit and healthy in order to allow the best possible start in life must be the obvious answer.

So, if you could do something to prevent your child from getting sick in the first place, you would right?

That’s why we see so many different health supplements on the market for children these days. It’s not surprising that probiotics are pretty much common place in every grocery store now. I’ve researched in great depths about which ones are the best; however, the question still lies, do I really need to give them to my little one?

Probiotics promise “friendly bacteria” will help your baby fend off infections and boost immunity. Which begs the question, do toddlers really need probiotics? Or is it all just market hype? Let’s look at the facts to help us make an informed decision.

What are Probiotics?

Did you know the body is full of all types of bacteria? Probiotics are what we would deem one of the helpful kinds of “germs.” They are micro organisms which live in the digestive area and as long as there are adequate levels should fight off infection and keep your infant healthy. (source)

How Can Probiotics Help?

Some clinical research suggests there are benefits to probiotics in young children, but on the other side of the coin, there are also many conflicting reports with inconclusive results. Probiotics may be able to help in the following circumstances:

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1. Antibiotics

We have all been there before. No matter how hard you try to keep them healthy, your little bundle of joy manages to pick up a bug and the pediatrician recommends a course of antibiotics to fight off the infection. Taking antibiotics kills the bug, but it also takes away goodness from the friendly bacteria, which could contribute to other downsides such as antibiotic associated diarrhea. I think you will agree with me when I say, having a sick child and having to deal with an upset stomach on top of that really doesn’t help issues. Probiotics could help by restoring the balance between good and bad bacteria.

2. Digestive Issues

As this helpful bacteria is found in the stomach, you would be correct in thinking it could have benefits within the digestive system.

3. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is something that every parent dreads, and can be quite a common occurrence once children start mixing at day care. Some research suggests probiotics could help with the effects of diarrhea by replenishing the helpful bacteria in the stomach. However, it’s by no means a cure for the problem but it should ease and reduce the timeframe of those tummy troubles. (source)

4. Keeps Belly Bacteria in Check

There is a healthy ratio of good and bad bacteria in the stomach, obviously the more bad bacteria the more chance of a weak immune system and illness. Therefore, topping up the levels of good bacteria with probiotics should, in theory, keep bugs at bay.

5. Allergies

In this modern age, many children are now being diagnosed with various allergies, mainly caused by exposure to conditions in society and pollution. There may even be reason to believe that taking probiotics could reduce the effects of ailments such as eczema, although research is still ongoing with this and the potential links to other allergies.

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What are the Natural Alternatives?

Probiotics can be found in a number of natural foods, but dairy products are the most common place to find them. Cultured or “live” yoghurts could be one of the top choices for children as they also contain other nutrients such as calcium, protein, and possibly other vitamins which are beneficial for developing infants. Choose a food source that is low in sugar and something that contains the helpful bacteria “lactobacillus.” This has shown the most consistent results and has been examined in the most clinical studies. Other alternatives could be soy milk or various types of cheeses.

Are Probiotics Safe?

Probiotics are classed as a dietary supplement and are regulated by U.S. food and drug administration (FDA). Although research is encouraging, they currently have not approved any type of probiotic for preventing or treating any specific health problems. (source) However, studies into safety of lactobacillus bacteria have results claiming that it is safe in healthy children. (source)

Final Thoughts

Research does indicate significant benefits to probiotics, but it is clear that more needs to be done to understand the actual mechanics. Looking at natural ways of boosting your child’s friendly bacteria and ensuring they get a healthy well balanced diet could be sufficient to maintain your child’s health. However, if you are considering giving your child any kind of dietary supplement, your first point of call should always be your child’s healthcare provider.

Do toddlers really need probiotics?
About the Author /

http://www.healthambition.com

Helen is the chief editor at Health Ambition, she is a proud mother of two and feels passionate about nutrition and ways to live healthier with more energy!

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Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
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Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
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1. Don't rush back. There's no gold star here. Take your time, get the clearance from your OB/midwife and start when you're ready.⁠
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3. Ask for Help. Chances are high that the Mom down the street is looking for some kid free time as well. You take an hour, she takes an hour and we're all better off for it.⁠
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4.  Embrace the little things. Your day will present opportunities to get your butt moving. Find them.⁠
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5. Get a new outfit. Because, duh.⁠
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Words & 📸 : @juna.moms⁠
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When you meet your baby(ies) and your whole world changes. 💕
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Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
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We substituted sour cream in these recipes with @stonyfield YoBaby yogurt because it provides not only the calcium they need, but also probiotics, protein and vitamin D! 👍 (Our pediatrician says our little guy needs 2-4 servings of dairy per day!) The yogurt still has that tangy flavor that you’re looking for but with even more benefits! Cheers to full tummies and happy families! 🙌 #ad #stonyfield
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Instagram post 18110876884020847 Of course you love being a mom. You love your kids. You love your family. And you would NEVER change any of it. But it's okay to acknowledge that motherhood is hard and that there are parts of it that we don't always love. This does not make us bad moms. We have limits, we get tired and we're human.⁠
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I think sharing only the beautiful sides of motherhood to women who don't have children does them a disservice. It's important to have an understanding of what the reality is like so if they decide to have a baby welcoming their little one and becoming a mom is not as jarring or eye-opening. It doesn't mean that we should fear-monger. It's just being honest about all sides of motherhood--the crazy, exhausting, beautiful and best thing ever. ❤️⁠
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