10 of the best probiotics for kids

From easing diarrhoea and bloating to improving immunity, there are plenty of benefits your child can get from a probiotic supplement

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Buying supplements for children can be a minefield with so much choice available and wanting to buy the most suitable option for your little one. Deciding on the right probiotics for kids can be even more confusing with complex names for the different forms of bacteria and a huge variety in the number of cultures each one contains. It’s not always clear which brand offers the best formula and, on top of that, there’s the options of kids’ chewable probiotics, powders or tablets.

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Put simply, probiotics are the good bacteria living in our stomachs. They help keep our guts healthy and are particularly good for our digestive system and any bowel-related issues. There’s also evidence that suggests probiotics can help children with skin conditions such as eczema.

When buying probiotics for kids, there are two main things to look for – how many different types of bacteria are included in the supplement (usually anything from two to 14 strains), and the CFU (colony-forming units), which relates to how many living microorganisms are in the supplement.

Ideally, it’s good to have a diverse range of strains that are proven to help with the specific issue you’re trying to improve and a good number of CFUs. You may think you should always opt for those with the highest CFUs and the largest number of strains, but if probiotics are supplementing a healthy diet, this isn’t always necessary.

When comparing different options, you could also look to see if they contain any extra vitamins or minerals such as calcium, vitamin D or vitamin C – although if your child is already taking a multivitamin this may not be essential.

With all this in mind, we’ve searched high and low for some of the best probiotics for children on the market – from chewable probiotics for kids and Peppa Pig-themed options to food-grown powders and those with added calcium, here are our top picks…

For more information about buying probiotics for children, scroll to the bottom of the page, where registered nutritionist Rebecca Stevens tells us more about probiotics.

Here’s our pick of the best probiotics for children…

1. OptiBac Probiotics, £16.99 for 30 sachets – best for mums and kids

Suitable for: 0-12-year-olds, plus pregnant and breastfeeding mums

Type: Powder

These probiotics are suitable for kids from birth right up to the age of 12, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding mums, meaning you won’t have to pick up multiple products to suit the needs of your family.

The powder, which can easily be sprinkled on top of porridge or mixed into a drink, contains three billion natural live cultures per sachet, in three well-researched strains (Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52, Bifidobacterium infantis Rosell-33 and Bifidobacterium bifidum Rosell-71).

According to the brand, they have all been tested to survive both stomach acidity and bile salts – meaning they’ll actually reach where they need to and make a difference.

It also contains fructooligosaccharide – a dairy fibre with various benefits. And, as an extra bonus, there’s no added sugar, colourings or flavourings and it’s suitable for vegetarians and gluten-free kids.

Available from: OptiBac, Planet Organic and Amazon

2. Bio-Kult Infantis, £12.62 for 16 sachets – best for added extras

Suitable for: 0-12-year-olds

Type: Powder

This formula from Bio-Kult is high in omega-3, which is said to contribute to early brain development and offer support to the immune system, and vitamin D which helps the immune system function as it should and assists in the growth of bones, giving your little ones a double whammy of goodness.

On top of that, it features a perplex prebiotic – a food source for all the beneficial bacterial in our guts. And the live probiotic bacteria within the powder includes two of the most predominant species found in an infant’s gut. According to the brand, research has shown that these can help reduce diarrhoea in gastroenteritis, improve constipation and even help with the symptoms of eczema.

Available from: Bio-Kult, Boots and Amazon

3. BioGlan Biotic Balance Choc Balls, £9.99 for 75g – best for fussy eaters

Suitable for: 4+

Type: Chocolate balls

If giving vitamins or probiotics to your kids is always a struggle, these could be the answer. The tasty chocolate balls contain one billion live bacteria in two high-quality strains plus fibre (lactobacillus and bifodobacterium plus inulin), and we guarantee your little ones won’t hesitate to gobble them up.

They do contain less strains than other products in this list (Bio-Kult contains seven in comparison to BioGlan’s two, for example) and a fair dose of sugar, but if it’s going to help make probiotics more appealing to kids, we’re sold on the idea.

Available from: Holland & Barrett, BioGlan and Amazon

4. Wellkid Peppa Pig Pro-tummy, £9.95 for 30 – best for easy use

Suitable for: 3-7-year-olds

Type: Chewable jellies

Another novelty form of supplement, these Peppa Pig-shaped chewable kids’ probiotics and their orange flavour will be loved by your little ones. They contain five billion cultures from six different strains of bacteria (a decent amount compared to others on this list) and also feature added calcium. This helps support the digestive enzymes in your kids’ tummies and aids the normal growth and development of bones in children.

They’re suitable for vegans and vegetarians, but do contain added sugar – so be aware if you’re looking to reduce your family’s intake.

Available from: Vitabiotics, Boots and Amazon

5. Wild Nutrition Multi-Strain Biotic, £27 for 90g – best for food-grown nutrients

Suitable for: 0-12-year-olds

Type: Powder

Wild Nutrition prides itself on creating food-grown supplements – those that use high-grade ingredients that are combined and grown in live food, rather than simply synthetic products.

It contains eight strains of beneficial flora and a huge 30 billion cultures (much more than the others on this list) and is ideal for supporting your child’s natural digestive system.

Keep in mind that it’s more expensive than others on the list, but fussy children will be pleased to find the powder is tasteless and it can easily be added to drinks.

Available from: Wild Nutrition, Revital and Naturismo

6. Viridian Synerbio Children’s Powder, £14.90 for 50g – best for added immunity support

Suitable for: 1-14-year-olds

Type: Powder

This probiotic powder for kids features two billion probiotics in four strains of good gut bacteria.

It also contains added prebiotics and vitamin C, which sets it aside from many others on this list and helps your little ones in numerous ways – including by supporting their immune system.

As an extra plus point, it’s made in the UK and is free from gluten, wheat, lactose, sugar, preservatives and artificial colourings.

Available from: Viridian, Naturismo and Amazon

7. Natures Aid Kidz Pro-5, £9.95 for 90g – best for those on a budget

Suitable for: 1-12-year-olds

Type: Powder

At only £8.95 for 90g, this is one of the best value products on this list. This child-friendly powder – which comes in a playfully designed box with cute characters on the front – contains five billion friendly bacteria with eight different strains.

It’s also free from sugar, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives, and is also gluten- and dairy-free.

It might not contain any added extras, like some of the others in this list, but it’s a really good budget option with a decent number of strains and CFUs and definitely does the job.

Available from: Holland & Barrett, Natures Aid and Amazon

8. Garden of Life Organic Kids+, £14 for 30 – best for a variety of strains

Suitable for: 4+

Type: Chewable tablets

These chewable probiotics for kids contain a huge 14 different strains of bacteria (more than any other on this list) and five billion bacteria cultures.

As an extra plus point, they also feature added vitamin C, vitamin D and prebiotic fibre to give your little one a boost.

We love the fact the chewables have an organic berry cherry flavour that kids are bound to love. And according to makers, Garden of Life, the ingredients are also grown without pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and genetic engineering.

Available from: Garden of Life, Planet Organic and Naturismo

9. FloraTummys Probiotic Sprinkles, £26.99 for 30 sachets – best for those with food allergies

Suitable for: 1+

Type: Powder

These probiotics for kids contains five billion live bacteria cultures in two probiotic strains, as well as a prebiotic to help nourish the beneficial bacteria in your children’s gut.

It’s suitable for non-dairy kids, free from major food allergens and suitable for vegans. As a powder, it can also be easily mixed into drinks, added to yoghurt or sprinkled on top of cereals and porridge.

It may not contain a huge diverse number of bacterial strains, but the brand promotes the formula as being able to naturally help with a range of issues including diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, belly pain and colic, too.

Available from: Amazon

10. Alflorex, £27.50 for 30 tablets – best for kids with IBS

Suitable for: 3+

Type: Chewable tablet

These chewable probiotics are suitable for all the family and can be taken by kids aged three and up.

It contains one billion bacteria cultures including one which has been shown in clinical trials to reduce bloating and gas, abdominal pain, and urgent diarrhoea and constipation, according to Alflorex.

It doesn’t contain as many live strains as many of the other products in this list, nor any added extras, but it has received good reviews from those suffering with IBS and is well worth trying.

Available from: Precision Biotics

Buying probiotics for kids can be tricky, and you may have plenty of questions relating to the best product for your child. To help you understand the matter more, we’ve asked registered nutritionist Rebecca Stevens to answer three of the most commonly asked questions relating to children’s’ probiotics…

Are probiotics safe for children?

From research investigating probiotics in children, no serious side effects were reported from taking a daily probiotic supplement but some mild side effects were evident (e.g. bloating).

However, they are not suitable for all children, including those with medical conditions that cause weakened immune systems. Please talk to a GP or dietician if you are concerned about whether your child should be taking one.

It is also important to highlight that we should be trying to encourage our children to eat a variety of plant-based items including fruit and vegetables as part of their everyday diet to support their overall gut health.

What are the benefits of probiotics for children?

Overall, probiotics may have health benefits for children including supporting a healthy digestive system.

Another potential benefit is to support the rebalance of gut bacteria following a course of antibiotics. When required to fight a bacterial infection, antibiotics are very important, but they can affect the balance of our natural gut health and can cause a reduction in the diversity of our gut microbiome.

In some cases, children also experience diarrhoea and research suggests that probiotics can help protect some people from getting diarrhoea.

Can probiotics help with digestive issues such as constipation?

The symptoms of constipation include infrequent bowel movements, hard stools, a bloated stomach and straining.

Recent studies have suggested that probiotics containing Bifidobacterium lactis may help to ease the symptoms of constipation. They may also improve tummy ache symptoms and improve the consistency of stools.

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