There are numerous undisputed findings that show how beneficial probiotics are for adults. But there’s another reason to love these tiny little healthy bacteria in probiotics. Probiotics for kids offer substantial benefits to growing bodies! Here are some reasons why you should consider including probiotics in your child’s diet.
Children May be More Prone to Deficiencies
Have you ever struggled with getting your child to eat their vegetables? Most parents have. But the reason isn’t because your child is stubborn. Children have more taste buds than adults. As infants, a child may have about 30,000 taste buds. By the time we become adults, we may have only 10,000 active taste buds. So, while children’s tongues aren’t necessarily more sensitive to flavors, they are definitely able to taste more nuances of flood flavors than adults. This makes certain foods—like vegetables—less palatable to your child.
All this leads to one problem. Children are less likely to get all the nutrients they need to support a healthy gut flora. The easiest way to counteract this is to supplement with probiotics, which will ensure that the biome of healthy bacteria is boosted.
Children Eat More Sugar
The same taste buds that make it challenging for a child to eat just a tablespoon of spinach make sugar very appealing. There is an abundance of taste buds on your child’s tongue that are sweet receptive. One theory postulates that this is nature’s way of ensuring that mother’s milk is appealing so that the baby receives the nutrition it needs to grow. As children grow, they are heavily exposed to sugary temptations in cartoon commercials, on cereal boxes, candy aisles and more. Even the most vigilant parents have a hard time keeping kids from overeating sugar.
Sugar plays a very big role in hurting healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. Harmful bacteria feed off of sugar. This makes them multiply faster, crowding out good bacteria. Over a very short period of time, the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract of your child is upset to the point where the good bacteria need a boost to get back to healthy numbers. In short, a two-pronged approach works best for your child’s healthy digestions. First, reduce sugar intake as much as possible to eliminate the food source for bad bacteria. Second, supplement with probiotics to support the growth of healthy bacteria.
Children’s Immune Systems Are Still Immature
The immune system is not fully developed until your child is four or five years of age. Even then, the immune system is still immature. It has not yet developed the strength to deter the many of the more serious—and dangerous—strains of viruses and bacteria that humans get sick from. In a cruel twist of irony, children are typically more exposed to viruses and bad bacteria than adults. They encounter these in classrooms, on playgrounds, sports locker rooms, and more.
Probiotics have been proven to help build a strong immune system. When the digestive tract environment has plentiful good bacteria, those invasive harmful bacteria and viruses don’t stand a chance. Your child’s susceptibility to the cold that’s “going around” is much less. Even if they do get it, with the help of probiotics, your child has a greater chance of faster recovery, since their immune system will be strengthened enough to fight it off quickly.
Antibiotic Use May Be Reduced With Probiotics
Often, children with upper respiratory infections, such as with severe colds, are given antibiotics. The problem is, with antibiotics, not only are the bad bacteria knocked out. The good bacteria is also targeted. That leaves your child with very little natural, healthy bacteria to stay healthy in the future. With repeated use, antibiotics can have a detrimental effect on future effectiveness. In a study, upper respiratory infections were successfully treated with probiotics instead of antibiotics. This is proof positive that healthy bacteria can do a great job of keeping your child healthy, given the chance.
Infants Can Benefit From Probiotics, Too
Most parents have gone through that terrible stage where their infant suffers from colic, acid reflux or constipation. Recently, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that infants in the first three months of life who received probiotic supplementation helped to reduce or prevent the symptoms of these three common issues. This isn’t surprising, considering that probiotics have been shown to drastically improve digestive health, and those three temporary health problems are all related to digestion. If you’re interested in probiotics for babies for your infant, consult with your pediatrician.
Children Play Where Bacteria Abound
Every parent knows that children get dirty. They stomp in mud puddles, roll on the ground, play in the sand and lounge on the floor. These are all locations where germs and bacteria abound. On top of all that, kids aren’t likely to wash their hands nearly enough. All those things add up to the fact that children end up with more bad bacteria in them and on them than an adult. If you’re taking a probiotic supplement for yourself, it makes even more sense to consider adding probiotics to your kid’s diet. Probiotics will help to protect your child from all those harmful bacteria that accumulate on a daily basis.
There are many reasons to consider probiotics for your kids. This is an important time in their life, when bodies and brains are developing. For the best possible outlook for present and future digestive health, probiotics are worth a second look.