When we think of bacteria, we usually think of germs that cause diseases. But even the littlest human’s body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “friendly” bacteria because they’re the good guys in the gut working hard to keep it healthy.
But it’s easy for a child’s system to get out of balance, and for the “bad” bacteria in the gut (or the microbiome, to be precise) to start causing problems big and small: upset stomach, constipation, diarrhea, pesky skin conditions and more.
That’s where probiotics come in. Adding probiotic supplements or foods to a little one’s routine can help rebalance their systems and set them up for a lifetime of good health.
Probiotics can be especially helpful for babies because their digestive systems are still developing.
In fact, probiotics can be especially helpful for babies because their digestive systems are still developing, making it difficult for them to break down food. And if a baby is born by C-section, they’re even more important because she’ll miss picking up the helpful bacteria from mom’s birth canal.
Probiotic foods & supplements
The most common way to get more of the good bacteria into your child’s system is by giving them a probiotic supplement or by adding small bits of probiotic foods to their everyday diet; yogurt is probably the most kid-friendly probiotic food.
Probiotic supplements are generally considered safe, but of course, as with any supplement, make sure you talk to your pediatrician about what’s right for your child before you start.