I love many of the things that come along with colder temperature - boots and scarves, hot apple cider and fires. But then there are the things that I'm not so fond of - like these late fall stomach bugs. One way I'm trying to keep my family healthy this fall is with probiotics.
When we think of bacteria, we might think bad, but "a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria" like those found in probiotics. Your body contains more than 100 trillion bacteria in or around your body, but things like poor diets, irregular sleep, antibiotic usage and other environmental factors can lead to an imbalance of the bacteria that should live in our guts. Taking a probiotic can help to ensure there are enough good bacteria in our gut to effectively break down our food, filter out toxins, and enhance our immune system response. Probiotics have also been shown to help ward off tummy bugs, help with constipation, and even improve eczema in some people.
While there are hundreds of probiotic supplements on the market, finding a kid-friendly one isn't as easy. Many kids aren't comfortable or even able to swallow pills which means finding alternate options. Here are some of my favorite kid-friendly probiotics to help keep your kids healthy and strong this winter season.
Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics Organic Kids Plus Chewable Tablets: These are one of my kids' latest favorites. These chewable tablets are berry-ish flavor that my kids enjoy and break down easily. The tablets are about the size of a dime, but are designed to be chewed up and swallowed - which is no problem, when your kids are asking for them every morning. With 14 different probiotic strains, no additional sugars or sweeteners plus added vitamins C and D, these probiotics are an excellent kid-friendly choice.
PRO-Kids Children's Probiotics: If your kids are especially squeamish about pills, these tiny pellets by PRO-Kids are super small. According to the brand's lab testing, less than 4% of the probiotics in most chewables, powders and capsules survive your child's stomach acids to deliver any benefit and with their "superior patented technology, 60% of PRO-Kids Probiotic formula will reach deep into your child's intestinal tract where they are needed most." The tiny pearl (as they call it) is suitable for most kids 3 and up to swallow and contains no sugar, artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.
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Rainbow Light Probiolicious Gummies: My kids are thrilled with anything gummy. Gummy worms, gummy bear, gummy frogs (yes, they exist). So gummy probiotics are a no-brainer. These from Rainbow Lights are suitable for kids or adults and have a sweet cranberry flavor. They are also shelf-stable which means you won't need to refrigerate them. An easy choice to getting your kids excited to take a daily probiotic.
Garden of Life RAW Organic Probiotic Kids Powder: If you're like me, you have lots of tricks up your sleeve to get your kids to eat healthy. Sometimes we beg. Sometimes we bribe. And sometimes we hide. With this probiotic powder, your kids don't even need to know that their daily smoothie, oatmeal or applesauce is also giving them over five billion live probiotic cells per serving. Plus, the powder includes 23 raw and organic fruits and vegetables from blueberry and carrot to kale and cauliflower. A powerful two-fer with no complaints from the kids!
Nature's Life Acidophilus liquid in Strawberry Apple: This is another of my kids' favorites. This probiotic liquid comes in a variety of flavors like strawberry apple, blueberry, apple, and cranberry. It was easy to drop a one-tablespoon daily serving into juice or water in the morning or add it to a smoothie in the afternoon. While this probiotic does need to be refrigerated, the 16 oz bottle lasted us for a while and comes in flavors kids will enjoy.
Here's to keeping your whole family healthy this winter and your holidays a whole lot merrier!
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