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5 Best Probiotics for Kids: Review of Top Children's Probiotic Brands

While probiotics may support the overall health of adults, they can also bring several health benefits to kids. Studies suggest that probiotics for kids may help manage diarrhea, colic, acid reflux, IBS, and constipation.

Parents should select effective probiotics with specific strains to address each concern in a child. Yet, there are numerous essential aspects to consider before buying a particular brand.

After consulting a pediatrician to determine safe doses, required strains, and dietary needs, choose any of the 5 best probiotics for kids on the market reviewed below.

Best probiotics for kids: a shortlist

How did we compile the list of best probiotics for kids?

We responsibly compiled our list of children’s probiotics, considering the following criteria.

CriteriaDescription
Strain specificityProbiotic strains for children
DosageUp to 20 billion CFUs
SafetyTesting and manufacturing
Price per serving$0.30–$1.50
  • Strain specificity. The effectiveness of probiotics depends on the strain and the concern it’s aimed to address. Scientists report Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus reuteri, Saccharomyces boulardii, Bacillus subtilis, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Bifidobacterium longum to be the most effective for children.
  • Dosage. The recommended dosage of probiotics for children ranges from 10 million to 20 billion colony-forming units (CFU). These are the amounts also used in research studies.
  • Safety. We’ve selected probiotics for kids that provide a certificate of analysis (COA) displaying the exact amount of bacteria in the formula, as well as the supplement's purity and safety. FDA and cGMP-approved manufacturing is another essential aspect for safety.
  • Price. We’ve calculated how much your child’s daily servings of probiotics will cost to help you choose the one according to your budget.

Best probiotics for kids in 2023: an overview

To help you choose the best probiotics for kids, our research team has reviewed the current scientific literature on probiotics in children and selected the products corresponding to the above criteria.

In this section, we reviewed 5 brands that differ in composition, form, quality, price, and ingredients. You can learn what these probiotics do for kids and how to use them.

1. Hiya — overall best probiotics for kids

hiya Kids Daily Probiotic

Hiya is a synbiotic formula specifically designed for kids' gut health. The manufacturer refrains from added sugar but uses monk fruit extract and xylitol as natural sweeteners, reducing the risk of tooth decay.

This probiotic supplement is formulated with well-studied L. rhamnosus GG, suggested to support digestive and immune health in children. It also contains L. paracasei and B. lactis — totaling 10 billion CFU.

Hiya probiotics are flavored with plant-based ingredients and do not contain unnecessary additives, gluten, soy, or dairy products. The supplement is suitable for children 2+ years, and the recommended daily entail is 1 chewable tablet.

The probiotic chewables come in a reusable glass jar and free stickers pack to make the container more attractive for kids. Thanks to the moisture and temperature-controlling container, Hiya probiotics for kids do not require refrigeration.

A one-time purchase of Hiya probiotics for 30-day consumption is $30 ($1.00 per serving).

2. Seed — best probiotics for 3+ year-old kids

Seed PDS-08

Seed presents PDS-08 Pediatric Daily Synbiotic powder probiotics for children aged above 3 years old and teens. One of the plausible features of these probiotic supplements is the addition of dietary fibers and prebiotics.

Seed PDS-08 probiotics contain 20 billion AFUs from 9 bacterial strains from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species. AFU (active fluorescent units) is an innovative and precise method of counting beneficial bacteria in the supplement.

One sachet of PDS-08 contains a proprietary blend of powder probiotics designed to address 3 aspects of your kid's health — gastrointestinal immunity, dermatological, and respiratory.

The manufacturer recommends infusing 1 sachet daily in food or drink and consuming it in 30 mins. Seed PDS-08 contains no allergens or additives.

The ingredients used in these kids’ probiotic supplements are trademarks of Seed Health Inc., established in the USA. The refillable BacTrac™ moisture and heat-control container make the supplement shelf-stable.

A one-time purchase of Seed PDS-08 Pediatric Daily Synbiotic costs $49.99 ($1.66 per serving).

3. Culturelle® Purely — best overall probiotics for kids

Culturelle Kids Purely Probiotics

Culturelle® Kids Purely Probiotics are formulated with well-studied L. rhamnosus GG suggested to support digestive and immune health in children. Culturelle® supplements are manufactured and are the leading probiotics in the USA.

Highly praised by its customers, Culturelle® probiotics are children’s favorite for reducing tummy pain. With 1 daily serving, your kids will get 5 billion CFUs of live bacteria throughout the end of the product's shelf life.

Due to their pleasant berry flavor, parents report not facing rejection from kids to take these probiotics. There are no unnecessary additives in the chewable tablets of Kids Purely Probiotics by Culturelle®.

The vegetarian chewable tablets are packed in a double aluminum blister to protect them from heat and moisture. Thus, Culturelle® Kids Purely Probiotics do not need refrigeration.

These probiotic supplements are suitable for 3–12 years old children.

One packet of Purely Probiotic supplements costs $20.99 ($0.70 per serving).

4. Garden of Life — best powder probiotics for kids and toddlers

Garden of Life Kids powder probiotics

Garden of Life Raw Probiotics for kids is a synbiotic powder formula enhanced with 23 organic and raw prebiotics from fruits and vegetables and 5 probiotic genera — strains from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

However, it’s essential to know that while a baby's digestive system is still developing, they may experience mild tummy discomfort due to the introduction of certain ingredients. Hence, a preliminary consultation with a pediatrician is essential.

The probiotics blend in the Garden of Life supplement provides 5 billion CFUs of live bacteria at the expiration date. This probiotics supplement is designed for children 3 months and older.

These probiotic supplements require refrigeration to keep the beneficial bacteria alive.

The recommended daily dose is 0.75 teaspoon of probiotics powder mixed in breast milk, water, or infant formula. This way, the container holding 3.4 oz (96 g) of powder may provide approximately 60 servings.

One Garden of Life Kids Raw Probiotics container costs $32.99 (~$0.50 per serving).

5. Culturelle® Ultimate Balance — best probiotics to use with antibiotics

Culturelle Ultimate Balance for antibiotics KIDS

One of the reasons for bacterial imbalance in children is the use of antibiotics. For this reason, the scientists behind Culturelle® manufactured kids’ Ultimate Balance for Antibiotics formula with clinically tested L. rhamnosus GG.

According to research, L. rhamnosus GG probiotics show some benefits in reducing antibiotic-induced diarrhea and digestive discomfort.

Double aluminum blisters contain 20 chewable probiotic tablets, each delivering 10 billion CFUs of live bacteria. The provider recommends eating 1 tablet daily while taking antibiotics and 10 days after an antibiotic course.

Remember that the use of this probiotic supplement should be consulted with a pediatrician due to its specific purpose.

Culturelle® Ultimate Balance probiotics are free from added sugar, nuts, dairy, and have an orange flavor. They are packed in moisture-control blisters and need-no refrigeration.

One pack of Culturelle® Ultimate Balance costs $28.49 ($1.42 per serving).

BrandAge range
Serving sizePrice per serving*Price per bottleProbiotic formCFU/AFU countFlavor
Hiya2+1$1.00$30.00Chewable tablets10 billion CFUPlant-based flavor
Seed PDS-083–17 years old1$1.66$49.99Powder20 billion AFUsUnflavored
Culturelle® Kids Purely Probiotics3–12 years old1$.0.70$20.99Chewable tablets5 billion CFUsBerry
Garden of LifeFrom 3 months¾ teaspoon$0.50$32.99Powder5 billion CFUsBanana
Culturelle® Ultimate Balance for Antibiotics3–12 years old1$1.42$28.49Chewable tablets10 billion CFUsOrange

* — price per serving may differ depending on the serving size.

How to choose the best probiotic for a child?

Besides the above-discussed criteria, consider the following features highlighting the product quality:

  • Dietary needs. Pay close attention to the ingredients in the probiotic supplements to ensure they do not contain any allergens your kid is sensitive to. Children’s probiotics should be free from additives, high amounts of added sugar, or artificial colors.
  • Supplement form. Gummies, powder, and chewable tablets make it easier for a child to consume their daily probiotics. For children above 3 years old, gummies and chewable tablets may be the best choice. Liquid and powdered probiotics are easy for infants to consume.
  • Ingredient quality. Look for probiotics that contain organic ingredients or unnecessary additives. Also, check for natural flavors.
  • Age range. Specific probiotic formulations are suitable for a particular age group of children. Read the supplement label to understand if the probiotics suit your kid.

Different types of probiotics for kids

Depending on the age group, different forms of probiotics may be suitable for kids. The following are the types of probiotics and what age they are more suitable for.

Probiotics formAge
Powder or liquidFrom 3 months
Gummies or chewable tablets3+ years old
Capsules or tablets7+ years old

Infants or toddlers may enjoy powder and liquid probiotics infused in milk or yogurt. Do not mix them in hot or highly acidic foods or drinks to keep bacteria alive.

For children who can already chew food safely, gummies and chewables can be a suitable choice. These types of probiotics have natural flavors that can help picky children consume probiotics.

Capsules are suitable for older children who can safely swallow. Probiotics in the form of tablets get dissolved under the tongue. Parents should supervise their children when consuming capsules or tablets to avoid choking.

What are the benefits of probiotics for kids?

These live and good microorganisms confer numerous health effects for adults, but here is what probiotics may do for kids:

  • Digestive support
  • Infantile colic management
  • Reduced risk of infections
  • Reduced risk of infections
  • Eczema symptoms reduction

Let’s discuss these suggested benefits and the strains supporting them.

Digestive support

Children often experience diarrhea due to poor digestion or following an antibiotic course. Studies show that probiotic strains such as L. rhamnosus GG., L. plantarum, L. reuteri, B. subtilis, and S. boulardii may play a role in reducing digestive issues in children.

A study conducted with 1–12-year-old children showed the supplementation of L. rhamnosus GG with yogurt may prevent gastrointestinal (GI) concerns, including antibiotic-related diarrhea.

Infantile colic management

Excessive crying among some infants during the first 3 months is called colic. The causes of colic are unknown, yet one of the reasons may be poorly digested breast milk or infant formula.

Numerous studies conducted with infants up to 3 months old with colic symptoms demonstrated that using L. reuteri may reduce crying time.

Reduced risk of infections

One of the common infections among newborns and older children is Helicobacter pylori, which affects the stomach and causes inflammation.

Several studies suggest that the 2–4 weeks of administration of S. boulardii and Lactobacillus genera may reduce the symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea.

Acid reflux prevention

Acid or gastroesophageal reflux is the flow of stomach acid into the esophagus, sometimes causing vomiting. The chronic occurrences of this issue in kids may lead to such symptoms as excessive crying, food refusal, slow growth rate, and sleep disruptions.

There is some data suggesting that L. reuteri administered early in a child's life may prevent regurgitation or acid reflux.

Eczema symptoms reduction

Atopic eczema or dermatitis is characterized by itchy and dry skin and is one of the common concerns among infants.

A study conducted with children ages 1–18 showed that specific probiotic strains can potentially reduce the inflammation and symptoms of dermatitis. The strains used in the study were L. fermentum, L. salivarius, and a mixture of other probiotics.

Are probiotics safe for kids?

Yes, probiotics are generally safe for kids, and their use is suggested to support the immune system still developing in children. Moreover, as a safety measure, it’s crucial to choose probiotic supplements from reputable brands showing third-party testing and handling proper packaging.

It’s worth noting that most of the studies in this field have been conducted with children having no serious health conditions. Moreover, probiotics are not recommended for children with weakened immune systems.

During the acclimation period, when the gut gets introduced to new bacteria, there are some possible side effects, including nausea, rashes, constipation, and bloating.

Remember that while an adult’s body gets used to new microorganisms quicker, one should be cautious about presenting beneficial yet new probiotics to a child’s gut. Thus, a doctor's consultation is essential before the usage.

Probiotic foods for kids

Besides the reviewed best probiotic supplements, kids can consume these “good bacteria” from the following kid-friendly foods:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Buttermilk
  • Natural yogurt
  • Pickles
  • Cheese

These foods do not only balance probiotic levels in the child’s gut, but also nourish the body with vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B, C, iodine, calcium, and protein.

It’s important to note that some children may not like the taste of certain foods, and some kids may have intolerances. In such a case, parents should consult their healthcare provider to find the best method of providing their kids with probiotics.

Best probiotics for kids — conclusion:

Putting the above-discussed together, children, similar to adults, may benefit from probiotics. When it comes to choosing the best probiotics for kids, keep in mind such criteria as strain specificity, your child’s dietary needs, and supplement composition.

As for every parent, their children's health is paramount, and it’s essential to make a meticulous choice of the best probiotic supplements to support kids' digestive and immune health further.

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